In 1992, the New Mexico Governor's Business Executives for Education (GBEE) launched the Strengthening Quality in Schools (SQS) initiative and Baldrige Reform. In 2006, Dr. Peter Winograd, Director of Educational Accountability for the New Mexico Public Education Department, studied 48 Baldrige schools and discovered increased student achievement in only 63% of the schools. The purpose of this research was to gather state-wide data about the Baldrige Reform implementation process and develop a grounded hypotheses aimed at increasing the reliability of the implementation. The following questions served as a guide for the study: What barriers do New Mexico elementary principals at Baldrige-JSA training sites perceive to be common implementation barriers? When do common barriers occur? What do the principals report as proven solutions? How can the principals better plan and prepare to address barriers? If provided the opportunity to make changes, what changes would these elementary principals identify? The New Mexico SQS website identified 18 school districts that were engaged in the Baldrige reform. Nine superintendents granted permission to conduct research. Phase I Written Surveys were mailed to 132 elementary principals. Thirty principals responded and 9 of those principals met the Phase II criteria and participated in telephone interviews. During the telephone interview process, elementary principals identified staff buy-in, time for training, training materials, and change in building leadership as the most significant implementation barriers. It was concluded that these 4 barriers had an influence on the fidelity of program implementation. Findings from this study revealed 3 key categories related to the fidelity of implementation. The first involved developing a long-range reform plan to provide alignment of policies, procedures and district resources. The second emphasized the significant role principals play during the program launch. The third category underscored the principals' role in sustaining the reform through modeling, monitoring and development of staff collaboration, and staff development schedules. The researcher concluded that if a long-range, comprehensive reform blue print is developed and followed, it will enhance implementation fidelity and sustainability. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in student achievement in all participating school districts.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Educational change

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Purrington, Linda;