Thursday, May 17, 2012

HOA Assignments

Week of May 14 - May 18

Period 4
Tuesday: Continue work on your Internal Assessment, due May 18th
Thursday: Complete Keen assignment and "X-Ray of the Pampa", I.A. due Friday

Period 7
Monday: Continue work on your Internal Assessment
Wednesday: Complete Keen assignment and "X-Ray of the Pampa", I.A. due Friday

APGov: C-SPAN "Cram for the Exam"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

HOA: Internal Assessment First Draft

Your internal assessment first draft is due on Friday, May 18th.  You'll need to turn in a printed copy to me (double-spaced, cover sheet, bibliography) and submit an electronic copy to  To enroll in my class on, you'll need to register using our class number (5128719) and the enrollment password (USAAOK).  The documents below can help you with the internal assessment requirements and formatting.  If you can't view the box below, click here to access the documents.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

IB Seniors: Notes from your Paper 3's

At long last I'm finished grading your paper 3 essays, and I thought I'd use Room3011 to provide feedback.  Mr. Albers and I split up the essays, so I'll only be able to comment the essays that I read and marked.  I'm also going to refrain from posting the text of the question, just in case IB doesn't want those published on the interwebs.  That shouldn't be a problem for any of you, since you should still have a copy of the exam.

Question #1
Number of Essays: 34
Score Range: 0-17
     Many decent essays in this group.  Remember to include specific supporting details from the time period.  Don't ignore Dutch and Spanish aid to the American colonists, even though it was less significant than French aid.  Explain why the countries that provided aid did so.

Question #8
Number of Essays: 5
Score Range: 2-13
     Many essays incorrectly asserted that Reconstruction led to the Harlem Renaissance.  The two events are half a century apart.  No essays made the link between the rise of the NAACP and the Harlem Renaissance (although one student did link DuBois to the movement).  A good essay will bring up several reasons for the flourishing of the arts and politics in Harlem, including WWI's impact on African American society.  Most essays lacked specific details, only mentioning one or two artists of the time in passing.  My impression from grading these essays was that most of the students didn't actually know enough about the Harlem Renaissance to write about it in a Paper 3 essay.

Question #11
Number of Essays: 8
Score Range: 4-13
     All of these essays were lacking enough detail to qualify for the highest marks.  The question asked students to "compare and contrast."  For IB, compare means to describe similarities and contrast means to describe differences.  Most students simply did not include enough information in their essays.

Question #12
Number of Essays: 4
Score Range: 13-15
     These essays were pretty good.  Some shortcoming I found in some were a lack of detail necessary in an essay that receives 15 or more marks.  Few essays mentioned that Calles's creation of the PNR (which later became the PRI) provided political stability in Mexico (which it was sorely lacking) at the expense of true democracy - it's a trade-off that should be explained as both a success and failure.  Land redistribution came with mixed results as well, but at least Calles redistributed more land than Obregon.  Labor reform was also mixed.  Unions were supported, but co-opted into the government and that weakened their independence.  Finally, all the essays should have mentioned Calles's support for secular education and the intense problems that this caused with the Catholic Church.  Nearly any major initiative of the Maximato should be characterized as both a success and a failure, with the appropriate supporting details.

Question #13
Number of Essays: 28
Score Range: 6-17
     One of the easier questions on the exam.  For the highest scores, one needs to identify how the financial system was unstable and then use several detailed examples of how New Deal programs addressed those instabilities to create a more financially secure U.S.  If you choose to focus on WWII as a greater achievement of FDR, you still need to devote space to explaining why FDR's stabilization of the U.S. economy is less impressive.

Question #19
Number of Essays: 6
Score Range: 6-16
     There was a large variation in scores on this question.  The best answers included multiple ways in which foreign policy changed during the Eisenhower administration.  Too many students only wrote about the Suez crisis.  Don't forget to include Ike's use of the CIA and the threat of "massive retaliation."

Question #21
Number of Essays: 1
Score Range: 14
     This essay did a great job of describing the impact of the Black Panthers, but needed more description of the aims (or goals) of the Black Panthers.

Question #23
Number of Essays: 1
Score Range: 13
     This essay mentioned some successes and failure of Clinton and successfully covered both the domestic and international spheres.  It did not provide enough specific examples of bipartisan legislation and the interpretation of NAFTA was inaccurate.  Finally, since Topic 12 ends at the year 2000, a discussion of the disastrous result of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act is irrelevant since the effects were mainly felt in 2008 and later.

Question #24
Number of Essays: 9
Score Range: 5-7
     Students generally did a good job of identifying both positive and negative impacts of the internet on the United States.  Unfortunately, that alone could only earn a student 6 points out of a possible 20.  To earn any more than 6 points, the essay needed to include specific real-life examples to illustrate the impacts of the internet.  Nearly every example provided by students was from the last 5-8 years.  This is how the markscheme told graders to address examples:
All examples in the mark scheme precede 2001; examples identified which clearly occurred after 2000 are outside the timeframe of the syllabus and should not be considered as relevant to the question and therefore are not a basis for the award of marks.
     That means that citing Twitter, Facebook, Kony2012, Obama, etc. will earn you no credit.  What examples could you use that pre-date 2000?  I'm not really sure - I'd have to do some research.  I know I didn't cover this unit in my class and I doubt Mr. Albers covered it in his.  Avoid questions 23 and 24 on the Paper 3 exam!