School System Using Toyota Methods?
The Lean Blog is turning into a family affair… my dad, Bob, comments once in a while and now my mom, an elementary school teacher, is feeding me blog material.
From an education newsletter she received (I can't find a reference online), it says:
Inkster Public Schools is raising the bar in public education. Superintendent Thomas G. Maridada, II an educator and administrator for over twenty years who previously worked in corporate America at IBM, is using a business model to revamp the Inkster Public School System.
His idea of modifying the Six-Sigma business model used by Toyota and other major corporations to raise the bar in urban education, is grabbing the attention of school and business leaders everywhere.
So I'm intrigued about what the school district in Michigan is doing… if they are indeed using Toyota/Lean methods. I'm confused, though, since “Six Sigma” isn't a Toyota method.
As often happens, is the author confusing the matter as:
- Inkster is using Six Sigma (which is being incorrectly attributed to Toyota)
- Inkster is using Lean methods (that are being incorrectly called Six Sigma), or
- Inkster is using Lean *and* Six Sigma, but it all got lumped into Six Sigma??
Lean and Six Sigma are different. They're complementary to each other (both are continuous improvement methods), but they're different. I've never had a Toyota person say the company uses Six Sigma methods…
I'm all for schools using proven methods for quality improvement and continuous improvement… unfortunately, the material my mom forwarded didn't have any specifics about “what” or “how” the school district is doing… just a bunch of results (improving test results, GPAs, and other measures). I will email the superintendent to ask… so stay tuned.