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Learn Using the Latest Baldrige Education Case Study

The Baldrige Program is often asked for examples of how organizations use the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to improve—whether the organization wants to improve just one area, a certain process and its associated results, or the entire organization from end-to-end.

The 2014 Baldrige Case Study: Buckeye City Schools (PDF) shows examples (both best practices and early approaches) of how a fictitious K-12 school system used the Baldrige Education Criteria to focus on its strategic challenges, improve student learning and other results, and leverage its core competencies and advantages.

Written by a team of volunteer Baldrige examiners, Buckeye City Schools is a preschool and kindergarten through grade 12 public education school system located in Ohio. The school system was designed to show an organization that was mature enough to compete for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, with processes that resulted in excellent educational outcomes but also with prudent management of financial and other resources.

The school system is challenged by uncertainty around state funding, the number of students choosing alternative educational offerings, cost containment and efficient use of resources, and competition for students and workforce members. At the same time, the school system is cultivating a culture of innovation, focusing on student achievement and learning, benchmarking from within and outside the education sector, embracing social media, and collaborating with other school districts to run an online charter school in response to voice-of-the-customer data.

You can learn how Buckeye City Schools scored in an assessment against the 2013–2014 Education Criteria:

For superintendents and other educators who want to get started with the Education Criteria, in addition to best practices and other examples found in this case study, resources are available on Baldrige in education and how to get started with the Criteria.

Each year, the Baldrige Program produces a new case study that describes how a fictitious organization is fulfilling the requirements of the Criteria. The case studies rotate sectors from year to year in order to show examples for a variety of organizations using the three versions of the Criteria: Business/Nonprofit, Health Care, and Education.

Baldrige case studies have at least three purposes. First, given that actual Baldrige Award applications remain confidential until award-winning organizations approve selected content for public sharing, the case studies are used to train examiners for the Baldrige Program's annual award process. Second, case studies serve as sample applications for organizations interested in applying for a Baldrige Award. In addition, the case studies show organizations in every sector how they might use the Criteria questions to assess and improve their performance, even if they are not interested in applying for a Baldrige Award.

Additional Baldrige case studies are available in an online archive of publications.

Released July 16, 2014, Updated September 21, 2016