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

      Mccauley, Susan Ann; Madsen, Eric; Monahan, John; Lofthus, Jeffrey; Allen, Jim; Jorgensen, Spike; Porter, David (2008)
      This study used a mixed-methods approach to analyze the implementation of the Quality Schools Model through the lens of the seven Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria. Specifically, this study was an inquiry to determine the beliefs and practices of one of the criterion, Staff Focus, and the effect on these perceptions of professional role, years of education experience and years of experience working with the Quality Schools Model. Through structural equation modeling, this research also examined the fit between the Baldrige in Education theoretical model and actual practice of the Baldrige concepts in the three studied school districts implementing the Quality Schools Model. A 72-item questionnaire with two response scales was used to measure staff members' perceptions of the importance and practice of Staff Learning and Staff Motivation. The questionnaire was administered to 212 administrators, teachers, and classified staff in three rural Alaska school districts. Qualitative data about the implementation of the model 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 Staff Learning and Staff Motivation were considered very important by staff members irrespective of job classification, years of educational experience, or years of QSM experience. While the majority of staff members perceived Staff Learning and Staff Motivation as practiced frequently or always practiced, they perceived them as significantly more important than in practice in their district and schools. Administrators' perceptions of the frequency of practice of Staff Motivation were significantly higher than those of teachers or classified staff. Qualitative data revealed that learning required by staff for QSM implementation is demanding and complex, particularly during initial implementation of the model. However, staff and community members attributed improvements in student learning and the increased participation of students in their learning to implementation of the QSM, and these were motivating factors for staff members, as were the shared vision and shared leadership components of the QSM. The structural model corroborated the importance of Staff Focus showing that it was directly, positively effected by Leadership and that it had a direct, positive effect on Results.