Go SLOW to Go Fast is a commonly stated approach to large and small implementation and change processes.  While the concept seems to make sense to many people, often it is used as an excuse to go so slowly that there is no real impact on the system.  It is the design and implementation of processes that determines the speed and effectiveness of change.

Blending the Glasser/Baldrige Models with the PDSA process helps to prepare for intentional, deliberate planning and implementation.






Cooperation and Learning: A Cooperative Class Meeting™

Last Friday we had the pleasure of leading a Cooperative Class Meeting™ on Cooperation and Learning with 3rd graders at Rayma C. Page Elementary. The students worked in groups of 3 or 4 to answer the 4 questions. It was exciting to watch the students thinking, discussing and sharing their answers.

The Challenge was: Make a list of ways that cooperation can help you and your class meet your learning goals?

The groups identified 5 or 6 things that would help them learn and reach their goals and we wrote them down and projected with the document camera. The list will be hung by the data wall to remind the students of the positive things they can do to help themselves and others learn

Cooperation and Learning

The teacher, Ms. Ray wrote:

I want to thank you so much for taking the time to prepare a Class Meeting for my class.  The students and I both learned a lot.  We added a few things to our “How does cooperating help us learn?” chart and I made it into a poster to discuss when the students return tomorrow.

National Quality in Education Conference Feedback

Success Through a Systems Model:  A Tool for Every Category   (4 Hour Pre-Conference Session)


  • Cindy McClung (Coordinator of Quality – The School District of Lee County, FL)
  • Don Bryant (Principal – Fort Myers Middle Academy – Fort Myers, FL)
  • Bob Hoglund  (President – Bob Hoglund, Inc.)

Workshop Ratings

Presentation Skills:                 9.1

Knolwedge of Subject:            9.6

Session Management:            9.4

Overall Rating:                 9.2

We have been very fortunate to be accepted to present at this great educational conference for the past four years!  This was the second consecutive Pre-Conference.

Kindergarten Teacher’s Amazing Results with a Plus/Delta!

Here is a perfect example that children are often smarter than they are given credit for.  The principal sent out a question/topic about the use of Quality Tools in the school.  Here is Ms. Emerson’s response.

Responses to the topic:  “Our Learning”….what is the teacher doing well/what are we enjoying & what do we need or what can the teacher do to better help us?”


  • Discussed staff meeting and how we all talked about ways we can help students better and how it is important for teachers to ask their classes that question.
  • Brought up the question to my class: “1.  what are ways that I teach you that you like or that is really working for you, and 2. what are ways I could help you better?”
  • Grouped students in Think-Pair-Share…(made sure to place students that are more verbal and had high levels of understanding with students who might have a difficult time with the concept). Gave students 5 minutes to discuss with their partner. (For some reason they whispered to each other! I thought that was pretty funny.)
  • Regrouped and told students that all answers were safe and that it was ok to say what they really felt. I wanted them to be sure they understood that since they had initially been whispering.
  • Discussed meaning of plus and delta.
  • Took responses
  • Reread plus/delta to class once it was finished. Whole class discussed.
  • Students wrote in their journals the most important points to them and used the symbols for plus and delta as well.

Tomorrow we will discuss one of the points and address the concern as well as celebrate the +. Each day we will select a delta and discuss and address. My class was amazing during this activity.  Ms. Assad was there and we both were pretty floored! It was truly enjoyable to do and really was an eye-opener for me.  It also brought on a whole new level of trust with my class…truly changing the mood in the room and there was an energy that was just so positive afterwards. The students realized they had ‘voice’- for them, having that at age 5 is a pretty big deal.


Annie Emerson
Pinewoods Elementary

Teacher Recites Her Own Mission Statement

I received this e-mail last month from a teacher in Lee County, FL…

My students have been reciting their mission statement daily after the pledge so I have been reciting my mission statement as well.  It seems to have an interesting effect on the students.  They really like hearing what I strive to do and they hear daily how much I really try to give them.

“To create a safe, creative environment with high expectations, positive relationships with students, staff and families.” 

Bob’s Comments:

This sounds like a great idea!  I do not know of many other teachers that do this.

  1. Do you have a personal Mission Statement?
  2. Do you recite it?
  3. What do you think of the practice of writing and reciting your personal mission?

Please share your thoughts…

Closing The Achievement Gap: “But, the Lowest 25% Get All the Attention”

The School District of Lee County Florida received a Closing the Achievement Gap Grant from the National Education Association Foundation.  When we show reading and math achievement gap information in our Choosing Excellence training, we get comments from teachers such as, “Now the lower 25% will get all of the attention.  What about the other 75%?”

A family analogy best explains the expectations.  If there are four children in the family and one is struggling, yes the parent should devote more time and support to that child to help him catch up.   At the same time, few parents would say that the other three children are no longer important.  They deserve time and attention as well.

The struggling child may need more time, they may also just need different time and attention, or they may need some differentiated instruction..  Continuing to teach a student that has shown they are not learning it the way many others do is a waste of time.

Time is a precious resource.  Different teaching and assessment strategies must be employed.  It is also imperative to include the student in any discussions and plans about his success.  Without some buy-in for the student, there is little chance of success.  Within a supportive environment, data can also play an important role in helping the student understand his strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to address those weaknesses.

Contrary to what some believe, there are very few students that do not want to be successful.  There are quite a few that need more knowledge and skill to catch up.  There are also many that are afraid to work and find out that they may not learn as much as you and they would like.  They are battling insecurities about their ability to succeed.

Like in a family, the teacher needs to look for ways to help the child succeed and let that success feed on itself.

*****Choosing Excellence is a blending of the Glasser Quality School and the Malcolm Baldrige (Sterling) Quality Models.  It was designed by Bob Hoglund and Cindy McClung.

Grant Partners:

National Education Association Foundation

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools

Teachers Association of Lee County

The School District of Lee County

Bob Hoglund, Inc.

Closing the Gaps through Choosing Excellence and Teacher Effectiveness

Closing the Gaps through Choosing Excellence initiative in Lee County, Florida is a unique blend of the Glasser Quality School and the Baldrige Quality Models.   This initiative is part of a National Education Association Foundation grant, which involves ten schools; four elementary (PK- 5), one K-8, two middle (6-8), and three high schools (9-12). Training is delivered via an 18-hour participatory workshop. Implementation is tracked through a self-report survey that is sent to participants three months after the training, and is also tracked through classroom walkthrough data. Eight to ten schools will be added to the grant in 2014-15 as the next step in expanding the model throughout the district.

Choosing Excellence™ topics include building relationships with students and colleagues, developing SMART goals, the PDSA process, the Questioning Process, and Lead Management. Emphasis is placed on using data to make informed instructional decisions, including the analysis of student data for setting individual, class, school, district, and State School Grade goals. Time to practice these skills is built into the training

Teacher effectiveness results show that all ten schools exceeded the District in percentage of effective or highly effective as measured by VAM (Value Added Measure) scores.

Highly Effective


Needs Improvement


Challenger Middle





East Lee County High





Fort Myers High





Fort Myers Middle





Manatee Elementary





Mariner High





Patriot Elementary





Pinewoods Elementary





Tropic Isles Elementary















Implementation is tracked through a self-report survey that is sent to participants three months after the training, and is also tracked through classroom walkthrough data. Results related to teacher effectiveness are measured by an analysis of teacher evaluation data. The district’s teacher evaluation is based on the Danielson model and includes a Value Added Measure. Evaluation results for teachers who have implemented the training will be compared to those who have not implemented the training.

All ten grant schools exceeded to total Highly Effective and Effective average totals.


Choosing Excellence™                                                                                                                                                 © 2014 Bob Hoglund, Inc.  Robert G. Hoglund/Cindy McClung


Collegium Results

Collegium for the Advancement of Education

Teachers who rank highly in the Golden Apple selection process are invited to participate in Collegium for the Advancement of Education, a week long professional development seminar in June at South Seas Resort on Captiva Island.

The training focus for this year’s Collegium is Choosing Excellence, a continuous improvement based program which provides strategies for increasing student achievement by helping students to self-evaluate and make responsible choices. This training integrates the Quality School philosophy of Dr. William Glasser with the Sterling Quality model used by The School District of Lee County. Participants will learn to use Dr. Glasser’s ideas as the basis for developing ways to examine data, set and monitor goals, and integrate quality tools into the classroom. By Choosing Excellence, our students will be well prepared to make positive contributions to our workforce and to our community.

The culminating event of Collegium is the end of the week project. Educators form groups and present a humorous skit that incorporates the concepts of the training. The projects are evaluated by the trainers and Foundation Board Members.

Pre and post tests are given during Collegium to measure results as well as provide feedback.

2014 Results