Unit 4: POTUS and Bureaucracies
Students must become familiar with the organization and powers, both formal and informal, of the major political institutions in the United States: the Congress, the presidency, the bureaucracy, and the federal courts. Students should understand that these are separate institutions sharing powers and the implications of that arrangement. The functions these institutions perform and do not perform, as well as the powers that they do and do not possess, are important. It is necessary for students to understand that power balances and relationships between these institutions may evolve gradually or change dramatically as a result of crises. Students are also expected to understand ties between the various branches of national government and political parties, interest groups, the media, and state and local governments. For example, a study of the conflicting interests and powers of the president and Congress may help explain repeated struggles to adopt a national budget.