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TASC Test Social Studies

TASC Test Social Studies

 

Without a common core for social studies, the TASC test will use national standards created by groups that specialize in four of the five domains that the TASC test will assess: U.S. History, World History, Civics and Government, and Economics. DRC|CTB is creating a content framework that draws domain standards from the following national resources: National Center for History in the School, National Standards for History Basic Edition, 1996; Center for Civic Education, National Standards for Civics and Government, 2010;Economics- Council for Economic Education, Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics, 2nd Edition.

For the Geography domain, DRC|CTB wrote the targets for the TASC test based on the standards created by the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for Geographic Education. After identifying these targets for the TASC test framework, the Social Studies team at DRC|CTB conducted an analysis of the targets by comparing them to a few states’1 high school standards for these domains, as well as the GED 2002 and the GED 2014.

1We compared the TASC test Framework to the high school standards for the following states: Florida (US History, World History, Civics and Government, Geography, Economics), New York* (US History, World History), California (US History, Civics and Government), Texas (World History, Civics and Government, Geography, Economics), Missouri (Civics and Government, Geography), Arizona (Economics, US History), New Mexico (Geography) New Hampshire (Geography ) Massachusetts (Economics), Maine (World History), New Jersey (World History)

The TASC test emphasizes the targets for social studies that appear most frequently on state standards for the specified domains, as indicated by the categories in the below “High Emphasis” category.

Concepts in the “Medium Emphasis” items will be fully assessed within the TASC test as well, though there will be fewer questions aligned to these standards.

The “Low Emphasis” category will have no more than one or two items on any given test.

 

High Emphasis:

U.S. History: Post-War United States (1945-1970s)

· The economic boom and social transformation of postwar United States.

· How the Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics.

· Domestic policies after World War II.

· The struggle for racial and gender equality and for the extension of civil liberties.

· U.S. History: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945).

· The causes of the Great Depression and how it affected American society.

· How the New Deal addressed the Great Depression, transformed American federalism, and initiated the welfare state.

· The causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs.

 

U.S. History: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)

· The causes of the Civil War.

· The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people.

· Various reconstruction plans succeeded or failed.

 

Civics and Government: U.S. Constitution: Embodies the Purpose, Values, and Principles of American Democracy

· Describe the purposes, organization, and functions of the institutions of the national government.

· Explain how the United States Constitution grants and distributes power to national and state government and how it seeks to prevent the abuse of power.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding the proper relationship between the national government and the state and local governments.

· Identify the major responsibilities of their state and local governments and evaluate how well they are being fulfilled.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on the role and importance of law in the American political system.

· Explain the importance of the judicial protection of individual rights.

· Describe how the public agenda is set.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions about the role of public opinion in American politics.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on the influence of the media on American political life.

· Describe the roles of political parties, campaigns, and elections in American politics.

 

Civics and Government: Civic Life, Politics, and Government

· Explain the meaning of the terms civic life, politics, and government.

· Explain the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.

· Explain the various purposes served by constitutions.

· Describe the major characteristics of systems of shared powers and of parliamentary systems.

· Explain the advantages and disadvantages of federal, confederal, and unitary systems of government.

 

Civics and Government: Foundations of the American Political System

· Explain the central ideas of American constitutional government and their history.

· Explain the extent to which Americans have internalized the values and principles of the Constitution and attempted to make its ideals realities.

· Explain the importance of shared political and civic beliefs and values to the maintenance of constitutional democracy in an increasingly diverse American society.

· Explain the meaning of the terms “liberal” and “democracy” in the phrase “liberal democracy”.

· Explain how and why ideas of classical republicanism are reflected in the values and principles of American constitutional democracy.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on what the fundamental values and principles of American political life are and their importance to the maintenance of constitutional democracy.

 

Economics: Government and Economics

· Identify and evaluate the benefits and costs of alternative public policies, and assess who enjoys the benefits and who bears the costs.

· Identify some public policies that may cost more than the benefits they generate, and assess who enjoys the benefits and who bears the costs. Explain why the policies exist.

· Interpret media reports about current economic conditions and explain how these conditions can influence decisions made by consumers, producers, and government policy makers.

· Make informed decisions by anticipating the consequences of inflation and unemployment.

· Anticipate the impact of federal government and Federal Reserve System macroeconomic policy decisions on themselves and others.

 

Economics: Microeconomics

· Identify markets in which people participate as a buyer and as a seller and describe how the interaction of all buyers and sellers influences prices. Also, predict how prices change when there is either a shortage or surplus of the product available.

· Predict how changes in factors such as consumers’ tastes or producers’ technology affect prices.

· Explain how changes in the level of competition in different markets can affect price and output levels.

· Describe the roles of various economic institutions and explain the importance of property rights in a market economy.

 

Medium Emphasis:

U.S. History: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)

· How the rise of corporations, heavy industry, and mechanized farming transformed the American people.

· Massive immigration after 1870 and how new social patterns, conflicts, and ideas of national unity developed amid growing cultural diversity.

· The rise of the American labor movement and how political issues reflected social and economic changes.

·  Federal Indian policy and United States foreign policy after the Civil War.

 

Civics and Government: Role of the Citizen in American Democracy

· Explain the meaning of citizenship in the United States.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding the criteria used for naturalization.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding personal, economic and political rights.

· Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding civic responsibilities of citizens in American constitutional democracy.

 

Economics: Macroeconomics

· Identify the risks and potential returns to entrepreneurship, as well as the skills necessary to engage in it. Understand the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to economic growth, and how public policies affect incentives for and, consequently, the success of entrepreneurship in the United States.

· Explain how people’s lives would be more difficult in a world with no money, or in a world where money sharply lost its value. Predict the consequences of investment decisions made by individuals, businesses, and governments.

· Predict future earnings based on someone’s current plans for education, training, and career options.

 

Economics: Basic Economics

· Identify what people gain and what they give up when they make choices.

· Make effective decisions as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and citizens.

· Identify incentives that affect people’s behavior and explain how incentives affect their own behavior.

· Evaluate different methods of allocating goods and services, by comparing the benefits to the costs of each method.

 

Geography: Places and Regions

· Explain how places are characterized by both physical and human characteristics.

· Describes how regions are formed and what makes them distinct.

· Describe how physical and human characteristics of places and regions change over time.

 

Geography: Environment and Society

· Explain the impact of human changes to the environment.

· Describe how the physical environment provides opportunities and hindrances on human activities.

· Describe the changes that occur in the use, distribution, and importance of a resource.

 

Geography: Human Systems

· Identify and explain how factors such as technology, politics, the economy, the environment, and history have influenced population distribution.

· Identify and describe the characteristics of cultures.

· Evaluate the functions of settlements overtime.

· Describe how conflict and cooperation influence the division of the Earth's surface.

 

World History: Age of Revolutions (1750-1914)

· The causes and consequences of political revolutions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

· The causes and consequences of the agricultural and industrial revolutions, 1700-1850.

· Patterns of nationalism, state-building, and social reform in Europe and the Americas, 1830-1914.

· Patterns of global change in the era of Western military and economic domination, 1800-1914.

 

World History: A Half-Century of Crisis and Achievement (1900-1945)

· The causes and global consequences of World War I.

· The search for peace and stability in the 1920s and 1930s.

· The causes and global consequences of World War II.

 

World History: The 20th Century Since 1945: Promises and Paradoxes

· How post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up.

· The search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world.

 

Low Emphasis:

· U.S. History: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s).

· U.S. History: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861).

· U.S. History: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930).

· U.S. History: Contemporary United States (1968 to the present).

· Civics and Government: Relationship of the United States to other Nations and to World Affairs.

· Economics: Trade and International Politics.

· Geography: World in Spatial Terms.

· Geography: Physical Systems.

·  World History: The Beginnings of Human Society.

·  World History: Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral People (4000-1000 BCE).

· World History: Classical Traditions, Major Religions, and Giant Empires (1000 BCE-300 CE).

· World History: Intensified Hemispheric Interactions (1000-1500 CE).

· World History: Expanding Zones of Exchange and Encounter (300-1000 CE).

·  World History: The Emergence of the First Global Age (1450-1770).