Education Standards

Public Policy (Economic, Environmental, Welfare, Education): Course Map & Recommended Resources


Public Policy (Economic, Environmental, Welfare, Education)

The resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:

  1. Identify different forms of taxation and how they affect different economic classes.
  2. Investigate the trade-offs in various public policy decisions (e.g. Affordable Care Act vs. free market healthcare vs. socialized medicine.)
  3. Define budget deficits and differentiate it from the national debt, and identify how government debt is different from debts held by individuals.
  4. Discuss the basics of the federal budget process and major spending items.
  5. Be able to differentiate between fiscal and monetary policy and identify the key actors for both.
  6. Explain the outlines of immigration policy and be able to define key terms like: DREAMers, DACA, chain immigration, etc.

Recommended Textbook and Web-Based Resources

Discussion Questions and Key Concepts

Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss stages of the public policy process—problem recognition, policy formulation, and policy implementation.
  2. Give an example of the government intervening in the economy to promote efficiency (e.g. preventing restraint of trade); to promote equity (e.g. protecting consumers).
  3. Give an example of the role of the federal government to regulate, promote, and stimulate the economy. Evaluate the outcome of that example. In other words, did it work or not?
  4. Discuss the concept of whether health care is a right or a privilege. What are the ramifications if it’s a right? if it’s a privilege?

Key Terms or Concepts

  1. Regulatory policy
  2. School choice
  3. Laissez-faire economics
  4. Adam Smith
  5. John Maynard Keynes
  6. Fiscal policy
  7. Monetary policy
  8. Mixed economy
  9. Economic equity
  10. Clean Air Act of 1963
  11. Water Quality Act of 1965
  12. National parks
  13. American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
  14. Social Security
  15. Medicaid
  16. Medicare
  17. In-kind benefit