Step-Up-To-Excellence SM Supports the Baldrige Quality Criteria

One of the core principles of the Baldrige Education Criteria is that all actions taken by a school district must focus on results. Valued results are those that represent a composite of student, stakeholder, budgetary, financial, and operational performance, including results related to faculty and staff and to social responsibility.

If we take the list of the Baldrige Criteria apart, it is easy to connect them to the three paths in the Step-Up-To-Excellence SM methodology that must be followed to transform entire school systems.

Path 1: Improve relationships with the external environment (social responsibility, stakeholder relationships).

Path 2: Improve the core and supporting work (student performance, operational performance, budgetary and financial performance).

Path 3: Improve the internal social "infrastructure" (faculty and staff performance).

The core values and concepts underlying the Baldrige Education Criteria are:

  • Visionary Leadership
    Visionary leadership is at the heart of the Step-Up-To-Excellence SM methodology. Leadership for transformational change must be visionary-and courageous and passionate.
  • Learning-Centered Education
    Step-Up-To-Excellence SM aims to improve the core and supporting work of a school district. The core work is classroom teaching and learning.
  • Organizational and Personal Learning
    One of the hallmarks of the Step-Up-To-Excellence SM methodology is its emphasis on organization and personal learning. The methodology requires Organization Learning Networks to create and disseminate professional knowledge throughout a school system.
  • Valuing Faculty, Staff, and Partners
    The Step-Up-To-Excellence SM rests squarely on the foundation of participation. The key tools for participation are the Community Engagement Conference, the District Engagement Conference, and others.
  • Agility
    The second path to transformation in the Step-Up-To-Excellence SM methodology focuses on improving the internal social architecture of a district. One of the improvements in the social architecture is the creation of an organization design that is agile and flexible.
  • Focus on the Future
    In the District Engagement Conference of the Step-Up-To-Excellence SM methodology educators create a new future vision for their district and a strategic plan to get there.
  • Managing for Innovation
    Step-Up-To-Excellence SM is a methodology that is a system of change. It is organized. It is systematic. It has structure. It is an innovation management technology.
  • Management by Fact
    During the Pre-Launch Preparation phase of Step-Up-To-Excellence SM educators collect performance data about their district and they collect data about their customer and stakeholder expectations.
  • Social Responsibility
    Step-Up-To-Excellence SM requires leaders and leadership that use power and political behavior in ethical ways. One of the ethical criteria that must be adhered to is that schooling serves only one purpose - to educate children and teenagers to become productive citizens in our society. This is a social responsibility that school districts must carry.
  • Focus on Results and Creating Value
    I've said this several times throughout the book.results matter, not good intentions. And the results must be valued results. Valued results are those desired by customers and stakeholders.
  • Systems Perspective
    Step-Up-To-Excellence SM is totally informed by and constructed upon the principles of whole-system change, systems thinking and systems dynamics.

Because there is such a high degree of compatibility, 100% compatibility, between the Step-Up-To-Excellence SM methodology and the Baldrige Criteria for Education Excellence, The F. M. Duffy Group is convinced that the methodology can be used by any school district that wants to satisfy the Baldrige Criteria.