What is the History of LtoJ®?

In 1992 Lee Jenkins attended a 4-day seminar conducted by 92-year old statistician W. Edwards Deming. His fame in America resulted from significantly assisting Japanese business after World War II and then helping business in America inspired by Japanese success. Because this particular conference was organized for educators, Deming inserted advice for classroom statistics. 

He taught: 

  1. Tell the students what they are to learn for the whole year, the first week of class.
  2. Every week select a random sample of these concepts and give a quiz on the sample.
  3. The number of questions for this quiz is the square root of the total number of items on the whole year’s list. He explained that if the list had 100 items, then the weekly quiz would be 10 items.
  4. Score the non-graded quiz and with the results create a scatter diagram and run chart for the classroom. He drew a simple scatter diagram on his overhead projector screen.

Now, in 2020, the process Deming explained has been developed, refined and implementation is now smooth and concise. Upgrades are:

  1. The list students are provided the first week of school is often labeled Key Concepts. Trivia is removed from the list. Samples are located at https://ltojconsulting.com/ltoj-resources/free/key-concepts-list
  2. Every week was a challenge – weather delays, assemblies and other issues made 36 quizzes a year nearly impossible. Teachers suggested that 7 times a quarter would work, and it has. All of the free graphs for downloading at https://ltojconsulting.com/ltoj-resources/free/blank-graphs-and-forms were created for 28 quizzes.
  3. A student run chart was added. Students graph and file in their personal data folder their individual progress.
  1. Square root is still utilized. A teacher with 400 spelling words or a World Language teacher with 400 vocabulary words download the graphs for 20 questions from the website. A math teacher with 50 concepts uses the graphs for 7 questions. 
  2. The class run chart and scatter diagram are exactly as described by Deming. The class run chart is the total (or percent total) for all students in the classroom. The scatter diagram has a dot for every student for every quiz. 
  3. We added histograms and item analysis. Because students create all of the graphs, the adjustment in teachers’ minds becomes more graphs=more student engagement instead of more graphs=more work for me after school. 

In 2003 the name of the process was determined to be LtoJ®. At first people think this is because of Lee Jenkins’ initials, but it is actually because of the shape of the histograms as the classroom moves, over the course of a school year, from an L-curve in the beginning, through the bell-curve in the middle of the year and hopefully ending up with a J-curve.

John Hattie’s 2016 contribution is significant. When John saw the scatter diagram he said, “Lee, all the data you need to calculate effect size in right there on the scatter diagram.” Lee Jenkins researched effect size, learned the two purposes: control versus experimental group and pre versus post results. He then asked teachers to photograph their scatter diagrams and had a google.doc created so students could enter data into the spreadsheet each quarter to see their classroom’s effect size. Now principals are averaging the effect sizes from classrooms for a school celebration and Julie Otero is the first school superintendent to share the district effect size average each quarter with her school board as well as all the staff. The average effect size from over 300 classrooms is 2.35, which is 5.9 times the average effect size from over 250 influences upon learning studied by John Hattie.

LtoJ® is successful in PK up to grade 12 and beyond. The title of the video created in Allan Culp’s 7th grade history class is entitled, “Better outcomes; Happier students.” This title does capture the essence of the LtoJ® process envisioned by W. Edwards Deming, developed by Lee Jenkins, an d expanded with major improvements based on John Hattie’s work. Many people also connect the LtoJ® process to the growth mindset writings of Carol Dweck. It is true that the LtoJ® process describes a way to have a growth mindset in every classroom from PK to 12.

LtoJ® is not a program to be implemented as written. It is a process with basics upon which educators add their personality and brain power to meet the needs of far more students than ever before.