[This is a guest post by Julia McIntosh of ASQ’s communications department.]
Just as last year, ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement provided some great topics for discussion on View From the Q. One especially “hot” topic emerged during the last keynote of the conference, and this was the link between quality and education.
As summarized here, education reformer Michelle Rhee spoke about the poor quality of education in many U.S. public schools. Low-quality education results in a low-quality workforce, she said. Another challenge, according to Rhee, is that students in the U.S. are praised for poor performance or for “just showing up.” As a result, they expect to be celebrated for mediocrity, rather than for quality.
This message resonated with the audience more than any other idea expressed at a keynote–or maybe even the entire conference.
What do you think? Do you see a correlation between the quality of education in your country and the young people entering the workforce? Does your culture celebrate success or is any attempt considered “good enough”? And finally, what is the role of quality in improving public education in any nation?
[This is a guest blog by Julia McIntosh of ASQ’s communications department.]
Perhaps one of the strongest pro-quality messages at the entire 2014 ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement came during the final keynote of the event. Education reformer Michelle Rhee spoke of turning around a failing school district. Although Rhee doesn’t work in “quality” per se, her speech energized the audience to stand up and clap in agreement. Her conclusion was saluted with a standing ovation.
Rhee’s key points? Education is a priority because it determines the quality of the workplace we will get. And, in the U.S., we overpraise our children and give out too many unearned trophies and awards during the course of their education. We celebrate mediocrity, rather than quality.
Rhee’s closing keynote was preceded by the International Team Excellence Awards
process ceremony–an antidote to mediocrity if there ever was one. Team Excellence recognizes the best quality improvement teams worldwide, and is the only international team recognition process of its kind in the world. This year’s winners are:
Volkswagen Argentina Cordoba Plant, Contact Zone team
JCYM Continuous Improvement Team, Johnson Controls, Shanghai