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Teacher/Instructor Chuck Raznikov
Chuck Raznikov

Teaching at a top-ranked high school in SF

He has been a teacher at Lo High School - a top-ranked high school in San Francisco - for over 20 years.

Hi my name is Chuck Raznikov. I teach Social Science at Lowell High School in San Francisco, California. This course is advanced placement American government. I assume you’re checking it out and thinking about whether it has value to you. This is the part where I’m supposed to say something clever, and get you interested in the program. But I’d rather be straight forward right now and just tell you where I’m coming from.

As a kid, I thought about being a lawyer. I thought about until I was about 20 years old when I realized that loving the law and being a lawyer had nothing to do with each other. I came to teaching by accident, but I’m really glad that I did. I love teaching. I love History. I love Government. I love the passion of ideas and their arguments. I also love summer vacation.

Let’s talk a little bit about this course. I’d like to start by saying what’s it's not. This course is not a comprehensive review of American Democracy Advanced Placement. It can’t be. Your course is 90 hours. This course is four hours. It’s not a substitute for comprehensive study. You’re not going to take this course and pass the exam, if you don’t review your notes. I also suggest you put down 20 bucks, and buy one of the good review books. They’re actually pretty good.

What I’d like this course to be, is a course of ideas, a way to kind of connect those ideas, or to connect the dots. Maybe you’d get the edge if you think I really need to get a five here and put the hammer down. Maybe that’s the edge you get. Or you’re not sure you’re going to pass this test, but you need one more thing to feel good about yourself. Or maybe you’re just taking the course and you want to apply one of these units as we go through the course.

There’s 15 episodes here and they're organized the way the College Board would organize their exam. They’re also weighted the same way that the College Board would. So, even though I might be more interested in Civil Liberties, and the judicial branch of government, you’re going to see a lot more about the institutions in public policy, because on average that’s about what 40 percent of the exam is. In the end, the goal is when you take that exam, you’re going to feel confident.

Each one of the episodes has an introduction, a body and it’s also going to have some bonus material or foot-noted material, because things go by very quickly. You’ll see things pop up on the screen; court cases, ideas, vocabulary words. If you see it on the screen, it will be added in the footnote or the bonus material.

Also each one of the units or questions posed. It’s going to be linked in some way to the College Board material. For example, the free response questions that the College Board gives you, are all listed for the last six years on their website.

I’m going to suggest that you try an episode, go to the College Board, and try one of their questions. It’s a confidence-builder. So again, when you’re ready for that AP exam in May, then you’re going to feel like you’ve done everything that you possibly can to make sure you get your best score.

So check out the free materials in the free unit. If it looks good to you, we’ll see you on the other side in episode one.