History is always changing, but did you know that the history classes themselves are always changing? In the 2020-2021 school year, the AP US Government and AP Macroeconomics semester classes will be swapped, so that AP Gov will be taught first semester and AP Macro will be taught second.
“If I really love the structure of it, I may keep it that way, but in my mind this is like a one-time special thing, to kind of take advantage of the election,” said AP Gov and Econ teacher Mark Alvarez.
Alvarez plans to integrate the November election next semester by teaching students about polls and the validity behind them. This would benefit students and prepare them for future elections.
“I thought I could swap them and have teachable moments as they happen,” said Alvarez.
Another benefit the class switch has is that students enrolling in AP Gov and Macro, for the first time in 16 years, will not have summer homework. Alvarez feels students have already been prepared for Gov through their 8th grade history and Global Studies classes.
“I’m excited for kids to be able to enjoy their summer and not stress about a summer assignment and not make the decision on whether to take the class based on the summer plan but rather based on the fact that they have a genuine interest for Gov and Econ,” said Alvarez.
By taking the opportunity to mix the curriculum with this significant current event, Alvarez will help students, who may be able to vote in November, make informed decisions and want to vote based on what they have deduced from the presidential candidates.
“I commend Alvarez for taking [the elections] head on. It’s so polarized at this point,” said History Department Chair Heather Hanson. “In a democracy, you need to have an educated and informed citizenry.”
Through the swapping of the courses, Alvarez is indeed creating more informed voters. In being off the hook for summer work, many students may feel more inclined to take AP Gov and Macro, and in doing so, they will gain critical skills that will help them in the future and perhaps generate a desire to participate more in politics.