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Former Baldrige Recipient Rekindles Its Quality Fire

Summary: Community Consolidated School District 15 in suburban Chicago captured the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2003, becoming the third school district ever to receive this honor. Shortly thereafter, many key leaders and experienced teachers retired or left the district, the budget was slashed by $25 million, and several new school board members were elected. While the district’s continuous quality improvement efforts took a noticeably less public approach, front-line staff continued to rely on quality tools such as the plan, do, study, act (PDSA) model. When eight of the district’s schools failed to meet state reading standards in 2008, leaders turned to quality tools to improve student learning through an innovative extended day program.

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