About Baldrige

What is Baldrige?

A way to make learning better and better all the time.

Who is Baldrige named after?

Malcolm Baldrige worked for the Federal Government as the Secretary of Commerce. The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence were named after him. He was the only presidential cabinet member to belong to the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

What are the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence?

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence were created in 1987 to help American business and industry do things better.

Find out more about Baldrige the man and the program named after him. Learn More


In 1988, the "Baldrige EDUCATION Criteria for Performance Excellence" (also known simply as Baldrige) were created to help schools do things better and continue to improve how they do things (also called continuous improvement).

How can Baldrige make a difference?

Baldrige can help your school:

  • Do things better
  • Keep track of how well students are doing
  • Continue to get better at helping students learn

But isn't there more to it?

Yes. The Baldrige Criteria are made up of seven categories and eleven core values (or best practices). These categories and values help schools and classrooms focus on doing things better and continuing to improve learning.

What are the seven Baldrige categories?

The seven Baldrige Categories are:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Student and Stakeholder Focus
  • Measurement Analysis and Knowledge Management
  • Faculty and Staff Focus
  • Process Management
  • Performance Results

See how Baldrige Categories are used in Schools and Classrooms

What are the eleven Baldrige core values?

The eleven Baldrige Core Values (or best practices) are:

  • Visionary leadership
  • Learning-centered education
  • Organizational and personal learning
  • Valuing faculty, staff, and partners
  • Agility
  • Focus on the future
  • Managing for innovation
  • Management by fact
  • Social responsibility
  • Focus on results and creating value
  • Systems perspective

See how the Baldrige Core Values are used by Schools, Classrooms, and Students