Dr. Deming’s Points 3, 4, 5 (excerpts)

#3 “Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.”

My reflection: Stop high stakes testing. A few days of testing at the end of the year does not tell the whole story. This whirlwind “week” creates stress and anxiety in all involved. Develop the whole child. Use non-threatening formative assessments that guide mastery.

#4 “End the practice of rewarding business on the basis of a pricetag. Instead minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.”

My reflection: Granted, the school system is in the business of educating young minds. There is a budget plan, and decisions are made to support programs that produce the best results. Often times, the people who make these crucial decisions have a greater distance from the daily operations of a classroom than those who are most profoundly affected by spending decisions.

Teachers, more often than not, are left out of the loop. Teachers’ jobs are directly affected by a change in staffing (classroom aides taken away, art and music programs are cut first) or when new technology arrives (with little to no staff development to train and utilize the resources efficiently and effectively). Dedicated teachers will continue to do their jobs to the best of their ability, but the feelings of trust, loyalty, and feeling valued dwindle quickly in such situations.

Administrators and parents who treat teachers as professionals and trust they are doing their very best in the classroom build positive relationships. Teachers are able to concentrate on creative and rigorous lessons for their students. Constant criticism breaks down the relationship. Encouraging words go a long way.

#5 “Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, in order to improve quality and productivity….”

My reflection: This should be our aim and our goal for all children, every day. This means trying different strategies for different students (taking into account their learning styles, abilities, talents, weaknesses, etc.) to increase learning—And, not giving up on any student.

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