Deming’s Quality Principles

W. Edwards Deming  (1900-1993)

In 1947, Deming was involved in early planning for the 1951 Japanese Census. Dr. Deming was invited by General Douglas MacArthur (who grew so frustrated at being unable to complete so much as a phone call without the line going dead due to Japan’s shattered post-war economy) to be part of the rebuilding team in Japan.   While in Japan, people quickly realized his expertise in quality control techniques. Working with companies like Toyota, Sony and many others, he helped Japan dominate the auto and electronics industries within 5 years.

After his success in Japan, Ford, Xerox and Proctor & Gamble started using Deming’s methods. Ford and Xerox credit Dr. Deming with saving their companies from extinction.

Quality Principle: Quality is never the problem; rather it is the solution to the problem.

Perversity Principle: Any attempt to increase productivity and cut costs by imposing quantitative constraints on a system results only in increased costs elsewhere in the system.

Seems a shame that so many have abandoned Deming’s Management Theories!  I’d like our legislators and leaders to pay attention to his theories and results.  We are doing the opposite in many cases.

Learners Instead of Students

How, if in any way, would your classroom, school and/or district be different if the word “students” were replaced with the word “learners“?

In The School for Quality Learning: Managing the School and Classroom the Deming Way (1993), Crawford, Bodine and Hoglund consistently referred to the learners in the school.  From a Choice Theory® perceptions point of view, it seems that the word would help more adults and children focus more on the purpose of school being learning and less on grades and credits.  I started using learners a little more in the fall, but plan to commit to regular use in 2016!

Your thoughts and comments are welcomed!


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

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