Many people don’t think of quality tools and philosophies being used in education, but the link between quality and education proved to be a hot topic at ASQ’s 2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement.
Specifically, does poor education lead to a poor quality of the workforce (and, thus, of quality itself)?
World Conference speaker Michelle Rhee made this point in her very popular keynote. ASQ’s Influential Voices bloggers provided nuanced feedback on this theme.
See the summary:
- An Educator’s Perspective: Nicole Radziwill, a college professor, writes in a multi-part series that students aren’t customers, and education shouldn’t be considered a “service.”
- A Global View: Dr. Lotto Lai blogs about quality initiatives and education in Hong Kong. Edwin Garro does a global assessment of education, comparing test scores in various countries, and focuses on the challenges of the education system in his native Costa Rica.
- The Role of Quality in Education: Using a balanced scorecard approach, Manu Vora outlines challenges and opportunities for all levels of education in the U.S. John Hunter incorporates the philosophies of Deming (and others) into his response.
- Scott Rutherford makes the case that we should not focus on using quality in education, but on “how to redesign the education system to support our current world and to build in design flexibility.”
- Bob Mitchell writes about disruption and innovation in education. And Chad Walters writes that a good educator teaches students to learn on their own.
- Michael Noble notes that fixing education involves fixing the “big ticket items” such as socioeconomic status and teacher engagement that may be beyond the role of quality. Aimee Siegler argues parents, teachers, administrators, and others have a role to play in fixing education.
- For Jennifer Stepniowski, the “issues we face in education today will result in considerably negative effects in the near future. Quality in, quality out.”
- And for Dan Zrymiak, the role of quality in education is “posing specific questions about processes and deliverables, and seeking objective evidence to support corrective actions, improvements, and innovations. The ultimate outcome is not to have appeased and comforted children, but educated and inspired graduates capable of being independent and productive participants in our workforce.”