In 2021 and 2022, 82% of students taking this course who reported their scores received a score of 5 (Extremely well qualified) or 4 (Very well qualified) on the exam. (55% received a 5.)
This live online AP U.S. Government and Politics class can be used to fulfill both high school and college credit. The course involves an examination of the principles behind the United States’ government and political institutions, an introduction to political behaviors and collective action, and a study of key concepts in the American political tradition. We will delve into the historical development of our current political situation. The goal is for students to become familiar with public policies, our Constitutional underpinnings, and political behavior in our society. Some important topics include federalism, civil rights, the branches of government, public opinion, policy development, political parties, and the role of the news media.
The AP course centers around five major themes, which are quoted below from the course framework:
- Constitutionalism – The U.S. Constitution establishes a system of checks and balances among branches of government and allocates power between federal and state governments. This system is based on the rule of law and the balance between majority rule and minority rights.
- Liberty and Order – Governmental laws and policies balancing order and liberty are based on the U.S. Constitution and have been interpreted differently over time.
- Civic Participation in a Representative Democracy – Popular sovereignty, individualism, and republicanism are important considerations of U.S. laws and policy making and assume citizens will engage and participate.
- Competing Policy-Making Interests – Multiple actors and institutions interact to produce and implement possible policies.
- Methods of Political Analysis – Using various types of analyses, political scientists measure how U.S. political behavior, attitudes, ideologies, and institutions are shaped by a number of factors over time.
Students will learn to interpret data, analyze the political process from various viewpoints, and describe how various political groups function today. In addition, students will get a chance to design political cartoons, develop a mock campaign, analyze current events, and much more. Also, students will create a multi-part civics engagement project centered around the creation of an interest group of their choice. The class will also include frequent discussions to facilitate the exploration of ideas and internalization of the content. The course is designed to be very interactive, with students interacting with each other and the instructor frequently through the Canvas learning management system and the weekly live session.
The course will be centered around the concepts presented in the primary textbook. We will meet weekly to review the significant ideas and discuss relevant examples. There will be a bi-weekly quiz and several weekly assignments. Assignments may include online activities, research projects, short essays, watching videos with response questions, or texts/news articles with reflective questions. The estimated amount of work per week is 6 hours outside of the live session. All sessions will be recorded and posted for review. Students are not required to attend the live sessions if the time does not work with their schedules. Each student should plan on sitting for the AP exam, which falls in early May.
Who should enroll?
This class is only for high school students in grades 9-12 who are able to commit to serious study for the duration of the course. The class will be rigorous and is designed as such to enable students to effectively engage with the principle of government at an advanced level and perform well on the AP exam. Prerequisites include a general knowledge of US government and a strong vocabulary. If you took my Intro to US Government class prior, that is definitely sufficient. Other students may be requested to demonstrate aptitude prior to acceptance.
The maximum class size is 16 students to encourage student engagement.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Web cam, sound card, and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will receive comments and individualized feedback on their assignments. Students will be required to complete practice exam questions after each unit on the College Board website, which tracks student progress throughout the course. Student questions will be attended to as promptly as possible. I try to respond to e-mails within 24 hours. Assignments are normally graded within a week’s time. Students receive feedback and guidance as a regular part of the course.
Parents should contact me before enrolling their child if they are unsure about their learner’s ability to complete this course. Please indicate your child’s grade level, experience with government, overall academic abilities, and any other major time commitments. Parental communication during the course will also be attended to as promptly as possible.
Interview with Nate Gilbert
This class was amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to take AP US Government and Politics. All of the course material is not only covered well but in a way which captivates the attentions of the students and makes sure everyone is engaged. The material taught here gave me valuable information which I have no doubt I will use for the rest of my life. The class itself also prepared me well for the AP test and I felt like I had a strong grasp on all the topics by the end of the course
Ezra Wolfgang –
Mr. Gilbert is an incredible teacher. As a freshman taking my first AP class, Mr. Gilbert perfectly prepared me for taking the AP exam, and I was able to go into the exam feeling confident and prepared. Even more importantly, he gave us a great understanding of the US government. Class was always interesting and Mr. Gilbert always kept us engaged through asking us questions. I definitely felt challenged by the work, but learned so much.
Helen DeSimone –
Mr. Gilbert is a fantastic teacher. He is great at teaching the material, and will leave you feeling extra prepared for anything the AP exam can throw at you. The class assignments can be challenging sometimes, but they are always good for learning the material. The live sessions are always very helpful, especially since class participation is required. You get to hear other people’s opinions and thoughts, which could be completely different from what you were thinking! But they widen your viewpoint and ways of answering a question. I highly recommend this class, and Mr. Gilbert as a teacher!
Mr. Gilbert was an excellent teacher for me this year. The classwork was heavy and graded strictly, but it never felt too harsh or difficult. I learned a lot and had a great time in the class!
Alexios Eleftheriou –
This is an excellent class if you want to understand American government and prepare yourself for the AP exam. Gilbert is one of my favorite teachers; he is always responsive and the live classes are always enjoyable. This was one of my favorite classes this year. I was able to get a 5 on the AP exam in large part due to Mr. Gilbert’s instruction.
Payton Pemberton –
Mr. Gilbert is a great teacher who fully prepared me for the AP exam even though we only had class once a week. The class was fun to participate in and we were able to discuss a variety of issues from different viewpoints in a respectful manner because of how he led class. Mr. Gilbert guided discussions and answered our many questions without ever leaving me lost on a subject. I was continuously surprised by my classmates and their research outside of the classroom which was undoubtedly driven by passion and curiosity that began in the classroom. AP Gov and Politics was the class I was most excited for every week and although we were definitely pushed to do our best work, it was much more organized than many of my other classes which lead to this class being very manageable for anyone who stays on top of their work. When it came time to study for the AP exam, I felt like I was prepared well enough to focus on other classes after doing the review he assigned as classwork. I was correct in this assumption as I received a 5 on the exam and feel as though that is all due to Mr. Gilbert’s amazing teaching. I would also like to add that I really enjoyed the projects and homework outside of class. They really pushed us to not only recall historical information but apply those same ideas to other issues. I went through this entire class without knowing Mr. Gilbert’s general political affiliation because he approached political issues by asking questions, introducing concepts, and providing possible rebuttals to all of our answers rather than just telling us his viewpoint. I feel as though for every issue our class approached, we approached it in five different ways, which I had never truly experienced in a social science class before. Given the chance, I would gladly take another class with Mr. Gilbert because of the way it not only prepared me for the AP exam but for how it completely changed how I think about politics and the world around me.
By the first day I could tell Mr. Gilbert was passionate about U.S. government. His live classes are fun, perfectly divided between lecture and discussion. The homework is diverse, including short-answer questions based on reading, quizzes, essays, projects, and more! I found that the assignments challenged me to not only remember facts but to apply concepts and think deeply about situations. This class was refreshing in terms of political debate because students with different opinions disagree respectfully. Learning about today’s political parties and how they evolved also helped me become a more relaxed news reader- now I understand the motivation behind statements made by people of all parties and am able to scrutinize arguments from several angles. The class has not only furthered my understanding of the U.S. government, but also a deep appreciation for how it functions. Needless to say, after this class I will definitely become more active in politics. Thanks to Mr. Gilbert’s guidance in the review weeks, I am confident in my ability to succeed on the AP test. I highly recommend this class!
Josh R. –
Mr. Gilbert is a fantastic instructor! He is very thorough when explaining information, went out of his way to help me understand course concepts whenever I needed help, and was very good at facilitating class discussions, particularly among students with different points of view. He was incredibly understanding when I needed an extension, but also pushed me at times in order to bring out my best, which I’m very grateful for. Overall, he’s a very laidback teacher which is great for creating a supportive classroom atmosphere. If you’re willing to put a fair bit of work into his class, Mr. Gilbert will give you a wonderful understanding of how our government operates and will prepare you very well for the AP US Government exam. I can’t recommend him more highly!
As a student, this course has given me a foundational understanding of government and taught me the history of both present and past governments of the United States, their differences, and how American governing principles have evolved. The class incorporates events that provide different perspectives of concepts learned throughout the class and makes students integrate their knowledge into their assignments. Overall, this was one of my favorite courses and has benefitted me greatly and informed me of both the basic and complex portions of the U.S. Government and taught me how to become more involved in politics!
Rabbi Daniel Lapin –
This AP U.S. Government course taught by Nate Gilbert has truly enhanced my life. Did I take it? No, I wish I did but I did do the next best thing. I have a close relationship with a g’son who did take this course. The resulting conversations, analyses, and discussions we enjoyed have been a highlight of my year. Mr. Gilbert fueled my g’son’s interest and what is more, his passion thus contributing significantly to his intellectual maturation making him not only a far better informed person but also a better person in many important ways. Astonishingly, my g’son developed a deep connection, not only with the course substance but with the instructor himself. Although I eavesdropped on a few amazing lessons, I still don’t quite grasp the magic of how Mr. Gilbert accomplished this through a computer screen but he did. In my experience, Nate Gilbert is a rare and remarkable teacher and I encouraged my g’son to try and take another course with him. Any course.
Eliyahu M. –
Mr. Gilbert is an outstanding person and teacher who challenges his students to learn to their full potential. I really enjoyed all of his classes which are full of fascinating and relevant information along with interesting conversations. I could not recommend this class more to anyone who wants a very thorough understanding on how our government functions and interacts with society. He is truly an amazing teacher and his classes are always the highlight of my week.