Trivia Answers for March 2018

Offshore Drilling

1. The U.S. border is actually _________miles away from the coastline. This area around the country is called the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

a) 100 miles

b) 200 miles

c) 500 miles

2. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States surpassed China in annual gross crude oil imports in 2017.

a) True

b) False

3. The U.S. produces less than ______% of the world’s total oil reserves, yet we consume ______% of the world’s yearly production.

a) 1%, 23%

b) 2%, 21%

c) 3%, 25%

4. Which oil and gas company was associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico?

a) Exxon

b) Union Oil

c) BP (British Petroleum)

5. The largest oil spill on earth occurred in January 1991 during the Gulf War, when Iraqi forces intentionally released 252 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf.

a) True

b) False

Welfare and Drug Testing

1. According to Think Progress, the 13 states that drug-tested TANF applicants or recipients in 2016 spent ____________ to find 369 drug users.

a) $1.3 million

b) $10 million

c) $1.1 billion


2. In a continuation of question 1 above, the positive drug test rate out of all applicants ranged from ______% in Arkansas to ______% percent in Utah.

a) .07% in Arkansas, 2.14% in Utah

b) 1.2% in Arkansas, 2.98% in Utah

c) 5.1% in Arkansas, 6.2% in Utah


3. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the United States’ food stamps program.

a) True

b) False


4. Which state is not one of the 15 states that have passed legislation regarding drug testing for public assistance applicants or recipients?

a) Iowa

b) Utah

c) Michigan


5. In 2009, which state became the first state to enact a drug-testing law for welfare applicants?

a) Texas

b) Arizona

c) Georgia

Research Links & Critical-Thinking Questions – March 2018


Issue 1: Offshore Drilling

Heritage Foundation: How Offshore Oil and Gas Production Benefits the Economy 

Oceana Report: Safety Measures Will Not Make Offshore Drilling Safe 

Press Release from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Announcement 

National Ocean Industries Association Offshore Energy Industry Publications 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Statistics and Facts 

U.S. Department of Energy Report “Today in Energy” 

Issue 2: Welfare & Drug Testing

H.R.2179 – Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients Act 

Think Progress: States Spend Millions to Drug Test the Poor, Few Positive Results 

National Conference of State Legislatures Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients 

Study: “Assessing the Effects of Substance Abuse Among Applicants for TANF Benefits” 

Snopes on Drug Testing Welfare Recipients 

Chicago Tribune: “Wisconsin’s Walker Proposes Welfare Overhaul Plan”

President Trump’s 2019 Budget Proposal 


Issue 1:  Offshore Drilling

  1. Traditionally, Republican lawmakers have favored offshore drilling in U.S. waters. Why do you think some of them are now voicing opposition to it?
  2. What is your opinion on offshore drilling? Do you think it should be allowed in the U.S.? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think offshore drilling in U.S. waters harm the environment? Explain why or why not.
  4. Compare and contrast the pro/con congressional quotes on p. 3 of the newsletter. Whose opinion do you agree with the most, and why?
  5. Would you want offshore drilling to take place in your own community? Why or why not?

Issue 2: Welfare & Drug Testing

  1. Please read the Think Progress report (see link above). Do you think drug testing welfare recipients is worth the cost? Why or why not?
  2. Does your state require drug testing for recipients of welfare programs like SNAP, TANF, etc.?
  3. Research the answer if you don’t know. Do you agree with your state’s policy?
  4. Do you believe the poor are more likely than other groups (such as seniors) who receive government money to use drugs? Why or why not?
  5. Read President Trump’s proposed changes to the SNAP program in his 2019 Budget Proposal (link above). Do you think these changes are a good idea? Why or why not?

March 2018 Teacher Spotlight – David Weikel, Chattanooga

Vital Stats

Name: David Weikel
School Name: Notre Dame High School
City, State: Chattanooga, TN
Subject(s) Taught: Civics, AP Government and Politics, Public Speaking
Grade(s) Taught: 9, 11 and 12
No. of Years Teaching: 14
Honors: Board of Directors for Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Chattanooga Chapter

As an educator for grades 9, 11 and 12 at Notre Dame High School – a Roman Catholic college preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tennessee – David Weikel says he devotes much of his time to teaching Civics and AP Government and Politics. Although he has 14 years of teaching experience, this is his first year teaching AP Government and Politics.

“This is a particularly eventful time to be teaching government to students,” Weikel says. “And that will probably continue for some time. My teaching philosophy is to make learning fun while still getting the message across to my students.”

Encouraging Active Citizenry

Weikel’s approach to managing his classroom is seasoned and reflects his nearly 15 years’ experience in teaching. “My students do not have assigned seats, nor do they have to ask to go to the bathroom. These freedoms cause them to feel more like adults and they perform better than if they were treated like children.”

Although flexible in his teaching style, Weikel’s firm commitment to educating students about the importance of active citizenry is evident. He says he uses the SGAP program in his AP classes to engage students in discussion about current events in government and politics.

“In large part due to SGAP, I was able to get 42 new students to register as first-time voters in the fall,” Weikel says. “Many of my students will be eligible to vote for their first time and they want to be part of the solution.”

Teacher’s Takeaway

What’s the one thing Weikel hopes students will remember about his AP Government and Politics class? “The takeaway from my class that I want students to remember is to vote in all elections,” he says. “And that’s not just the national ones, but voting at every level and despite who’s running.”

Looking ahead, what does Weikel think social studies teachers should focus on? “In the future, we social studies teachers need to continue to teach these issues to our students,” Weikel says. “We need to ingrain in them that they are the future leaders of our nation.”

Trivia & Quiz Answers – February 2018

Net Neutrality

1. Appointed by President Donald Trump, ____is the current chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Chairman who supported the repeal of the net neutrality rules.
a. Betsy DeVos
b. Ajit Pai
c. Jeff Sessions

2. According to the U.S. Internet Association, internet service provider investment showed no decline as a result of the net neutrality rules established in 2015.
a. True
b. False

3. Which company was subjected to “throttling” by Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon when it first started?
a. Netflix
b. YouTube
c. Amazon

4. Which companies oppose net neutrality rules?
a. AT&T
b. Time Warner
c. Verizon
d. All of the above

5. The FCC Chairman named in question 1 is often seen drinking out of a giant Skittles coffee mug.
a. True
b. False

Diversity Visa Lottery

1. The Diversity Visa Lottery program was a small part of the Immigration Act of what year and was signed into law by which president?
a. 1990, President George H.W. Bush
b. 2000, President Bill Clinton
c. 2009, President Barack Obama

2. The Diversity Visa Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State.
a. True
b. False

3. In the Diversity Visa Lottery program, no country can account for more than ___ % of all visas issued in one year?
a. 5%
b. 7%
c. 9%

4. Which country had the largest number of Visa Lottery winners in 2015?
a. Ukraine
b. Nigeria
c. Uzbekistan

5. Despite his role in its formation, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) now wants to eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery.
a. True
b. False


Research Links & Critical-Thinking Questions – February 2018


Issue 1: Net Neutrality
H.R.4682 “Open Internet Preservation Act” (Text)
FCC: “Restoring Internet Freedom”
“In Protests of Net Neutrality Repeal, Teenage Voices Stood Out” NYT Article
“The Case for Net Neutrality Repeal” Article
“What the End of Net Neutrality Means for You” Time Article
Fox Video: “FCC Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality”

Issue 2: Diversity Visa Lottery
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of State Visa Statistics
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration Data and Statistics
H.R.4427 – Protecting America and American Workers Act
“What Is the Diversity Visa Lottery?” CNN Article



Issue 1: Net Neutrality
Should everyone have equal access to content online or should it be okay to charge more for premium services for those who can afford them?
Does net neutrality hamper competition and innovation? Why or why not?
Should internet service providers (ISPs) be able to speed up access to sites who pay to be prioritized and slow down the sites who don’t pay a premium?
Should the government have regulatory power over the ISPs? Why or why not?
Do you agree with the FCC’s decision to repeal the net neutrality rules? Why or why not?

Issue 2: Diversity Visa Lottery
1. Compare and contrast the pro/con congressional quotes on p. 3 of the newsletter. Whose opinion do you agree with the most, and why?
2. How has the recent NYC terrorist attack influenced the Diversity Visa Lottery debate?
3. Do you think Congress should end the Diversity Visa Lottery program? Why or why not?
4. Should the children of illegal immigrants become U.S. citizens at birth? Why or why not?
5. Should undocumented residents be deported without recourse? Why or why not?

February 2018 Teacher Spotlight – Dan Cappleman, Albuquerque

Vital Stats

Name: Dan Cappleman
School Name: St. Pius X High School
City, State: Albuquerque, NM
Subjects Taught: American Government and Economics; AP U.S. Government and Politics
Grade Taught: 12th Grade
No. of Years Teaching: 21 years
Honors: St. Pius X High School Teacher of the Year 2002; nominated for Golden Apple 2007


As a twelfth grade educator who works with college-bound seniors at a Catholic high school in Albuquerque, Dan Cappleman says he loves teaching. “It has been a privilege and a blessing to teach at a school where I can also practice and model my faith,” he says. “Teaching is actually my second career.”

A Proverbial Philosophy

Cappleman says his teaching philosophy could be summed up with one proverb: The teacher opens the door; we enter by ourselves.

“I share this saying with my students on day one,” Cappleman says. “I tell them I pledge to always do my part – to provide the tools and leadership. But students know they must take responsibility to develop the self-discipline and self-direction that is vital to success in college and beyond.”

Cappleman says a typical day in his classroom asks students to take notes, read, quiz their knowledge through essays and tests – in addition to discussion of current events – plus hands-on and experiential learning through problem solving simulations, moot court, student congress and mock trials.

“Demonstrate to students that you love what you are doing, that your presence is no accident, that you care about them as people and want them to grow and succeed,” Cappleman adds.

Teachers and Technology

A teacher with 21 years of experience as an educator, Cappleman says his greatest challenges have to do with technology and its influence on today’s students.

“Technology and social media are distracting students from the importance of the principles in the founding documents,” Cappleman says. “Too much misinformation is present on social media. Society as a whole – not just students – spends an ever-increasing amount of their day absorbed in the ‘social’ aspect of social media. This distracts us from subjects of vital, lasting importance, including the constitutional principles of the founding documents.”

“My favorite quote from Chief Justice John Marshall is, ‘The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional,’” he says.

However, Cappleman believes there are benefits to technology as well as detriments. “Technology enhances the teacher’s ability to expose students to resources such as primary source documents and activities,” he says. “These are positives to student learning and engagement.”

An Educator’s Best Advice

Cappleman believes technology will also influence future trends for teachers. “Technology will continue to accelerate and it will impact all teaching increasingly, for better or for worse,” he says. “But the challenge will remain the same.”

Now that Cappleman has spent more than two decades of his time teaching, what advice would he offer to a teacher about to embark on their own teaching career today?

“Always be honest with students and walk the talk,” Cappleman says. “As I promote the need for good citizens to be informed and vote, I share my voting record so students know I really believe what I’m telling them.”

Be clear in your expectations, Cappleman advises. “Follow through, and students will respond positively,” he adds. “Show students you love the Republic. They will feel that and want to love it, too.”

SGAP Teacher Spotlight for Dec. 2017: Kevin Cline (Frankton, IN)

Name: Kevin M. Cline

School Name: Frankton High School

City, State: Frankton, IN

Subjects Taught: U.S. History, U.S. Government, Dual Credit Government

Grades Taught: 11-12

Years Teaching: 13

Honors: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s 2016 National History Teacher of the Year; 2012 American Civic Education Teaching Award (ACETA) Recipient


What is your philosophy about teaching your subject?

“I love teaching both U.S. History and Government because these classes afford us the chance to encourage the kind of critical thinking that is so necessary now. I am a firm believer in active citizenship. Young people must leave their secondary educational experience with a strong understanding of their responsibilities as citizens, and the ways in which individual action or inaction can impact their community and country.”


How do you stir interest in the subject among students?

“Interest comes through interaction. History and government are far from static subjects, designed to be studied through a textbook. Students interact with the voices of the past through primary sources, work through simulations designed to put them into the events and situations we study, and meet their elected officials and experts in the field. These experiences always foster the best thinking, the best discussion, and the best questions.”


Why it is so important for today’s students to understand they have a voice in the political system?

“This is true not just for students, but for all Americans. After decades of extraordinarily low voter turnout, it seems clear that our country is facing an epidemic of apathy. Few of our Founders agreed on everything, but they were able to achieve compromise on most issues after engaging in significant dialogue. These kinds of conversations aren’t happening enough. Thus the challenge before history and government teachers is to offer students a chance to engage in thoughtful and informed deliberation.”

What trends/issues do you think may influence social studies teachers in the future?

“Social studies education continues to be negated to the back burner. Yet our classrooms are the ideal place for the kind of growth we need as a citizenry. Not in forcing students to believe one way or the other, but in facilitating their growth as active, free-thinking, informed citizens who can engage in critical thinking and dialogue.”


What would your students say they had learned after spending a year in your class?

“If a student can leave my class with a stronger ability to deliberate, an appreciation for multiple perspectives, and a willingness to engage in productive and respectful dialogue, then I am happy. That is the end goal – to help students grow into people who can do their part in doing some good.”

SGAP Teacher Spotlight for Nov. 2017: Eric Lind (Ault, CO)

Vital Stats

Name: Eric Lind

School Name: Highland High School

City, State: Ault, Colorado

Subjects Taught: Civil Government and U.S. History

Grades Taught: 11 and 12

Years Teaching: 7

Honors: 2016 and 2017 Girls Track and Field Mile High League Coach of the Year


What is your philosophy about teaching American History and Government?

“My philosophy in teaching American History and Government is to make as many real world connections to the past as possible. If you can help students understand that history is not just memorizing people and dates but understanding cause and effect relationships, you can teach skills that students take with them for the rest of their lives.”

How do you stir interest in the subject of American History and U.S. Government among students?

“Not every student loves history. In fact, many dread the topic. As a teacher, I try to make each day different from the previous day so that students stay engaged. While we do repeat skills and activities, I believe adjusting the setting in which the task is completed helps with engagement among students.”

Why it is so important for your students to understand the critical role they can play in our country’s political system?

“Many times students enter a history or civics class anticipating that they will just learn about things that have happened in the past or people who have died long ago. It is my goal to make them realize that learning about the past can help them understand the current conditions that they live in today, as well as make predictions for what the future holds.”

What trends/issues do you think may influence social studies teachers in the future?

“Understanding the concepts of federalism and the impact of globalization will be key topics for teachers to tackle in the ever-changing world we live in today and going forward.”

What would your students say they had learned after spending a year in your class?

“I hope that students leave my class at the end of each year with a better understanding of how we have become the country that we live in today through a cause and effect understanding of history. Also, I hope they better understand the tools they possess as citizens in our government structure and aspire to be a more active participant as they grow older.”



SGAP Teacher Spotlight for Oct. 2017: Lori Dumerer

Vital Stats
Name: Lori Dumerer
School Name: RL Turner High School
City, State: Carrollton, TX
Subjects Taught: AP US Government; AP Macroeconomics; AP US History; Pre-AP USH
Grades Taught: 12, 11
Years Teaching: 19+
Honors: Texas Council of Social Studies Secondary Teacher of the Year Award for 2002; a Humanities Teacher of the Year award in 2014 from Humanities Texas, an affiliate of National Endowment for the Humanities; Who’s Who in American Education and in the World

As a social studies educator with nearly 20 years of teaching experience, Lori Dumerer believes today’s political environment presents unique challenges to those who teach American History and U.S. Government. “I have never before felt like I had to be so careful in explaining what is occurring in government,” says Dumerer, who teaches at a public high school in Carrollton, Texas. “I try to make public policy a focus of the course but I am discovering that articulation of a defined policy is not always clear.”

Fake News and the Federalist

Dumerer says one of her challenges is knowing how to answer students’ questions about fake news. “Students are asking why some politicians claim that news outlets are reporting ‘fake news’ when they can see the information is presented with evidence that can be verified,” she says.

In response to students’ confusion about “inaccurate political messaging,” as Dumerer puts it, she has been lecturing and leading classroom discussion on the Federalist papers, particularly Nos. 47, 49 and 51. “We have been examining how the system can keep extreme ideas in check,” she says. “To preserve democratic government, I have to subscribe to Madison’s ideas about factionalism laid out in Federalist No. 51.”

Now more than ever, Dumerer believes it is critical to help students engage in civil discourse with one another. “My students must be able to respectfully disagree with another person who may hold opposing viewpoints,” she explains. “In my classes, students come to understand that they are free to express controversial views.”

Agreeing to Disagree

Before students’ first Socratic seminar, they practice using each other’s surname and acknowledging one another’s views, Dumerer say. “We practice respectfully disagreeing with one another and talk through how to diffuse confrontations in class,” she adds. “They must use evidence from documents to support their claims in speaking as well as in writing.”

To stir interest in U.S. government and civics, Dumerer looks for ‘trigger’ issues that she knows will spark student engagement. “I try very carefully to listen to what students’ concerns are and to incorporate some aspect of that issue into the class,” she says. “I do intentionally integrate humor where possible and find students pay more attention when they have been able to laugh at some aspect of the content.”

At the heart of Dumerer’s teaching philosophy is a desire to help students learn how to become active participants in society. “Our society gains immensely since knowledgeable students will help shape the direction government leans,” she says.

Trends of Tomorrow

Looking ahead, Dumerer says the trends that will most influence social studies teachers in the future are technology-related. “In schools across the country, teachers are asked to integrate technology in new ways so that students learn how to garner raw data and factual information to be used in real-time applications,” she says. “This necessitates teachers embracing a variety of applications and discovering meaningful uses.”

Dumerer also believes that social media will play a crucial role in education for both teachers and students. “Additionally, social studies education is likely to become more experiential, with opportunities such as internships or shadowing professionals the norm rather than the exception.”

After dedicating so many years of her life to teaching, what does Dumerer hope to leave as her legacy to her students? “I hope that years after leaving my class, my students will remember three points,” she says. “First, our government works because we participate; second, success is earned through failure; and third, we should practice tolerance.”



Trivia & Quiz Answers – December 2017

Charter Schools

1. Which state passed the first laws allowing charter schools in what year?

a.    California, 1985

b.   Minnesota, 1991

c.   Oregon, 1995

2. New Orleans is the only city in the U.S. where the majority of students attend charter schools.

a.   True

b.   False

3. According to the Center for Education Reform, charter schools receive about _____of the amount per student that public schools receive from the state.

a.   35 percent

b.   52 percent

c.   61 percent

4. Currently, which states allow for-profit companies to manage charter schools?

a.   California, Massachusetts, Ohio and Texas

b.   Arizona, California, Michigan and Wisconsin

c.   Arizona, Oregon, North Carolina and Texas

5. According to the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, less than ______of all charter schools are run by for-profit companies.

a.   13 percent

b.   19 percent

c.   22 percent


Debt Ceiling

1. As of July 31, 2017, the United States federal government’s total debt was _________, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

a.    $11.43 trillion

b.   $15.59 trillion

c.   $19.84 trillion

2. Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling ____ times in the last 53 years.

a.    33

b.   51

c.   74

3. Moody’s, the credit ratings agency, has suggested that the U.S. should eliminate the debt ceiling to reduce uncertainty for bond holders.

a.    True

b.   False

4. As of June 2017, China held about ___ of the United States’ total debt, making China the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities.

a.    5.8 percent

b.   8.3 percent

c.   9.7 percent

5. Four health insurance programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and ACA (Obamacare) marketplace subsidies —accounted for ___of the federal budget in 2016.

a.    15 percent

b.    20 percent

c.    26 percent