Quality comes from pouring your heart into something. It lasts because it was important and matters.
Of course, quality is in the eye of the beholder. It could be an experience, aesthetics, craftsmanship, thoroughness, the follow up, the preview, or everything in between. A quality hamburger can be gourmet at a restraurant or a quick meal at a fast food chain.
Each industry may have quality standards, but eventually those you serve will define quality for you. Either they come back eager to engage with you again or they come back begrudgingly. Some times, they leave and try elsewhere.
For education, there are more choices than ever - Public, private, independent, home school, online, for profit, nonprofit, hybrid, etc. As usual, there will be many entries into what is being perceived as a growing market. Eventually, quality will last and those who are trying to capitalize quickly on a trend will be identified (and discarded).
Here is the secret. The "business" of education is ultimately a service, not a product. Quality in education will always defined by the schools, teachers, coaches, counselors, administrators, parents, districts, boards of trustees, etc. that understand that as a service business, the focus is always about improving students' educational experiences.
By relentlessly focusing on improving students' experiences, educators define quality in education and those experiences are becoming defined more by relationships than content.
The reason is simple.
The content of a course rarely changes and is readily available through mediums that require no interaction at all between teacher and student. Facts are as accessible as an Internet connection.
How you learn those facts and having the opportunity to share what you know (create knowledge) are social functions. Designing and managing an environment and a process by which content is delivered, synthesized, used to make or do something, and the shared is the relationship part. This is what makes the educational experience exponentially more valuable than simply "Googling" the facts.
It is the work of a skilled educator with deep content knowledge AND the ability to artfully enhance her classroom's "social sharing network".
Building strong relationships can be difficult. Enjoyable, but still tough (at times). It requires an investment from the heart. It matters.
Aristotle is credited with saying, "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."
A quality education that does not purposely include relationships is not a quality education at all. Quality lasts. When education is the subject, quality must include relationships.