The Arizona Student Assessment Program (ASAP) as educational policy.
AuthorEaston, Lois Brown.
KeywordsArizona Student Assessment Program
Achievement tests -- Arizona
Educational change -- Arizona
Education and state -- Arizona.
AdvisorClark, Donald C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Arizona Student Assessment Program (ASAP) is a major piece of legislation for Arizona, reducing norm-referenced standardized testing, providing performance-based assessments matching curriculum, requiring district articulation with state curriculum frameworks and assessments, collecting contextual information from districts, and producing complete profiles of schools, districts and the state. In its first year of implementation, the ASAP is appropriately examined through policy analysis rather than through an evaluation study. Six criteria for educational policy analysis developed by Mitchell (1986) were validated and used as interview questions with seven interviewees knowledgeable about the ASAP. Results of the interviews suggest the degree to which the ASAP is good educational policy and likely to make a difference in Arizona. Interviewees indicated that the ASAP is democratic, providing for both the needs of legitimate stakeholders and the general public interest. It recognizes and supports the organizational integrity of schools only if schools have begun to make some reform efforts of their own in the direction of the ASAP. The ASAP provides adequate means-end linkage for the first two years of implementation, including through school, district, and state profiles, but may need to provide additional help to districts during the first two years; furthermore, relief incentives may be needed, rather than sanctions or disincentives, to encourage continued implementation. The ASAP may not be integrated into overall state educational policy, primarily because there has been no unifying state policy until the ASAP. The ASAP may emerge as a force to reorient current and unify future policy. The ASAP will be expensive, but the interviewees felt the short and long-term benefits justify cost. The ASAP was the most politically feasible policy available to bring about the changes needed, but perhaps not the most palatable, especially to districts that have made no reform efforts of their own. Policy analysis using different criteria and evaluation studies are recommended.
Degree ProgramTeaching and Teacher Education
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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