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List of Benchmarks for Civics

Standard 3.Understands the sources, purposes, and functions of law, and the importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Understands rules and the purposes they serve
   2. Understands the concept of fairness
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that promoting justice is one of the fundamental purposes of law in American society
   2. Knows that justice means essentially the same thing as fairness
   3. Knows that distributive justice refers to problems of fairness arising over "who gets what" based on the criteria of need, ability, and desert; and knows examples of situations that involve distributive justice (e.g., how much food should different members of a family receive at dinner time)
   4. Knows that corrective justice deals with problems arising over how to make things right when a wrong or injury has occurred, and knows examples of situations involving corrective justice (e.g., how to deal justly with a child who has stolen something from a classmate)
   5. Knows that procedural justice refers to problems arising over fair ways to gather information and make just decisions, and knows examples of situations involving procedural justice (e.g., how should a class president go about deciding which games the class will play)
   6. Knows that a good rule or law solves a specific problem, is fair, and "does not go too far"
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows common ways in which rules and laws can be used (e.g., to describe how people should behave; to provide order, predictability, and security; to protect rights; to provide benefits; to assign burdens or responsibilities; to limit the power of people in authority)
   2. Knows the characteristics of an effective rule or law (e.g., well designed to achieve its purposes, understandable, possible to follow, fair, designed to protect individual rights and promote the common good)
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Understands the difference between the "rule of law" and the "rule of men" (e.g., government decisions and actions made according to established laws vs. arbitrary action or decree)
   2. Understands how and why the rule of law can be used to restrict the actions of private citizens and government officials
   3. Understands the possible consequences of the absence of a rule of law (e.g., anarchy, arbitrary and capricious rule, absence of predictability, disregard for established and fair procedures)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows alternative ideas about the sources of law (e.g., custom, Supreme Being, sovereigns, legislatures) and different varieties of law (e.g., divine law, natural law, common law, statute law, international law)
   2. Knows alternative ideas about the purposes and functions of law (e.g., regulating relationships among people and between people and their government; providing order, predictability, security, and established procedures for the management of conflict; regulating social and economic relationships in civil society)