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Column One: Administration

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Following the lead of programs promoting total quality management in business, the Pennsylvania State University's college of education has established the Center for Total Quality Schools.

The 10-month program, which was initiated in September, has enlisted 14 school district teams to participate in monthly seminars on T.Q.M. principles, said William T. Hartman, the director of the center.

The approach, which has been credited with helping transform several large businesses and is gaining adherents among educators, stresses systems change, rather than piecemeal improvements.

Under the Penn State program, each district's "management team'' consists of a superintendent, teachers' union president, principal, and classroom teacher who work together and with other district teams to apply the business principles to education.

"Cross-functional'' groups are also established to provide teams of administrators or teachers a chance to explore specific management roles, Mr. Hartman added.

Once the district teams complete the ôŸñŸíŸ coursework, they act as a "cadre to lead further training for other members of the district,'' he said.

The center now plans to begin incorporating similar courses into the teacher-training curriculum at the university, Mr. Hartman said. A graduate course in total quality management has been slated for 1993.

In addition, a $1 million total quality initiative grant from the International Business Machines Corporation will allow Penn State to launch a program called "Links with Suppliers'' that would assess the "necessary competencies'' of high school seniors headed for engineering or technical colleges, Mr. Hartman said.

The Reader's Digest Association is accepting nominations until Nov. 30 for its 1993 American Heroes in Education awards.

As many as 15 individual teachers and principals, or teams of up to six educators, will be cited next April for making "a significant difference in the lives of young people.''

Individual winners or teams will receive cash awards of $5,000.
In addition, the winners' schools will recieve $10,000 incentive awards to support the program or activities that earned the educator or team recognition.

Details on the criteria for selection and nomination process are available from: Mary Terry, Reader's Digest Association Inc., American Heroes in Education Awards, Pleasantville, N.Y. 10572; (914) 241-5370.--J.R.

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