Morrison Institute for Public Policy Publications Archives
Morrison Institute for Public Policy is a leader in examining critical Arizona and regional issues, and is a catalyst for public dialogue. An Arizona State University resource, Morrison Institute is an independent center that uses nonpartisan research and communication outreach to help improve the state's quality of life.
Morrison Institute is part of the College of Public Programs in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. Additional publications are available at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Date range of repository publications is 1992 – 2015.
This document describes first-year outcomes of the Arizona Transition Project, which is part of the National Head Start-Public School Transition Project. The project seeks to maintain the early benefits of Head Start through the primary grades and beyond. Outcomes for 1992-93 relating to children, families, system, and policy for the years K-3 were examined. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered from over 100 children and their families enrolled in three Transition schools and three control schools in Phoenix, Arizona. Data were obtained through child assessments, interviews with families and key collaborators, questionnaires of teachers and family advocates, and observation. Findings indicate that the Transition Project has had substantial progress in achieving its objectives: Transition students are outscoring control students on most measures; Transition services are being implemented as planned; staff are enthusiastic about project goals and services; startup problems have been minimal and handled through a well-developed communication network; and people feel included in decision making. A summary of evaluation results is offered. Recommendations are made to use student achievement data to identify gaps in skills development, refine program implementation processes, develop linkages with other programs, and disseminate information to local and state policy makers. Eighteen tables, six figures, and an appendix that summarizes data-collection instruments are included.
The Arizona Head Start--Public School Transition Project is 1 of 31 demonstration projects designed to test whether advances by Head Start children could be maintained by continuing Head Start-type services into kindergarten through the third grade, and to identify, develop, and implement transition practices to bridge the gap between Head Start and public schools. This study evaluated the Arizona project in its fourth year of implementation. Participating were two cohorts of students at three transition and three comparison schools in Phoenix. The program components evaluated were: (1) developmentally appropriate practices, curriculum, and materials; (2) physical health, mental health, and dental services; (3) family services; and (4) parent involvement. Findings indicated that all components had been implemented by the time of the 1995-96 evaluation. Both cohorts had similar public assistance participation, and all groups showed dramatic decreases in public assistance since program entry. The vast majority of parents from all groups reported positive interactions with schools; qualitative data confirmed continuing positive impact on teachers, schools, and the Head Start agency. Transition services, especially those of family advocates, were seen as crucial to smooth transitions. There were observable differences between transition and comparison classrooms; however, quantitative data showed few significant differences in gains made by children between transition and comparison classrooms. Confounding variables of high attrition, variations in student English proficiency, and the existence in comparison schools of transition-like services may have influenced the results. Promising practices and further challenges were identified and recommendations were made for improving the collaboration between the Head Start program and the public schools, and improving the evaluation process. (Three appendices include a summary of data collection instruments. Contains 20 references.)
A study explored the issue of fiscal agency and its relationship to planning and implementing school-to-work (STW) systems to inform stakeholders in Arizona's emerging STW system about other states' experiences. A review of the STW Internet Gateway yielded a subset of states based on factors such as their history in implementing STW and similarities to Arizona. Interviews were conducted via telephone, fax, or e-mail with 61 individuals in 20 states. Participants were asked to relate their experiences with and as fiscal agents, how fiscal agents were chosen, and strengths and weaknesses of a particular type of fiscal agency. STW partnerships used four types of fiscal agents: educational institutions; training institutions; business and labor organizations; and "other" organizations. Effective fiscal agents had the following characteristics: existing mechanisms/structures, neutrality, experience in federal grant management, skill in fostering involvement, philosophy, and accessibility/central location. Educational institutions offered the advantages of being accustomed to handing federal monies and familiar with state-level policies and procedures. A major drawback was that their use contributed to "turf" issues. The other three types had geographic and size advantages, were able to coordinate function in multiple school districts, and were able to handle workload and manage cash flow. A disadvantage was a lack of knowledge regarding how schools operate.
Does H20 = Growth in Arizona? That is how many people view the water-growth equation -- any introduction of "new" water supplies inevitably stimulates population growth and economic activity. However, the report by Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Growth on the Coconino Plateau, offers some surprisingly contrary conclusions. Completed on behalf of Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Coconino Plateau Watershed, this document is relevant for all regions of rural Arizona. Among the findings: - Some rural areas in the West have constructed major water supply projects only to see most of their towns languish, not prosper. - New water infrastructure in growing rural counties hasn't affected the size so much as the pattern of new development. - Leapfrog sprawl into unincorporated areas has been discouraged in regions where cities and towns hold control over the distribution of new water supplies. Bottom line, water won't automatically produce population growth. But planning for water - how it is supplied and governed - does offer a useful tool for managing future growth. Moreover, it can provide some measure of protection for the environment. We believe this report has important application well beyond northern Arizona. By providing original research and analysis on the water-growth equation, this report helps resolve one of Arizona's most critical issues. As a result, public policy discussions in the future will be able to focus on the state's most important growth drivers and how they can be managed.
A study explored performance of the Arizona School-to-Work (STW) system in meeting the six goals established by the state STW Division. Goal 1 was to create a self-sustaining STW system at the state and regional levels. The state developed state policies and goals and provided implementation funding to partnerships, but no continuation funding. Goal 2 was to unite training programs with STW programs. Partnerships implemented STW with some success by expanding career-related programs, but were less successful at coordinating and integrating efforts with other workforce-related organizations. There was no comprehensive effort to implement Goal 3 to identify areas where STW needed support and meet those needs. The state and partnerships addressed Goal 4, community involvement, by recruiting local businesses and industries to STW through public awareness activities, promoting initiatives to businesses at STW conferences, and securing business representation on STW governing boards. Goal 5, to increase public awareness, was achieved through media, brochures, Web sites, and public presentations. Partnerships achieved Goal 6, system evaluation, by maintaining databases to provide information for evaluating the STW system. STW had a modest positive impact on stakeholders' involvement in career-related activities; its implementation varied considerably across partnerships; lack of funding severely limited its statewide potential; and strong leadership at the state level was critical.
Four major statewide "tools" to help manage growth and preserve open space have been put to work in Arizona over the past five years. These include the Arizona Preserve Initiative and the closely-related Proposition 303, as well as the Growing Smarter Act and its "addendum," Growing Smarter Plus. All four tools are based in large part on a concept known as "smart growth," which is generally considered to be a set of growth management measures that attempt to strike a balance among issues of economics, environment, and quality of life. Taken together, these four growth management tools make significant changes in the way that (a) city and county governments plan and regulate their lands, (b) citizens play a role in land use issues, (c) state trust lands are managed, and (d) open space may be acquired and preserved. Many of these changes will have long-term effects for the state. This paper provides a brief overview of each of the four growth management/open space tools, a preliminary accounting of major activities each one has stimulated, and a perspective on what can be expected for the future as expressed by a selection of growth planners and other leaders of growth management in Arizona.
An arts education information tool which was developed by Morrison Institute forPublic Policy, Arizona State University, on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Arts in Education Program (cooperative agreement DCA 94-62). Includes summaries of 49 pieces of applied and academic research that relate to the many relationships between the arts and education.
Arizonans have been divided in their feelings about growth and what to do about it, especially during the past two decades. To complicate matters, the debate over the best responses to growth has been drawn along overly simplistic lines—the economy versus the environment. Arizonans who follow the myriad issues related to urban growth closely are becoming convinced that the discussion needs to be recast in a new light.
Scholar Leo Marx coined the phrase “the machine in the garden” in 1964 to describe the relationship between nature and technology. Considering much of the writing about Arizona’s growth, it seemed an apt title for this volume of Arizona Policy Choices. "The Machine in the Garden" presents growth policy choices for Arizona along a continuum: Yesterday’s Growth—the policies that have been used in the past; Today’s Growth—the “smarter” approaches from around the country; and Tomorrow’s Growth—cutting edge thinking about the economy and experiments in urbanism and governance.
Almost every state hopes to capitalize on the tremendous wealth and job creation that can be generated by high tech science research-and billions of public dollars are being spent. But everyone is just speculating about the lasting value of these investments. While traditional assessments of return on public investment in science and technology tend to track short-term impacts, such as salaries, patents, and licensing revenues, the main foundations for long-term development of a knowledge economy appear to rely on a number of less tangible accomplishments. For example: Connections - the networks that develop between researchers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists; Attention - the publicity generated by the research and its networks that attract businesses and talent to locate in a region; and Talent - the highly skilled workers that such research attracts and trains.
These three indicators of economic success-henceforth called the CAT measures-have yet to be quantified and applied in a useful manner. That is the purpose of this study. It will be conducted in three parts, each with a culminating report. The first part will analyze the FY03 science and technology research activities and results for ASU's Proposition 301 initiatives. The second will develop a methodology for quantifying and utilizing the Institute's CAT measures. The third will field test the CAT methodology on a selected aspect of ASU's Proposition 301-funded research, and analyze results to provide Arizona decision-makers with recommendations to guide future policy.
The Phoenix metropolitan area is known worldwide for the rapid and continuous expansion of its population, economy, and development of desert land. Even during recessionary periods, it has continued to grow. Leaders in other metropolitan areas envy this achievement and the many benefits it has created for Valley residents. But some members of our region, both leaders and lay people alike, consider the Valley’s phenomenal growth to be a mixed blessing. Indeed, they would say we are plagued by success. The purpose of this brief paper is to create a framework for discussion of how our region’s future growth can embody quality. It is not intended to be a comprehensive Morrison Institute for Public Policy treatment of the myriad issues of urban growth. Because of this paper’s brevity, some important details about growth are not included. Fortunately, detailed studies of the Valley’s growth have been done before (e.g., by Gruen Associates/Maricopa Association of Governments in 1975 and the Morrison Institute in 1988). Instead, this paper identifies key concepts and suggests questions to be used as a point of departure for steering a future course.