Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership


Martha Whitaker


This is a doctoral dissertation centered on a qualitative research case study on teachers' perceptions of the effects of a particular high-stakes test--the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) on high school English and math curriculum and instruction. Specifically, this case study involved three focus group interviews at three Arizona high schools. Participants were experienced English and math teachers at each school site. To broaden the perspective gained from the focus group interviews, the study included classroom observations and document analysis. Two of the high schools chosen are located on the Navajo Reservation and were specifically chosen to include an important population of students in a discussion in which they are largely forgotten even though they face unique challenges. A review of the literature on high-stakes testing effects reveals almost no extant literature on the effects of the AIMS test. This study will contribute to the national dialogue on testing effects as well as make an important foundational research contribution to the Arizona state dialogue on AIMS effects.