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Quality Improvement

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RUNNING HEAD: Quality Improvement Paper

Needs Assessment for Quality Improvement Paper

Cliftina Gwilt

August 13, 2006

MGT 449

Suzannah Radnay

Quality Improvement Paper

The No Child Left behind Act appears to be the primary force driving schools for quality improvement process, including the school I work where I am employed. Through this paper I will assess the need for quality improvement within the school system I work. The paper will include and "As Is" flow chart of the process to be analyzed. The paper will describe the relationship of the process to the organization's strategic plan. Both the internal and external customers of the school I work of will be identified. Finally the paper will include an estimation of the level of improvement that would be realized and the value of implementing the new quality improvement process.

Need for Quality Improvement

Schools are failing throughout the United States along with the school I am employed at and there is a need for quality improvement. Gathering data from the state mandate ISTEP testing, attendance, graduation/dropout rate, demographics of students and records of parents in PTA and that attended parent teacher's conferences. I was able to bar chart the information to have a better understanding where improvements needed to be made (Burrill and Ledolter).

The ISTEP testing results showed that only 55% of the students system wide passed the test. The middle school where I am employed only 50% of the seventh and eighth graders passed the test (Indiana Department of Education). The system as a whole is quite lower than the state's average in all academic subjects. This has led the school system to restructuring of some schools to meet state and federal standards.

School attendance has improved a great deal since the mid-1990. The last four year attendance had been at 95%. This is still 2% below the state average, but higher than the average of the school system has a whole (Indiana Department of Education). There is defiantly room for improvement

Graduation has improved immensely since 1993. The graduation rate in 1993 was only 56.2% and of 2005 the graduation rate has risen to 84.9%. Even with the increase since 1993, the last few years the graduation has been declining. Which in return means the dropout rate is increasing. This also leaves the school system behind the state average for graduation. With over a 15% dropout rate there is cause for concern and improvement (Indiana Department of Education).

Demographics have truly had an impact on the school system I am employed. Minorities in the school district are at 43.9 percent, which is nearly 20% more than state average (Indiana Department of Education). The percentage of students on free lunches and textbooks is 55%, which is 18% more than the state average (Indiana Department of Education). The numbers are quite alarming and even though there is nothing a school system can do to change the demographics; there is a great need for the school system to become diverse to meet all students' needs.

Assessing parent involvement I found it is quite lower in the secondary schools than in the primary schools. The parent involvement is quite low in the secondary school where I am employed. Only about 28 % was present during parent teacher's conferences. The percentage that was involved in PTA was even quite lower with less than 15% of parents are enrolled. These numbers are quite low and are in for need improvement. For a school to truly be successful parents need to be involved.

Description and an "As Is" flow chart of the process

The flowchart illustrates the pattern that is created by collecting, analyzing, and translating data into meaningful information, which leads to the application and development of strategic instruction for each student (Burrill and Ledolter). The cycle is repeated, but at continually higher levels, creating an upward spiral of achievement (Elkhart Community Schools).

Relationship to Strategic Plan

The mission of the Elkhart Community Schools is to provide an educational environment where every student can become a literate, numerate, responsible, and productive

member of society. To achieve this mission, the school corporation will not only support

the schools but will involve the entire community in achieving school goals( Elkhart Community Schools). The mission statement is the base of Elkhart Community School's strategic plan.

The process relates to the strategic plan for the improvement of the quality of a student's education. By gathering and translating data allows the corporation to develop and apply strategic classroom instruction. The process is continuous to allow for continuous improvement, which is part of the strategic plan.

The process does not show how show some other key factors of the strategic plan. The process does not show how the school corporation will involve the entire community in achieving school goal which is part of the strategic plans. The process does not show continue improvement of administrator and staff through professional development through countywide and statewide initiatives. The final key factor of the strategic plan that is not shown in the process is how technology will play a part of innovated instructional tool (Elkhart Community Schools).

Internal and External Customers

In an educational environment, the external customers are the students and their parents. The internal customers would be anyone working in the school system; teachers, support staff, administration,

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