Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Content Description

1 online resource (xviii, 434 pages) : PDF file, illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Heinz D Meyer

Committee Members

Alan P Wagner, Raymond W O'Connell


Continuous Improvement, Delphi Technique, Lean Six SIgma, Performance Excellence, Quality, Soft Systems Methodology, Education, Academic achievement, Educational change, Six sigma (Quality control standard), Continuous improvement process

Subject Categories

Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Organizational Behavior and Theory


Based on current legislation, existing accountability systems, and organizational practice reflected by present data trends, the level of academic proficiency mandated for all students enrolled in New York State public schools by 2014 will not be achieved. Coincident with demands for higher performance, schools are experiencing unprecedented financial pressures. There is an urgent need for breakthrough change in performance associated with the public educational system. This requires a change in thinking, a change in culture, and a change in practice. As a proven transformational strategy, Six Sigma combined with Lean methods have demonstrated sustained success in achieving high levels of performance and improved efficiency for hundreds of companies around the world. Despite this success, pressure to apply business models and tools to public education has been met with significant resistance. The purpose of this study is to develop a desirable and culturally feasible framework within which to apply Lean Six Sigma principles to the K-12 educational organization in New York State. A Lean Six Sigma Framework for Performance Excellence was derived through the application of "Soft Systems Methodology" (SSM), reference to the literature, public statements, and practices considering the different worldviews of educational experts comprising a Delphi Panel. The resulting Framework integrates critical subsystems representing the organization's leadership, school district culture, strategic planning, improvement tools, process management, and strategic constraint management.