Continuous Improvement


Quality matters

There are no bad people, just bad systems.


For too long, educators have been driven by solutions looking for a problem.  Reform chaos and mindless change has dominated the education landscape. Health care and the private sector chose a different path, continuous improvement and innovation.  It’s education’s turn to focus on quality, not reform. 

Continuous improvement will give educators the knowledge and tools to make transformative change benefit students.

The work is focused on 1) student specific, problem centric work, 2) variation management, 3) systems thinking, 4) measurement (much more than tests), 5) disciplined inquiry, and 6) networking.  Not as fun as a new reform “toy”, but infinitely more productive in our quest for student success.

Starting with students, working through systems, and choosing solutions based on results is our approach to continuous improvement.  A far cry from driving reforms and silver bullet solutions.

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“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.”

- Orville wright



Continuous improvement is a journey, not a destination

Regardless of our success, no one is perfect.  Neither are schools.  We must celebrate our progress on our relentless journey to “better”.  We must continue to move forward with our search for improvements large and small.  When we get to be the very best there is in our circle of collaborators, it is time to find better collaborators.  That’s how continuous improvement works…benchmark, find improvements, benchmark, find improvements.



Baldrige is a long-standing proven approach to continuous improvement. Over 300 questions specifically selected for their impact on student success and school quality. No answers. Its power is in its ability to help teams ask the right questions and seek solutions that make sense for their circumstances. The questions can be daunting, hence the importance of having an experienced partner to help educators successfully find the solutions they need to assure student success. We have the experience and expertise to help.


Data Analytics

There is no such thing as bad accurate data! But how do educators sift through the mass of data they have and 1) assure it is accurate and 2) convert it to actionable information? We can help. Our team’s educational experience and our focus on information driven solutions can help educators find the right approach to their data analytics. We also represent incredible technology solutions to accelerate collecting, confirming, and converting data to information. Data solutions are focused on student success, process quality, and continuous improvement.


Strategic Planning

We begin with aspirations and we end with key strategic goals. We help educators design systems to manage action plans from all corners of the organization and we make sure the action plans result in improved student performance. Unlike typical strategic plans that provide tactical work assignments, we make sure strategic planning is high level, focused on results, and a continuous process built into daily work. No more checklists or massive documents. Our process results processes embedded in the organization that provide strategic, aspirational direction and flexibility to adapt over time.


Kalmus Ratio

Cost effectiveness matters in education. We don’t have unlimited financial resources. The Kalmus Ratio (cost per successful student) is a groundbreaking approach to thinking about organizational success. Cost per pupil is a warehousing measure. Cut out expenses and cost per pupil goes down. But what about the impact on student success? The Kalmus Ratio demands a disciplined approach to budgeting. Now the question is, “How do I get more student success out of the resources available?” A much different question than “How do I cut costs?” The Kalmus Ratio is a sophisticated, adaptable approach to planning. Our team can customize this measure to meet educator needs to maximize their return on educational investment.

“The CF educational solutions team does not just do the ‘legwork’ of research, they study the data and are able to see the story that it tells in a way that helps their clients solve complex problems. Looking at education data in the Kalmus Ratio framework is incredibly insightful when it comes to decision making within our organization. Any organization not taking advantage of this method of analysis is missing an opportunity.”
— Ben Harris, Co-Founder, Epic Charter Schools

Solutions Delivered

Our partners are committed to quality implementation

The delivery and support of our solutions are critical to their long term success.  We partner with best in class people and programs to ensure quality implementation.


Jim Lay

Jim has helped school districts and private companies find new levels of quality and performance.  Focused on meeting customer needs while assuring strong workforce engagement, Jim’s approach to continuous improvement has proven results.

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Schauna Relue

Schauna Relue is an experienced educator, trainer, talent coach, and curriculum and policy expert in the education management industry.

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Casey Mackert

Casey bring decades of experience with continuous improvement and innovation science to bear on district challenges.  Her unique approach starts with the end in mind and builds on the strengths of any organization.

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Did You Know Publishing, Inc.

Race, gender, culture and life experiences guide everyone’s approach to life. Those with the skills to understand and respect diverse cultural differences have an advantage in life.  William Shoecraft and his team have spent their career seeking to improve the cultural competence of teams.

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Ready to transform your school?

Learn how CF Educational Solutions can transform the way you interact with your students, faculty and become a long term partner for positive change.