Book Reviews

Healing Public Schools

by Allen Salowe and Leon Lessinger

Healing Public Schools

In Healing Public Schools: The Winning Prescription To Cure Their Chronic Illness, Allen Salowe and Leon Lessinger build a compelling case for districts to adopt the principles of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and ISO 9000 education standards as the prescription to cure what ails them.

Building on the work of W. Edwards Deming and the philosophy of continuous improvement, the authors identify the problem with our educational systems and encourage the application of the Baldrige criteria for evaluating schools and ISO 9001 and 9004 standards to produce high-reliability organizations. The combined Baldrige and ISO criteria bring a solid set of tools to achieve measurable quality based on applied research and best-practices benchmarking for schools.

The criteria would require a systemic look at all facets of the school organization and would require buy-in from all stakeholders. This prescription is no quick fix, requiring a dedication to improving the people systems of schools over time. It is a comprehensive model to move organizations toward quality performance.

By the authors’ admission, modifying school culture and rethinking the school’s mission is not easy, but it can be done. Healing Public Schools provides a prescription for anyone concerned about the health of public education.

(Healing Public Schools: The Winning Prescription to Cure Their Chronic Illness, by Allen Salowe and Leon Lessinger, Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Md., 2001, 255 pp., $22.50 softcover)