Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD


Why Should We Use Baldrige in Our School?

Implementation and Integration

What is the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) plan for implementation and integration of the Baldrige Education Criteria for school improvement planning and for continuous improvement?

According to Our Call to Action: Pursuit of Excellence, The Strategic Plan for the Montgomery County Public Schools 2003-2006,

"MCPS has adopted the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence as the model for continuous improvement for all offices and schools. Implementation of the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence throughout MCPS will include:
  • identifying the necessary resources for full system implementation by 2006,
  • training for staff in all MCPS offices and schools by 2006, and
  • institutionalizing a school improvement planning process utilizing the Baldrige categories as the framework to be used by all schools by 2006.
Baldrige implementation supports the MCPS system goal, to 'Create a positive work environment in a self-renewing organization' by specifically stating as a milestone that 'strategic plans exist and are aligned at all levels of the organization.'" (pp. 39 & 46)

School Improvement

How will the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence be used for the school improvement planning?

According to Our Call to Action,

"The school improvement process is being redesigned to reflect the components of the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. The goal of this initiative is to identify the elements of school improvement and organizational development that must be supported in every school in order to promote high levels of student achievement. Schools engaging in the Baldrige-guided School Improvement Process are expected to implement the school improvement planning model using the 'Look-fors' from the Framework for Improving Teaching and Learning and the Baldrige categories. In order for this revised school improvement process to be successful, the entire staff and representatives from all stakeholder groups must be engaged in the process. The progress on school improvement plan goals will be evaluated regularly with all stakeholders. Implementation of this process will include—
  • identification of resources needed for total system implementation by 2006 and
  • systematically evaluating the implementation throughout the project, with a final report to be completed by June 2007." (p. 46)

Correlation with Research

How does the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence support and correlate with research on effective schools?

In their extensive research on characteristics of effective schools and studies of effective business practices, Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker (1999) found remarkable consistency among principals from a number of nationally recognized schools and the leadership of outstanding companies. DuFour and Eaker offer the following nine observations; correlations with Baldrige practices are noted.

Characteristics of Effective Schools Baldrige Practices
1. Excellent schools have a clear vision of what they are attempting to accomplish, what they trying to become A school's vision and mission are examined as part of the culture and as the desired future state of the school.
2. The day-to-day operation of an excellent school is guided by a few shared central values that define the behaviors and standards as key to a successful school Core Values/Best Practices are described as those embedded beliefs and behaviors found in the culture of a high-performing school.
3. Excellent schools have principals who are effective instructional leaders, protectors of the vision and values of the school, and promoters of teacher empowerment. Senior leaders are expected to set, deploy, and model the vision and values of the school and create an environment for staff empowerment and learning.
5. The curriculum of an excellent school reflects the values of the school and provides a focus that helps teachers and students “stick to the knitting.” Teaching and learning are aligned with the school’s vision, mission, Core Values/Best Practices, expectations, and goals/objectives focused on results to demonstrate the school's effectiveness.
6. Excellent schools promote excellence in teaching A cornerstone of Baldrige is its focus on teaching and learning strategies that result in demonstrated “value-added” performance.
7. Excellent schools monitor what is important: curriculum, student achievement, and teaching. The monitoring processes are shared by the leadership system (staff, parents, students) and include monitoring of the school’s vision, mission, core values, results, education and training, staff, student, and other stakeholder levels of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, and process management.
8. Excellent schools celebrate the presence of their core values with ceremonies and rituals The Baldrige Core Values/Best Practices are the guiding principles of a strong school culture. Although Baldrige does not specify ‘ceremonies and rituals,’ the importance of staff, student, and stakeholder levels of satisfaction/dissatisfaction and positive relationships assumes that schools would plan for celebrations or recognition for attaining results.
9. Excellent schools sustain their commitment to improvement through systematic self-renewal.(pp. 4-6) Continuous improvement is the cornerstone for achieving performance excellence, with a key requirement being the use of results to evaluate the school’s effectiveness and efficiency in meeting results.

November 23, 2010 | Maintained by Web Services | Content Manager: Michael Perich