'Failure Is Not an Option is a deeply passionate call to arms, combined with an entire arsenal of information - from the worlds of research and classroom practice - to enable the reader to take systematic, continuous and effective action. This book is absolutely a must read for all those interested in reform because it is simultaneously inspiring and practical' - From the Foreword by Michael Fullan, University of Toronto "This is a practical, well formatted book that is intellectually solid, emotionally inspiring, and practically accessible." - Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College "Both inspirational and eminently practical, Failure Is Not an Option can serve as a handbook for both strategic planning and classroom-by-classroom reworking. Any administrator who truly wishes to change his or her school can use this book as a manual from which to design every aspect of the change process." - Robert W. Cole, Educational writer and consultant, Louisville, KY "This book speaks to the spark of caring, generosity, and greatness in every child and provides caring adults with ideas and tools to unleash this potential.
It leaves no part of the child behind, and leaves no adult on the sidelines." - Maurice J. Elias, Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University, New Jersey Building on a foundation that identifies courageous school leadership and the professional learning community as the center of effective school reform, this powerful new book by Alan M Blankstein offers six guiding principles for creating and sustaining high-performing schools: } common mission, vision, values, and goals } systems for prevention and intervention } collaborative teaming for teaching and learning } data driven decision making and continuous improvement } active engagement from family and community } building sustainable leadership capacity Covering theory into practice, applications that include case studies and vignettes, and techniques for addressing difficult issues, the book also provides valuable dual perspectives on the critical issues: how implementation looks when it's done right as well as when things go wrong. Failure Is Not an Option is sure to be the state-of-the-art resource that school leaders reach for when, in Michael Fullan's words, they need "practical applications to perplexing problems".
Table of Contents
Foreword - Michael Fullan Acknowledgments About the Author 1. Why Failure Is Not an Option 2. Courageous Leadership for School Success 3. Ten Common Routes to Failure, and How to Avoid Each 4. Building a Professional Learning Community with Relational Trust 5. Principle #1--Common Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals 6. Principle #2--Ensuring Achievement for All Students: Systems for Prevention and Intervention 7. Principle #3--Collaborative Teaming Focused on Teaching and Learning 8. Principle #4--Using Data to Guide Decision Making and Continuous Improvement 9. Principle #5--Gaining Active Engagement from Family and Community 10. Principle #6--Building Sustainable Leadership Capacity - Alan M. Blankstein with Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink Appendices A. Self-Assessment B. Strategies for Making Time C. Strategies for Dealing With Resistance D. Running River Elementary School Mission Statement E. Development Process for Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals F. Worksheet for Developing a Student Improvement Plan G. Developing a System of Prevention and Intervention H. Pyramid of Interventions as Used in Hartford, Connecticut I. Faith, Hope, and Intervention - Alan Boyle J. Teacher-Principal Trust Item Bibliography Index
Alan M. Blankstein is Founder and President of the HOPE Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose Honorary Chair is Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The HOPE Foundation (Harnessing Optimism and Potential through Education) is dedicated to supporting educational leaders over time in creating school cultures where failure is not an option for any student. Founded in 1989, HOPE has focused for the last decade on helping districts build leadership capacity to close gaps and sustain student success. The HOPE Foundation launched the professional learning communities movement in educational circles, first by bringing W. Edwards Deming and later Peter Senge to light in a series of Shaping America's Future forums and PBS video conferences from 1988--1992. Now, the HOPE Foundation provides some 20 conferences annually, highlighting their long-term successes in sustaining student achievement in districts and regions in seventeen states and parts of Canada and South Africa. A former "high risk" youth, Alan began his career in education as a music teacher and has worked in youth-serving organizations since 1983, including the March of Dimes, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National Educational Service (now Solution Tree) which he founded in 1987 and directed for 12 years. In addition to authorship of this award-winning book, Alan is Publisher of three Failure Is Not an Option(r) video series and Senior Editor along with Paul Houston of the thirteen-volume The Soul of Educational Leadership series. Alan also co-authored the Reaching Today's Youth curriculum and has published articles in Educational Leadership, The School Administrator, Executive Educator, High School Magazine, Reaching Today's Youth, and Inside the Workshop. Alan has also provided keynote presentations and workshops for virtually every major educational organization. Alan is on the Harvard International Principals Centers advisory board, served as Board member for Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, is former Co-Chair of Indiana University's Neal Marshall Black Culture Center's Community Network and advisor to the Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence (FASE) mentoring program. He also served as advisory board member for the Forum on Race, Equity, and Human Understanding with the Monroe County Schools in Indiana, and on the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Child Care Agency (JCCA), in which he was once a youth in residence.