THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS OF COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS IN SELECTED ARIZONA SCHOOL DISTRICTS
AuthorGammon, Mary Lou Bender
AdvisorKrebs, Richard 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.
AbstractThis descriptive study attempted to determine the effects of the Arizona State Board of Education Basic Skills Competency mandate within selected schools in Arizona. The study was based on the assumptions that school board members', teachers', and administrators' perceptions are valid resources for determining the effects of the mandate, and that three years is a sufficient amount of time for effects of the mandate to be perceived. The objectives of the study were to identify the procedures selected schools developed in compliance with this mandate and to determine the effects of the mandate on the school budget, teacher attitude, teacher behavior, teacher classroom processes, student attitude, student work and study habits, school testing program, curriculum objectives, teacher basic skills teaching preparation, addition or reassignment of school personnel, and course additions and deletions. A modified Delphi technique, using two questionnaires, was used to collect the data. The first open-ended questionnaire asked the selected jury to list (1) problems encountered by administrators, teachers, and students in implementing the mandate, (2) positive effects of the requirements on administrators, teachers, and students, (3) effects of the requirements on the school curriculum, and (4) anticipated outcomes of such requirements. Items for the second questionnaire were formulated from the responses submitted on the first questionnaire. Respondents were asked to respond on a Likert-type scale registering agreement or disagreement with 37 items. They were asked to indicate which five of the 37 items would have the most lasting effect on the function and organization of the schools. The information from the second questionnaire was punched on cards and computer analyzed. Means, standard deviations, modes, and frequency distributions were determined. An analysis of variance was done to determine differences in how the groups viewed each item. The Scheffe test was computed for each item showing a significant difference at the .05 level. An administrative questionnaire was sent to all selected prinicpals and head teachers to determine the procedures used for determining student competency, when the procedures are administered, and whether remedial activities or classes are available for students who fail to meet the competency standards. The highest rated effects of the mandate were more students being referred for special education and/or other remedial evaluation and teachers becoming more aware of student basic skill needs. The lowest rated effects were electives being decreased for some and being replaced by remedial or basic skills classes and the competency requirements having very little effect in the schools. The groups chose basic skills receiving more emphasis in the elementary grades as the item which would have the most lasting effect on the function and organization of the schools. The Administrative Questionnaire showed that all responding schools use more than one procedure to determine student competence. Students have more than one opportunity to pass a competency evaluation, and remedial classes or activities are available for students who have failed a competency evaluation. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that (1) more than one evaluation procedure continue to be used to evaluate student competence, (2) students be given several opportunities to meet required standards, (3) remediation continue to receive emphasis in the classroom, (4) reading and concept levels of textbooks be closely examined, (5) itemized progress reports be used to report student progress, (6) all subject areas develop competency standards, (7) teaching and reinforcement of basic skills be emphasized at all grade levels, (8) remedial resources not become an isolated part of the school's programs, and (9) students, regardless of the severity or number of deficiencies, be given an opportunity to participate in an elective program.
Degree ProgramGraduate College