Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Charles Nuckles

Reader (Advisor 2)

Dr. Robert DeWerff

Reader (Advisor 3)

Dr. Richard Brynteson


Accountability for school performance and education reform efforts continues to be a leading topic on the national agenda. A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (1983) stimulated an increased pace of an already aggressive education reform movement in the United States. A common agenda of standards, assessment, and accountability has been identified by the 1 996 National Summit on Education, Business Roundtable, National Alliance of Business, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce and President Clinton, in his 1997 State of the Union message, called for standards and assessments (Business Coalition for Education Reform, 1997). Educators and professional education associations are addressing these same issues.

While there doesn't seem to be any question about whether educators need to respond to this call for accountability, the question of "how" to meet these demands bears further examination. In response to the cry for meaningful education reform and accountability, Rochester Public School District #535 is considering moving toward a continuous improvement model based on applying the principles of Total Quality Management (TOM) and the Baldrige Award Criteria to drive systemic change and high performance. The question that needs to be answered is: Does current literature support the applicability of TOM and the Baldrige Award Criteria to K-12 education? This paper will examine a portion of the literature available on this topic.


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