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About the Baldrige Excellence Framework (Education)

Whether your education organization is new, is growing, or has existed for many years, it faces daily and long-term challenges. It also has strengths that have served you well so far. The Baldrige Excellence Framework helps you identify and leverage your strengths and prepare you to face your challenges. Purchase the Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet. Choose the Baldrige Improvement Tool that is right for you.

How does Baldrige work?

Baldrige is a nonprescriptive framework that empowers your organization to reach its goals, improve results, and become more competitive. It incorporates proven practices on current leadership and management issues into a set of questions that help you manage all the components of your organization as a unified whole. 

The Core Values and Concepts are the foundation of the Baldrige framework: 

  • Systems perspective
  • Visionary leadership
  • Student-centered excellence
  • Valuing people
  • Agility and resilience
  • Organizational learning
  • Focus on success and innovation
  • Management by fact
  • Societal contributions
  • Ethics and transparency
  • Delivering value and results

The Baldrige Education Criteria are organized into seven categories representing key areas of your organization: (1) Leadership; (2) Strategy; (3) Customers; (4) Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; (5) Workforce; (6) Operations; and (7) Results. The critical issues facing today’s education organizations are woven throughout these categories. Here are some examples of those critical issues.

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Resilience and safety
  • Digitization and technology
  • Innovation 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Societal responsibility and global sustainability
  • Hiring and retaining a high-performing workforce
  • Capitalizing on your organizational ecosystem
  • Managing risk

How Do I Know if Baldrige Is Right for My Organization?

Baldrige is adaptable to any education organization's needs. In the Organizational Profile, you describe what is important to your organization. You choose the improvement tools that are most effective for your organization, assess your progress, and adapt accordingly. 

How do I know how I’m doing?

With the Baldrige framework, you assess and improve your processes along these dimensions:

  1. Approach: How do you accomplish your organization’s work? How systematic and effective are your key approaches?
  2. Deployment: How consistently are your key approaches used in relevant parts of your organization?
  3. Learning: How well have you evaluated and improved your key approaches? How well have improvements been shared? Has new knowledge led to innovation?
  4. Integration: How well do your approaches reflect your current and future organizational needs? How well are processes and operations harmonized across your organization?

With Baldrige, you assess your results along these dimensions:

  1. Levels: What is your current performance on a meaningful measurement scale?
  2. Trends: Are the results improving, staying the same, or getting worse?
  3. Comparisons: How does your performance compare with that of competitors, or with benchmarks or industry leaders?
  4. Integration: Are you tracking results that are important to your organization? Are you using the results in decision making?

As you respond to the Education Criteria questions and assess your responses, you will begin to identify strengths and gaps. The coordination of key processes, and feedback between your processes and your results, will lead to cycles of improvement. You will learn more and more about your organization and begin to define the best ways to build on your strengths, close gaps, and innovate.

National and Global Impact 

Baldrige works with public and private sector partners to address critical national needs related to long-term success and sustainability, including cybersecurity risk management and excellence in U.S. communities.

Within the United States, state, regional, sector-specific, and organization-specific performance or business excellence programs use the Baldrige framework and Criteria to help organizations improve their competitiveness and results. Globally, about 100 performance or business excellence programs exist; many use the Baldrige framework or a derivative as their organizational excellence model.

Getting Started

How Baldrige Works
Baldrige Excellence Builder
Self-Assessing Your Organization
Create an Organizational Profile
Baldrige Award


Purchase Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit, Education, Health Care
2021-2022 Self-Analysis Worksheet Word
Baldrige Excellence Builder
Baldrige Key Terms
Baldrige Improvement Tools
The Baldrige Criteria 101 Word

Related Links

How Baldrige Works
Baldrige Impacts
Self-Assessing Your Organization
Baldrige Products and Services
Baldrige Award
Baldrige Award Recipient Listing
Baldrige FAQs


  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created January 3, 2013, Updated January 19, 2021