Criteria for Performance Excellence


The Education Criteria for Performance Excellence(6) of the Baldrige National Quality Program http://www.quality.nist.gov/Education_Criteria.htm provides a systems perspective for managing an organization. A systems perspective means managing the whole organization, as well as its components, as a single, interactive entity.  The Educational Criteria focus on results in the key areas of:(8)

  • Student learning.
  • Needs, expectations, and satisfaction of students, parents, and other stakeholders,
  • Budgetary, financial, and market effectiveness,
  • Needs, expectations, satisfaction, and development of faculty and staff, and
  • Overall organizational effectiveness.
  • Leadership and social responsibility.

The Educational Criteria are non-prescriptive.  The focus is on results, not on procedures or organizational structure.  The Criteria are organized around seven areas.(7)  The seven categories form the foundation for a needs assessment to identify strategic objectives and annual improvement goals.  The seven categories are as follows:(9)

Leadership – examines how school leaders address school values, directions, and performance expectations and focus on students and stakeholders, student learning, and faculty and staff empowerment, innovation, and organizational learning. It also examines the school's governance and how the school addresses its public and community responsibilities.

Strategic Planning – examines how the school develops and deploys strategic objectives and action plans and assesses progress relative to these strategic objectives and action plans.

Student, Stakeholder, and Market Focus – examines how the school determines requirements, expectations, and preferences of students, stakeholders, and markets.  It also examines how the school builds relationships with students and stakeholders, and determines the key factors that attract students and partners and lead to student and stakeholder satisfaction, loyalty, persistence, and improved educational programs and services.

Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management – examines how the school selects, gathers, analyzes, manages, and improves its data, information, and knowledge assets.

Faculty and Staff Focus – examines how the school's work systems and faculty and staff learning enable faculty and staff to develop and utilize their full potential in alignment with the school's overall objectives and action plans.  It also examines the school's efforts to build and maintain a work environment and a faculty and staff support climate that are conducive to performance excellence and to personal and organizational growth.

Process Management – examines key aspects of the school's process management, including learning-centered processes for the educational programs and services and key support processes that create student, stakeholder, and school value.

School Performance Results – examines the school performance and improvement in key areas: student learning results; student and stakeholder focused results; budgetary, financial, and market performance; faculty and staff results; school operational performance; and governance and social responsibility.