Consulting the Baldrige Districts

by Barbara Dean

The 9,000-student district in Jenks, Okla., is the fourth school district to be recognized in the 19-year history of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program.

Created by Congress and named for a former U.S. Commerce secretary, the program recognizes the Baldrige managerial style that contributed to long-term improvement in the efficiency of his federal agency. The award is given annually by the president to businesses, education and health care organizations that are judged outstanding in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results.

The Baldrige program was expanded in 1999 to recognize education and health care organizations. Two years later, two public school systems, Chugach, Alaska, and Pearl River, N.Y., were named Baldrige winners. Community Consolidated School District 15 in Palatine, Ill., followed in 2003 and Jenks in 2005. Since 1999, a total of 99 applications have been submitted in the education category.

Application forms for the 2007 award will be available in early January and the eligibility application will be due in mid-April. If it is determined a school district is eligible, the award application will be due in late May.

Each of the four winning school districts has compiled relevant information for other school system leaders on their respective websites. The following staff members in each district have been designated as information providers:


  • Debbie Treece, Chugach School District,,



  • Sandra Cokeley, Pearl River School District,,



  • Robert McKanna, superintendent, Community Consolidated School District 15,,



  • Dana Ezell, Jenks Public Schools,,


    For information on the Baldrige award, contact the National Institute of Standards and Technology at