• The Quality Schools Model Of Education Reform: A Description Of Knowledge Management Beliefs And Practices Using Baldrige In Education Criteria

      Nelson Cope, Dale L.; Porter, David; Monahan, John; Allen, Jim; Johnson, Paul; Lofthus, Jeffrey; Morotti, Allan (2008)
      This study used a concurrent nested mixed-methods approach to analyze the implementation of the Quality Schools Model of education reform through the lens of the seven Malcolm Baldrige Education criteria. Specifically, this study was an inquiry to determine the difference in beliefs and implementation related to knowledge constructs between and within groups of school staff based on professional role, years of education experience and years of experience working in the Quality Schools Model district. This research also used structural equation modeling to examine the fit between the Baldrige in Education theoretical model and actual practice of the Baldrige concepts in the context of rural Alaska school districts implementing the Quality Schools Model of comprehensive education reform. A 72-item questionnaire was used to measure beliefs about importance of concepts and perceptions of the concepts in practice. The questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 212 administrators, teachers, and classified staff in three rural Alaska school districts. Qualitative data was gathered through 14 semi-structured interviews with community members, elders, school board members, parents, and school staff. Results from the questionnaire data showed that job classification was the greatest predictor of mean responses. Administrators perceived knowledge activities were in practice to a greater degree than teachers. There were no significant differences in beliefs about importance or practice among participants based on years of education work experience or on experience in the current school district. The results showed ambivalence and sticky transfer in the street-level implementation of the QSM with significant large differences between belief and practice scores for all groups. A structural model of Baldrige in Education factors with leadership as the exogenous factor was created for the QSM. Results showed that leadership had a direct effect on knowledge management, and knowledge management had a direct effect on strategic planning, and an indirect effect on process management and the outcome variables of student, stakeholder and market focus, and results. There was no direct or indirect path between the knowledge factor and staff focus factor, leading to a recommendation to increase knowledge creation and sharing opportunities for that group.