Category Archives: Quality Management

First Ever Deming Education Conference

As regular readers of this blog know, my first book, The Man Who Discovered Quality, was about W. Edwards Deming, the management guru who helped transform Japanese industry after World War II–the Toyota Production System was developed in collaboration with Deming–and … Continue reading

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Letter to Hillary: Beware Education Advice From Hedge-Funds

Last week, The New York Times, published a front page story about the pressure Hillary Rodham Clinton is under to declare herself on a host of controversial education-reform initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards and charter schools, which are … Continue reading

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Lessons for Education Reformers from W. Edwards Deming, America’s Leading Management Thinker

When I returned from speaking at the annual conference of the Deming Institute in Los Angeles last month, the education sites were abuzz about a new Time magazine cover trumpeting “Bad Apples”, the latest example of what has become a … Continue reading

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A Watchdog Reflects on the Failures of Former Superintendent Deasy and Other Grown Ups in the Los Angeles Public Schools

During a recent visit to Los Angeles, I sat down with Stuart Magruder, a local architect and controversial watchdog of the Los Angeles Unified School District, to talk about public education in L.A., the iPad debacle, and the recent resignation … Continue reading

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Building A Better Teacher: Some Hard Lessons of Ed Reform

I picked up Elizabeth Green’s new book, Building a Better Teacher, with great anticipation. By the time I finished reading the nicely written, highly detailed descriptions of some of the latest efforts to improve teaching, I was alternatively gratified, intrigued … Continue reading

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The (Management) Education of a Charter School Leader

This week, Deborah Kenny, the founder of the Harlem Village Academies charter schools in New York City, wrote an impassioned argument against government-mandated individual teacher evaluations. Kenny, who draws at least some of her inspiration from management gurus such as … Continue reading

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Lessons for Chicago from the Labor Wars of the Industrial Era

Back in the 1970s, American industry knew just what was wrong with American industry: Recalcitrant workers and high wages, which made products made in the U.S.A uncompetitive with Japanese imports. The result, especially in Detroit and the U.S. auto industry, … Continue reading

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Why Carrot-and-Stick Incentives Get An “F”, An Answer to The New York Times

The New York Times recently published an editorial calling for teachers to be punished or  rewarded based on the academic growth of their students, ignoring the fact that individualized incentives fail to increase overall performance or quality—either in education or … Continue reading

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Quality in Complex Medical Systems – the Limitations of Lean & Six Sigma

Preface: I am delighted to host a guest blogger, my friend Wes Chapman and an expert on clinical data systems. Wes has a keen interest in process and systems improvement in healthcare. This article is the first of a four-part … Continue reading

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Trauma in Telecom Land, Part 2

How Verizon Treats its Customers: 1 Month, a Dozen Calls and $310 to Get Service Restored In a recent blog post, “Why I Tried…and Failed…to Fire Verizon”, I described the systemic screw-ups and service break-downs that led me to try … Continue reading

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