Grades in School: Joy in Learning

grade reportcard

Updated: August 17, 2022

W. Edwards Deming’s contributions in the area of quality management were recognized by FORTUNE magazine as being among the 20 that have shaped the modern world of business and by U.S. News and World Report as one of nine turning points in history. The top turning point was identified as “The Apostle Paul, whose preaching and eloquent writings led to mass acceptance of Christianity.”  Deming has been referred to as the “father of the third wave of the industrial revolution.

Deming identified that individual performance rankings and grades in school as among the deadly diseases of management.

Test your knowledge of Variation.  Who are the top performers? You will likely get this question wrong.

Local ApplicationsBrown County Community Corrections: Suicides, Substance Use Disorder (SUD), overdoses, adverse childhood experiences, parental incarceration rates, children in single-parent households.  Would the data indicate common or special causes of variation?  

Background information and context: Success Through Quality – Overview, History, Relevance, Application of the quality improvement principles, methods, and basic tools.

Further Explanation on Grades  – W. Edwards Deming Institute

Exciting new podcast series: Deming in Education with David P. Langford! Over a series of short episodes David and Andrew talk about implementing “Joy in Learning” in classrooms and school systems – not just “why” but also “how.” … One proven tactic is to replace A-F grading with “met/exceeded standards” and “needs more help.”  

 

Joy in Learning: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 1)

How to Track Progress: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 2)

How to Track Progress (Continued): Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 3)

    • In the previous podcast, we were discussing tracking learning and the typical way to track learning is grading people; A, B, C, D, and F, and Deming was very adamant that we could significantly improve the education system if we just stopped grading people.

By What Method: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 4)

    • So today I wanted to talk about, “By what method?” Dr. Deming tattooed that on my forehead, because so many times people would propose things to him and he would say, “By what method?”

Continuous vs Continual Improvement: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 5)

    • Deming taught us about, you let the system run basically, because you have to understand the data, what is the system producing, and once you understand that data, understand the variation in the system, then you can do a PDSA process and Plan-Do-Study-Act and come up with a small trial method to figure out what could I change to get a significant difference in the system, and then start applying that in a larger and larger scale level.

Quality is the Answer: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 6)

    • I wanted students to have maximum ownership in everything that they did. From the time they came in the door till the time they left, we were maximizing their ownership, because what… When you have that control, you also have that learning that goes deep within your brain. And it’s not just here today and gone tomorrow.

      0:16:50.0 AS: Fantastic. Well, on behalf of everybody at the Deming Institute, I want to thank you again for this discussion, and that concludes another great discussion. I want to remind everybody to go to deming.org to continue your journey. This is your host Andrew Stotz, and I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Deming.”People are entitled to joy in work.”

Optimization of a System: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 7)

    • In this episode, David and Andrew discuss going beyond solving problems in schools to preventing them from happening. David also shares a tool for finding the area where optimization of the system would have the greatest impact.

The Problem with Standardized Tests: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 8)

    • Langford: So one of the reasons these things did evolve, was a quick and easy way that we could rank individuals or rank systems, and that was one of the things that Deming was most opposed to, ranking people, either through performance appraisals, grades, standardized tests, whatever it might be. So a lot of the purpose of why we do it, is a simple way to rank schools and try to understand, “Well, who’s number one? And who’s not?” And that kind of a thing. 

The Taguchi Loss Function: Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 9)

    • Genichi Taguchi’s idea that the further you move from a measurable quality target, the more quality is lost, even if the item still “meets specifications.”  
    • I was at a conference with a whole roomful of school superintendents and I asked them, Anybody know what the Taguchi loss function was? And not a single hand went up. 

PQ Systems – Total Quality Transformation – Education Examples 

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