Looking for Trouble: Applying Client Dissatisfaction Measures to Schools

Article

Branson, Robert K.; Lockman, Bambi Jo; Funk, Fanchon F.; Baccus, Chevon T.   (1997, ASQ)   Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; Santa Rosa County Public Schools, Milton, FL; Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL

National Governor's Conference on Quality in Education, November 8-11 1997, Dearborn, MI    Vol. 0    No. 0
QICID: 11083    November 1997    pp. 432-447
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Article Abstract

A research and development (R&D) approach to educational reform is a theme of the Florida Schoolyear 2000 (SY2000) Initiative, which has been supported in part by a customer dissatisfaction measurement system. SY2000 developed out of the realization that academic performance in schools had not changed in 20 years while costs have almost doubled. SY2000 is a continuous improvement endeavor that replaces a teaching-based system with R&D. It uses an outside-in systems approach that seeks to change processes, not people. A framework for such process change is for SY2000 to meet the ISO 9000 series quality standards. To do so requires a customer satisfaction system, which in SY2000 has become a dissatisfaction measurement system that gathers data on customer transactions and expectations. This system will be successful only if several threats are overcome: the fear of retribution; loss of the sponsorship from higher executives; and unreasonable expectations on the speed and capacity for the SY2000 initiative to solve problems. School districts can deal with these threats by taking seriously the dissatisfaction they identify and to negotiate with their stakeholders the priorities for problem solving. As an example of dissatisfaction data, one district found that 68% of parents encountered problems and that 37% issued complaints to the district. Complaint handling resulted in 23% satisfaction, 24% dissatisfaction, and 53% of the complainers being mollified.

Keywords

Case study,Customer satisfaction (CS),Research and development (R&D),Education,Measurement and control,Customer surveys


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