AP Government and Politics Redesign Overview

In preparation for the 2018 AP Government and Politics course redesign this April I will be attending the College Board AP Government redesign summit for AP Consultants in Indiana (hopefully not in Hawkins, Indiana). This summer I'll be offering engaging and rigorous AP GoPo training at Wake Forest University (June 11-15 - go Deacs), Davidson College (June 18-22 - Steph Curry slept here), Auburn, Alabama (June 25-28 - Roy Moore, here I come!) Maryville College (July 9-12 - Tennessee you later) William & Mary APSI Session 1 (July 16-19 - hello Chancellor Robert M. Gates), and William & Mary APSI Session 3 (July 30-August 2 - farewell Virginia). And if you can't make any APSI, I also offer direct AP GoPo coaching and support to teachers and districts to build student success on the AP Exam!

My curriculum is fully aligned for success with the AP Government and Politics Redesign.

The AP Government and Politics redesign is guided by five basic principles:

1-Command of the constitution is the touchstone for informed citizenship and scholarship.

2-Students are not spectators but analysts, they must analyze the documents and debates that formed our republic and animate public life today.

3-Knowledge matters: we define a focused body of shared knowledge while leaving room for the variety of state standards and the imagination of individual teachers.

4-We can’t avoid difficult topics but we can insist on a principled attention to the best arguments on both sides as students read and write.

5-Civic knowledge is every student’s right and responsibility.

All of these principles are embedded in our curriculum and central to our mission of civic education.


There are five political science skills and practices that are central to the AP Government and Politics redesigned course, which students will be expected to master for the exam:

Skill 1: Describe and explain constitutional and political institutions principles, processes, models, and beliefs.

Skill 2: Explain connections among political behaviors, institutions, beliefs and cultural factors

Skill 3: Read, analyze and interpret quantitative data to draw conclusions about political principles processes behaviors and outcomes.

Skill 4: Read, analyze and interpret qualitative sources.

Skill 5: Develop an argument about political principles, processes, behaviors and outcomes.

My flipped classroom and rigorous analytical approach to engaging resources help students master all five essential political science skills.

Skill 1: Students analyze rich resources including a deep dive into primary sources to make connections across the US politics curriculum.

Skill 2: Inquiry based learning creates a web of knowledge and student understanding across the curriculum

Skill 3: Students achieve visual literacy through our analysis of visual data in our daily class starters

Skill 4: Journal reviews connecting current events to curriculum lead to lively debates, discussion, and an open Socratic classroom building analytical and interpretive skills.

Skill 5: Our fishbowl method of research based argumentation turns students from spectator to participant


These skills not only lead to fantastic results on the AP exam, but more importantly, create lifelong citizen scholars.

AP Government and Politics Redesign Slideshow