AP US Government


Online for the 2023-2024 School Year

Teacher: Julia Reed

Email: pareeds@comcast.net

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AP US Government and Politics 2022-23 


Congratulations to the 2021-22  Students! Our class average on the exam was 3.64  with 73 % of the class scoring a 3 or higher.  This score is well above the global average of 2.58.


Course Materials:

  • Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizen in American Politics 8th Edition by Barbour and Wright  ISBN # 978-1-5063-6218-2.  PLEASE check the ISBN as there is a version of this book called "The Essentials" but it is a different book.  *Most Textbooks tend to have a progressive leaning and this book does as well.  I work hard to balance these ideas in the class with other resources as well, attempting to give the students a balanced view in areas where ideological differences exist, working hard to allow them to see positions as would be presented by the groups by whom these positions are held.  Additionally, you may notice this book is a few years old (2017).  The material in this book is still relevant and I have not seen any updates that are materially different in a way that requires a more expensive textbook.  There are MANY of these available used on Amazon.  I do encourage you to purchase a hard copy of the book as I believe students retain the information better when reading it on paper(This is simply a suggestion, the book is also available digitally).  
  • A study prep to be announced later in the year 
  • Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments Paperback – January 9, 2013 by Benjamin Franklin  (optional can find free on-line)
  • The Supreme Court [Paperback] By William Rehnquist   (summer reading)
  • Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May - September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen  (summer reading) 
  • Numerous articles and on-line sources (free)
  • Films, available on-line (free)
  • Hillsdale College "Constitution" lectures (Free on-line)
  • "The Most Successful Revolution" by Irving Kristol (Free)


Class Fees:  Early Bird (before July 1st): $675, Regular: $700.00

Tech Needs: hi-speed Internet access, ability to watch DVD’s, email account.  I highly recommend a headset with microphone for on-line class discussions

Who Should Apply:  Self-motivated 9th-12th grade students.  Students should have reliable Internet access and an email account.  Students should be prepared for a rigorous curriculum that will challenge them to make critical assessments of world views and their impacts on governments and societies. 

Application:  Please fill out the application (bottom of the page) and email it to me.  If you are a junior or senior you are welcome to register at anytime as long as the class is still open.  Please fill out the information in the application at some point so I have it for my records.  If you are a sophomore or younger please wait until I have approved your application before you register.  

Course Description:

This United States Government and Politics course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. We will become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. 

This course will involve the study of democratic ideas, balance of powers, and the tension between the practical and ideal in policymaking.  We will look at how "ideas have consequences"and how ones "first truths," develop into political positions.  Students will analyze and discuss the importance of various constitutional principles, rights and procedures, institutions, and political processes that impact citizenship. 

The class will be interactive and will have a live meeting each week (though attendance is not required).   We will also have opportunities to meet informally to discuss current affairs.  We will also have a few guest speakers who will talk to our class throughout the year.  Students will be evaluated through tests, quizzes, short essays and threaded discussions.  We will use Canvas as our class platform.  There will be assignments and reading every week, along with required interaction on the course site (password protected).  The students will watch a number of pre-recorded lectures and will have the opportunity to discuss this material.  We will also have some class simulations involving the 3 branches of government Youth Leadership Initiative through UVA).  These activities will encourage the students to think critically about current events and their own personal political ideals. 


Live Component:  There is a weekly lecture on Tuesday at 1:00 PM EST.  These lectures will also be recorded and attendance in live class is optional . 

Goals for the Students:

  •  Equip students with the ability and desire to become informed, responsible American citizens
  •  Develop sound reasoning for their political beliefs and a solid understanding of the founding values and principles of our country
  •  Equip students with the ability to use history to understand current political situations
  • Perform well on the AP exam

Teaching Philosophy:

Grades will be earned by the students, not given by me.  I will equip the students with everything they need in order to be successful. I absolutely love the subject and encourage the students to embrace the learning process and actively engage with the material.

Class Dates:  

The course will be 32 weeks (September 6,  2022 - May 16, 2023) with the following breaks: November 23-29, Dec 21- 2 Jan , March 22-28. 


Instructor Qualifications:

I am a retired Lt Col from the United States Air Force, serving over 20 years on both active duty and the reserve. My duties included both US and overseas locations. I have a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in International Relations from St. Mary's University (San Antonio, TX). Additionally I am a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL, and a graduate of the Centurion Program (intensive worldview study led by Chuck Colson now called the Colson Fellows program) in Lansdowne, VA and am a Colson Fellow.   I still serve the Air Force Academy as a liaison in the state of Texas and formerly on a board for my local congressman, nominating students to our federal academies. I have taught numerous courses over the years and am passionate about International Relations and US Government and Politics and love to teach and interact with students.   I have locally served in elected positions as well on some non-profit boards.  I have worked with educational foundations to improve AP curriculum in the past and this is my ninth year teaching for PA Homeschoolers.  I have consulted with a national educational firm and developed curriculum that is currently being used by a national company for this course in public schools.  I am a graduate of the Ann Anstine leadership series: Excellence in Public Service in the state of PA (completed in 2018).   I have been married for 30 years and Eric and I have four children and two grandchildren.  I feel exceedingly blessed to be teaching the next generation.

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