Browsing Theses (Graduate Education) by Author "Atwater, Stephen G."
A Description Of The Relationship Between Process Management And The Quality Schools Model In Three Rural Alaska School DistrictsAtwater, Stephen G.; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Allen, Jim; Porter, David (2008)This study, conducted as part of a cohort of four, included three districts that follow the Quality Schools Model of educational reform. It used a mixed methods research paradigm to describe how one particular reform evaluation criterion, process management, is believed to be important and to be in practice as a part of the Quality Schools Model (QSM). Process management is the pertinent techniques and tools applied to a process to implement and improve process effectiveness. In this study, I sought to answer four research questions that are fully described in Chapter 3. Three of these questions explored stakeholders' perceptions about the importance of process management in contrast to their perceptions about the extent to which process management was actually in practice in the studied districts. The results of the analysis of the responses showed that there were few significant differences among the respondents. However, stakeholders' perception about the extent to which process management was actually in practice varied significantly with their job classification, but did not vary significantly with either their level of educational work experience or their years of experience with the QSM. Question four of this research was common to the cohort and explored the interrelationship of the seven Malcom Baldrige in Education Criteria in the three districts. The Malcom Baldrige in Education Criteria are a method to evaluate the quality of a school district. The cohort used structural equation modeling (SEM) to answer this question. The data supported a model that shows general agreement with the hypothesized model that is included with the Baldrige literature. While this research was specific to the QSM, others who are pursuing systemic educational reform should consider the implications. They are: holistic educational reform is dependent on well established processes; leadership does not have a direct influence on results; a school district's shared vision must be comprehensive to allow optimum learning conditions through the effective establishment of coproduction; and Total Quality Management practices should be included as a way to ensure staff does its best.