The Proof Is in the Processes: The Missing Link in Improving K-12 Education and Meeting NCLB Goals Is Process Management

By Grayson, C. Jackson, Jr. | Technology & Learning, June 2006 | Go to article overview

The Proof Is in the Processes: The Missing Link in Improving K-12 Education and Meeting NCLB Goals Is Process Management


Grayson, C. Jackson, Jr., Technology & Learning


Quite simply put, processes are a series of actions, changes, or functions that bring about a desired result. Processes are the way we work. No matter what we do--whether we serve as superintendents, principals, technology directors, or teachers--we are all involved in processes, from recruiting teachers to upgrading the technology infrastructure.

Yet few in education think in these terms. Instead, educators tend to describe their work in terms of functions, like maintaining the online teacher application system, or outcomes, like positive test results. Still fewer map their processes, and when they do, these maps often chart within function, not across functions.

For example, look at the diagram on p. 29. For centuries, we have used the left side of the diagram to seek ways to improve. We wanted and asked for more and more inputs--in the form of teachers, administrators, facilities, supplies, and, of course, money.

Then along came No Child Left Behind, which dramatically shifted the focus to the right side of the diagram--outcomes. As a result, we've neglected the middle column. But outcomes cannot be changed unless we also change the way we deal with processes.

The Methodology

Managing processes means paying attention to five key elements.

Process maps are graphical representations of the flow of work or sequence of events needed to achieve an outcome, such as a product or service.

Process measures quantitatively represent the effectiveness of a process against a stated goal or objective, such as the average time to resolve a service disruption or the number of unscheduled network outages per month.

Process comparison compares process measures internally over time or externally with other districts.

Process Improvement refers to increasing the effectiveness of a process incrementally--improvement is done on an ongoing basis through small changes to the components of the process, including adding or deleting a process activity or measure.

Process innovation is the dramatic or radical redesign of a process to increase process effectiveness and/or efficiency, including remapping the entire work flow, adding new process owners, and developing new measurements or goals.

The Process Management Advantage

Process management offers many opportunities for educators to improve and innovate. Done correctly, process management has the potential to:

* enable educators concerned about NCLB to change the processes that influence the outcomes, moving away from one-time fixes toward a continuous process of improvement;

* get at the root cause of current performance and drive a culture of measurement and performance, as well as facilitate integration of instruction and administration because of the systems-wide focus on student achievement;

* lead to fewer dropouts and higher graduation rates because of the focus on prevention at the front end rather than inspection and blame at the back end;

* enable real data-driven improvement rather than "I think" or "I believe" or "we've always done it this way" justifications;

* allow participants to make benchmark comparisons;

* provide data to school boards, states, and the federal government about efficiency and effectiveness of processes, not just responses to typical requests for input;

* enable fiscal accountability as well as academic accountability.

Ultimately, process management can help districts make transformative changes. What's more, it may be the only way to reach NCLB proficiency goals by 2014.

Piloting Processes

How does process management work in practice? In 2005, an organization I chair called the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) designed a study called Process Improvement and Implementation in Education (PILE) to examine what could happen if districts began using process maps, measures, and comparisons to assess their own performance and compare it to others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Proof Is in the Processes: The Missing Link in Improving K-12 Education and Meeting NCLB Goals Is Process Management
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.