Grade 11, 12 Contemporary Educational Issues

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject: Issues in Government                                      

Grade: 11 and 12

Unit: Contemporary Educational Issues              

Pacing: 4th MP (2 weeks)

Essential Question(s):

1.  How has government influenced educational systems in our country?

2.  Why are standardized tests used in Connecticut schools?

3.  How does the American educational system compare to other countries?

4.  How has the rise of violence in society had an impact on school life? 

Big Idea(s):

1.  State and federal governments have enacted laws to protect the rights of students and to ensure student success.

2.  Standardized tests are given to measure and ensure student learning.

3.  Answers will vary with several possible responses (including the use of standardized tests, length of school day and year, violence in school, protection of specific groups, access, etc.)

4.  Increased violence is seen in schools including physical violence, verbal harassment and bullying.

CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

1.2.2  Compare and contrast the experiences of Connecticut citizens with other U.S. citizens throughout American history.

1.7.1  Compare and contrast how different national governments attempt to meet the needs of their citizens.

1.8.1Describe xamples of laws that have been modified to meet the changing needs of society.

3.3.1  Evaluate a proposed solution to a contemporary political, economic, environmental or social problem.

2.4.1  Use relevant evidence to prepare a formal oral argument to defend a point of view

“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)



Educational laws – NCLB, Title IX, IDEA


Standardized testing – CAPT, CMT, SAT


School violence and bullying


Charter schools – school reform


Bilingual education


Drug and steroid abuse – mandatory drug testing


Compare and contrast Connecticut standardized testing and Charter schools to other states


Compare and contrast the U.S. to other countries in student achievement and school structure and policies.


Describe examples of national and state educational laws over the past 50 years.


Evaluate possible solutions to the problems of school violence and drug testing












Common Formative Pre- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis):

* see attached

“Dipsticks” (Informal Progress Monitoring Checks):


Common Formative Post- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis):

* see attached

Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:

Lecture/Powerpoint notes

Educational Law timeline

Articles on education (attached)


Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:


Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections

No Child Left Behind

CT Mastery Test and CAPT


Title IX

Charter school



LBJ – Great Society Programs

Bilingual Education Act

Brown v. Board of Education

4th Amendment

search and seizure

drug testing


Project Choice

Columbine HS


Compare bully policies of different CT schools and create a new policy.

Read a book on school violence and report to class.

Create a display on the issue of mandatory drug testing in high school

Write a letter to the editor of the New York Times on the value of the SAT

Research schools that provide bilingual education and report.

 Bioethics (drug testing)