State education officials in Indiana are considering the implementation of Six Sigma standards in performance reviews for public school teachers in order to comply with a new law requiring an evaluation of how school districts allocate their state funds.

According to the new legislation, Indiana’s public schools have until Oct. 1 to decide how to link any pay raises for teachers to quantifiable measurements of student performance. Under the law, school districts must also undergo “operational efficiency reviews” to identify potential cost savings in the way classrooms operate statewide.

Bill Jensen, administrator of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., recently testified before the Indiana Legislature about the effectiveness of a partnership with engine manufacturer Cummins Inc., which lent its Six Sigma experts to review the district’s overall efficiency.

As a result of the Cummins analysis, the district was able to cut costs in purchasing, energy use and information technology. Cummins also found that by implementing an early childhood education program, the Bartholomew district could reduce the amount of money spent later on remediating poorly performing students.

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