Grade 11  Selected Top Priority Standards


  • English

    Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They analyze the organizational patterns, arguments, and positions advanced.

    Analyze both the features and the rhetorical devices of different types of public documents (e.g., policy statements, speeches, debates, platforms) and the way in which authors use those features and devices.

    Analyze the way in which clarity of meaning is affected by the patterns of organization, hierarchical structures, repetition of the main ideas, syntax, and word choice in the text.

    Verify and clarify facts presented in other types of expository texts by using a variety of consumer, workplace, and public documents.

    Make warranted and reasonable assertions about the author's arguments by using elements of the text to defend and clarify interpretations.

    Analyze an author's implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

    Critique the power, validity, and truthfulness of arguments set forth in public documents; their appeal to both friendly and hostile audiences; and the extent to which the arguments anticipate and address reader concerns and counterclaims (e.g., appeal to reason, to authority, to pathos and emotion).

    Analyze ways in which poets use imagery, personification, figures of speech, and sounds to evoke readers' emotions.

    Students write coherent and focused texts that convey a well-defined perspective and tightly reasoned argument. The writing demonstrates students' awareness of the audience and purpose and progression through the stages of the writing process.

    Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of discourse (e.g., purpose, speaker, audience, form) when completing narrative, expository, persuasive, or descriptive writing assignments.

    Structure ideas and arguments in a sustained, persuasive, and sophisticated way and support them with precise and relevant examples.

    Enhance meaning by employing rhetorical devices, including the extended use of parallelism, repetition, and analogy; the incorporation of visual aids (e.g., graphs, tables, pictures); and the issuance of a call for action.

    Develop presentations by using clear research questions and creative and critical research strategies (e.g., field studies, oral histories, interviews, experiments, electronic sources).

    Use systematic strategies to organize and record information (e.g., anecdotal scripting, annotated bibliographies).

    Integrate databases, graphics, and spreadsheets into word-processed documents.

    Revise text to highlight the individual voice, improve sentence variety and style, and enhance subtlety of meaning and tone in ways that are consistent with the purpose, audience, and genre.

    Students combine the rhetorical strategies of narration, exposition, persuasion, and description to produce texts of at least 1,500 words each. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies.

    Write reflective compositions: Explore the significance of personal experiences, events, conditions, or concerns by using rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, description, exposition, persuasion); Draw comparisons between specific incidents and broader themes that illustrate the writer's important beliefs or generalizations about life; Maintain a balance in describing individual incidents and relate those incidents to more general and abstract ideas.

    Write job applications and résumés; Provide clear and purposeful information and address the intended audience appropriately; Use varied levels, patterns, and types of language to achieve intended effects and aid comprehension;

    Modify the tone to fit the purpose and audience.

    • Follow the conventional style for that type of document (e.g., résumé, memorandum) and use page formats, fonts, and spacing that contribute to the readability and impact of the document.

    Deliver multimedia presentations:

    • Combine text, images, and sound and draw information from many sources (e.g., television broadcasts, videos, films, newspapers, magazines, CD-ROMs, the Internet, electronic media-generated images).
      1. Select an appropriate medium for each element of the presentation.
      2. Use the selected media skillfully, editing appropriately and monitoring for quality.
      3. Test the audience's response and revise the presentation accordingly.

    Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions.

    1. Demonstrate control of grammar, diction, and paragraph and sentence structure and an understanding of English usage.
    2. Produce legible work that shows accurate spelling and correct punctuation and capitalization.
    3. Reflect appropriate manuscript requirements in writing.

    Students formulate adroit judgments about oral communication. They deliver focused and coherent presentations that convey clear and distinct perspectives and demonstrate solid reasoning. They use gestures, tone, and vocabulary tailored to the audience and purpose.

    Recognize strategies used by the media to inform, persuade, entertain, and transmit culture (e.g., advertisements; perpetuation of stereotypes; use of visual representations, special effects, language).
    Analyze the impact of the media on the democratic process (e.g., exerting influence on elections, creating images of leaders, shaping attitudes) at the local, state, and national levels.

    Distinguish between and use various forms of classical and contemporary logical arguments, including:

    • Inductive and deductive reasoning
    • Syllogisms and analogies

    Use research and analysis to justify strategies for gesture, movement, and vocalization, including dialect, pronunciation, and enunciation.

    Students deliver polished formal and extemporaneous presentations that combine traditional rhetorical strategies of narration, exposition, persuasion, and description. Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies.


  • PreCalculus with Trigonometry

    • Understand patterns, relations, and functions on PreCal with Trigo
    • Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols
    • Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships
    • Analyze change in various contexts
    • Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication
    • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
    • Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others
    • Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely


    Trigonometry uses the techniques that students have previously learned from the study of algebra and geometry. The trigonometric functions studied are defined geometrically rather than in terms of algebraic equations. Facility with these functions as well as the ability to prove basic identities regarding them is especially important for students intending to study calculus, more advanced mathematics, physics and other sciences, and engineering in college.

    • Students understand the notion of angle and how to measure it, in both degrees and radians. They can convert between degrees and radians.
    • Students know the definition of sine and cosine as y-and x-coordinates of points on the unit circle and are familiar with the graphs of the sine and cosine functions.
    • Students know the identity cos2 (x) + sin2 (x) = 1:
    • Students prove that this identity is equivalent to the Pythagorean theorem (i.e., students can prove this identity by using the Pythagorean theorem and, conversely, they can prove the Pythagorean theorem as a consequence of this identity).
    • Students prove other trigonometric identities and simplify others by using the identity cos2 (x) + sin2 (x) = 1. For example, students use this identity to prove that sec2 (x) = tan2 (x) + 1.
    • Students graph functions of the form f(t) = A sin (Bt + C) or f(t) = A cos (Bt + C) and interpret A, B, and C in terms of amplitude, frequency, period, and phase shift.
    • Students know the definitions of the tangent and cotangent functions and can graph them.
    • Students know the definitions of the secant and cosecant functions and can graph them.
    • Students know that the tangent of the angle that a line makes with the x-axis is equal to the slope of the line.
    • Students know the definitions of the inverse trigonometric functions and can graph the functions.
    • Students compute, by hand, the values of the trigonometric functions and the inverse trigonometric functions at various standard points.
    • Students demonstrate an understanding of the addition formulas for sines and cosines and their proofs and can use those formulas to prove and/or simplify other trigonometric identities.
    • Students demonstrate an understanding of half-angle and double-angle formulas for sines and cosines and can use those formulas to prove and/or simplify other trigonometric identities.
    • Students use trigonometry to determine unknown sides or angles in right triangles.
    • Students know the law of sines and the law of cosines and apply those laws to solve problems.
    • Students determine the area of a triangle, given one angle and the two adjacent sides.
    • Students are familiar with polar coordinates. In particular, they can determine polar coordinates of a point given in rectangular coordinates and vice versa.
    • Students represent equations given in rectangular coordinates in terms of polar coordinates.
    • Students are familiar with complex numbers. They can represent a complex number in polar form and know how to multiply complex numbers in their polar form.
    • Students know DeMoivre's theorem and can give nth roots of a complex number given in polar form.
    • Students are adept at using trigonometry in a variety of applications and word problems.


  • Atomic and Molecular Structure

    The periodic table displays the elements in increasing atomic number and shows how periodicity of the physical and chemical properties of the elements relates to atomic structure. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know how to relate the position of an element in the periodic table to its atomic number and atomic mass.
    2. Students know how to use the periodic table to identify metals, semimetals, nonmetals, and halogens.
    3. Students know how to use the periodic table to identify alkali metals, alkaline earth metals and transition metals, trends in ionization energy, electronegativity, and the relative sizes of ions and atoms.

    Biological, chemical, and physical properties of matter result from the ability of atoms to form bonds from electrostatic forces between electrons and protons and between atoms and molecules. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know atoms combine to form molecules by sharing electrons to form covalent or metallic bonds or by exchanging electrons to form ionic bonds.
    2. Students know chemical bonds between atoms in molecules such as H2 , CH4 , NH3 , H2 CCH2 , N2 , Cl2, and many large biological molecules are covalent.
    3. Students know salt crystals, such as NaCl, are repeating patterns of positive and negative ions held together by electrostatic attraction.

    The conservation of atoms in chemical reactions leads to the principle of conservation of matter and the ability to calculate the mass of products and reactants. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know how to describe chemical reactions by writing balanced equations.
    2. Students know the quantity one mole is set by defining one mole of carbon 12 atoms to have a mass of exactly 12 grams.
    3. Students know one mole equals 6.02x1023particles (atoms or molecules).
    4. Students know how to determine the molar mass of a molecule from its chemical formula and a table of atomic masses and how to convert the mass of a molecular substance to moles, number of particles, or volume of gas at standard temperature and pressure.

    The kinetic molecular theory describes the motion of atoms and molecules and explains the properties of gases. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know the random motion of molecules and their collisions with a surface create the observable pressure on that surface.
    2. Students know the random motion of molecules explains the diffusion of gases.
    3. Students know how to apply the gas laws to relations between the pressure, temperature, and volume of any amount of an ideal gas or any mixture of ideal gases.

    Acids, bases, and salts are three classes of compounds that form ions in water solutions. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know the observable properties of acids, bases, and salt solutions.
    2. Students know acids are hydrogen-ion-donating and bases are hydrogen-ion-accepting substances.

    Solutions are homogeneous mixtures of two or more substances. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know the definitions of solute and solvent.
    2. Students know how to describe the dissolving process at the molecular level by using the concept of random molecular motion.

    Energy is exchanged or transformed in all chemical reactions and physical changes of matter. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know how to describe temperature and heat flow in terms of the motion of molecules (or atoms).
    2. Students know chemical processes can either release (exothermic) or absorb (endothermic) thermal energy.

    Chemical reaction rates depend on factors that influence the frequency of collision of reactant molecules. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know the rate of reaction is the decrease in concentration of reactants or the increase in concentration of products with time.
    2. Students know how reaction rates depend on such factors as concentration, temperature, and pressure.

    Chemical equilibrium is a dynamic process at the molecular level. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    The bonding characteristics of carbon allow the formation of many different organic molecules of varied sizes, shapes, and chemical properties and provide the biochemical basis of life. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    • Students know large molecules (polymers), such as proteins, nucleic acids, and starch, are formed by repetitive combinations of simple subunits.

    Nuclear processes are those in which an atomic nucleus changes, including radioactive decay of naturally occurring and human-made isotopes, nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    1. Students know protons and neutrons in the nucleus are held together by nuclear forces that overcome the electromagnetic repulsion between the protons.
    2. Students know the energy release per gram of material is much larger in nuclear fusion or fission reactions than in chemical reactions. The change in mass (calculated by E = mc2 ) is small but significant in nuclear reactions.
    3. Students know some naturally occurring isotopes of elements are radioactive, as are isotopes formed in nuclear reactions.


  • Principles of American Democracy

    Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.

    1. Analyze the influence of ancient Greek, Roman, English, and leading European political thinkers such as John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, Niccolò Machiavelli, and William Blackstone on the development of American government.
    2. Discuss the character of American democracy and its promise and perils as articulated by Alexis de Tocqueville.

    Students evaluate and take and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations as democratic citizens, the relationships among them, and how they are secured.

    1. Explain how economic rights are secured and their importance to the individual and to society (e.g., the right to acquire, use, transfer, and dispose of property; right to choose one's work; right to join or not join labor unions; copyright and patent).
    2. Understand the obligations of civic-mindedness, including voting, being informed on civic issues, volunteering and performing public service, and serving in the military or alternative service.
    3. Describe the reciprocity between rights and obligations; that is, why enjoyment of one's rights entails respect for the rights of others.

    Students evaluate and take and defend positions on what the fundamental values and principles of civil society are (i.e., the autonomous sphere of voluntary personal, social, and economic relations that are not part of government), their interdependence, and the meaning and importance of those values and principles for a free society.

    1. Explain how civil society provides opportunities for individuals to associate for social, cultural, religious, economic, and political purposes.
    2. Explain how civil society makes it possible for people, individually or in association with others, to bring their influence to bear on government in ways other than voting and elections.
    3. Compare the relationship of government and civil society in constitutional democracies to the relationship of government and civil society in authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.

    Students analyze the unique roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government as established by the U.S. Constitution.

    1. Discuss Article I of the Constitution as it relates to the legislative branch, including eligibility for office and lengths of terms of representatives and senators; election to office; the roles of the House and Senate in impeachment proceedings; the role of the vice president; the enumerated legislative powers; and the process by which a bill becomes a law.
    2. Explain the process through which the Constitution can be amended.

    Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.

    • Understand the changing interpretations of the Bill of Rights over time, including interpretations of the basic freedoms (religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly) articulated in the First Amendment and the due process and equal-protection-of-the-law clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Students evaluate issues regarding campaigns for national, state, and local elective offices.

    1. Analyze the origin, development, and role of political parties, noting those occasional periods in which there was only one major party or were more than two major parties.
    2. Discuss the history of the nomination process for presidential candidates and the increasing importance of primaries in general elections.
    3. Describe the means that citizens use to participate in the political process (e.g., voting, campaigning, lobbying, filing a legal challenge, demonstrating, petitioning, picketing, running for political office).

    Students analyze and compare the powers and procedures of the national, state, tribal, and local governments.

    • Explain how conflicts between levels of government and branches of government are resolved.

    Students evaluate and take and defend positions on the influence of the media on American political life.

    1. Discuss the meaning and importance of a free and responsible press.
    2. Describe the roles of broadcast, print, and electronic media, including the Internet, as means of communication in American politics.

    Students analyze the origins, characteristics, and development of different political systems across time, with emphasis on the quest for political democracy, its advances, and its obstacles.

    1. Explain how the different philosophies and structures of feudalism, mercantilism, socialism, fascism, communism, monarchies, parliamentary systems, and constitutional liberal democracies influence economic policies, social welfare policies, and human rights practices.
    2. Describe for at least two countries the consequences of conditions that gave rise to tyrannies during certain periods (e.g., Italy, Japan, Haiti, Nigeria, Cambodia).
    3. Identify the forms of illegitimate power that twentieth-century African, Asian, and Latin American dictators used to gain and hold office and the conditions and interests that supported them.
    4. Identify the successes of relatively new democracies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the ideas, leaders, and general societal conditions that have launched and sustained, or failed to sustain, them.

    Students formulate questions about and defend their analyses of tensions within our constitutional democracy and the importance of maintaining a balance between the following concepts: majority rule and individual rights; liberty and equality; state and national authority in a federal system; civil disobedience and the rule of law; freedom of the press and the right to a fair trial; the relationship of religion and government.

    Principles of Economics

    Students understand common economic terms and concepts and economic reasoning.

    1. Examine the causal relationship between scarcity and the need for choices.
    2. Analyze the role of a market economy in establishing and preserving political and personal liberty (e.g., through the works of Adam Smith).

    Students analyze the elements of America's market economy in a global setting.

    1. Understand the relationship of the concept of incentives to the law of supply and the relationship of the concept of incentives and substitutes to the law of demand.
    2. Discuss the effects of changes in supply and/ or demand on the relative scarcity, price, and quantity of particular products.
    3. Explain the roles of property rights, competition, and profit in a market economy.
    4. Explain how prices reflect the relative scarcity of goods and services and perform the allocative function in a market economy.
    5. Understand the process by which competition among buyers and sellers determines a market price.
    6. Analyze how domestic and international competition in a market economy affects goods and services produced and the quality, quantity, and price of those products.

    Students analyze the influence of the federal government on the American economy.

    1. Understand how the role of government in a market economy often includes providing for national defense, addressing environmental concerns, defining and enforcing property rights, attempting to make markets more competitive, and protecting consumers' rights.
    2. Describe the aims of government fiscal policies (taxation, borrowing, spending) and their influence on production, employment, and price levels.

    Students analyze the elements of the U.S. labor market in a global setting.

    1. Understand the operations of the labor market, including the circumstances surrounding the establishment of principal American labor unions, procedures that unions use to gain benefits for their members, the effects of unionization, the mini-mum wage, and unemployment insurance.
    2. Describe the current economy and labor market, including the types of goods and services produced, the types of skills workers need, the effects of rapid technological change, and the impact of international competition.

    Students analyze the aggregate economic behavior of the U.S. economy.

    1. Define, calculate, and explain the significance of an unemployment rate, the number of new jobs created monthly, an inflation or deflation rate, and a rate of economic growth.
    2. Distinguish between short-term and long-term interest rates and explain their relative significance.

    Students analyze issues of international trade and explain how the U.S. economy affects, and is affected by, economic forces beyond the United States's borders.

    • Explain foreign exchange, the manner in which exchange rates are determined, and the effects of the dollar's gaining (or losing) value relative to other currencies.


    • Discuss what is sociology and its practical importance to society.

    • Explain the origins and scope of Sociology and the methods used by sociologists in the study of human behavior.

    • Describe social issues and note their sociological implications.

    • Analyze the ways in which groups influence social institutions, teach individuals what is appropriate and inappropriate, facilitate change and hinder it, indicate status, class and power level and show prejudice and discrimination.

    • Discuss the basic characteristics of culture and analyze how cultures differ as well as how cultures passes values, beliefs, and traditions to the next generation and sanction behaviors.

    • Differentiate the three major sociological orientations: conflict theory, structural functionalism and symbolic interactionism.


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