ERIC Number: ED411307
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
The Quality Audit: A Framework for Internal Analysis of the Capacity for Change.
Bauer, Scott C.; Mitchell, Stephen M.
This paper reports on the development and implementation of the quality audit, a methodology designed to help school systems examine their capacity for change using the principles of total quality management as a framework for analysis. Total quality management stresses the importance of continuous improvement of organizational processes, resulting in the delivery of high quality educational services. Quality is defined by the organization's "customer," the end user of the product, and it requires attention to the entire system. The quality audit uses the features of total quality management as a framework for analyzing the efficacy of school district administrative structures and processes. In operation, a small team of researchers works with a district steering committee to structure the audit and provide ongoing feedback on the way to the final report. The quality audit is not a job analysis. Instead, it takes a more systemic approach. Specific barriers to performance or customer service issues related to particular areas might be identified, but the overall focus is on the delineation of themes across functions. Over the past 7 years, the quality audit has been used in a dozen school systems. Data from one suburban district are used to illustrate the process. A consistent theme is the extent to which central office and school administrative functions need to be delivered with a focus on customer service. Findings in the district highlighted reflect breakdowns in the delivery of quality support services that over time produced anxiety, antipathy, and low morale. As a result of the quality audit, the district experienced a remarkable degree of change. Areas in need of attention were identified and organizational members collaborated in dialogue about change. An appendix contains the school climate survey used in the audit. (Contains 21 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).