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Failure Is Not an Option: Six Principles That Guide Student Achievement in High-Performing Schools

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    Failure is Not an Option provided the foundation for the courageous conversations that needed to take place pertaining to the six principles. To our surprise, we were using many of these positive strategies and techniques. But after reading the book, we discovered by categorizing these strategies into the six principles it helped us focus our direction to achieving student academic success. The ¿Think it Throughs¿ initiated the conversations and provided opportunities to reflect on the principles. Further reading gave us ideas on how to develop each principle in our building. ¿It not only begins with the end in mind, but it also requires a resounding commitment to the end.¿ Specifically, this book was a great resource in our quest to find our shared mission, vision and values. It provided the critical questions that outline what effective vision, mission, and values should answer. It included easy-to-read tables that offered criteria to transform the traditional statements and make them meaningful and purpose driven. Failure is Not an Option also presented SMART goals, a way of writing effective specific measurable goals. Once our staff understood the goals we were able to celebrate successes. The book gave guidelines on how to celebrate which in turn motivated our staff and students. We found this book imperative in planning professional development for our staff. After reading this book, we do not see how a school could function without the six principles outlined in Failure is Not an Option.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2007

    Your Keys to School Reform

    This must read book, Failure is Not an Option, should be on every teacher's and school administrator's bookshelf. Not only does Dr. Blankstein point out common routes to failure (so that we can stop using those routes) but he also presents a clear path to school reform. School boards, administrators, and teachers can no longer allow the 'old' status quo to continue. The world has changed and become much more fluid. Education must also change with the world. Educators must be prepared to assess their own effectiveness and make changes that will benefit ALL students. Failure is Not an Option is THE tool for making these necessary changes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2007

    The Six Guiding Principles Really Work!

    The information presented in this book is a sequential process that can be implemented over time to produce the desired results. This book is not an overnight 'cure-all' for the ills of low performing schools, but rather, it gives schools a definite process beginning with establishing a clear vision of what is needed or desired. The six guiding principles are presented in a clear easy to follow manner that make sense. The six principles could very well be called the six-steps program for under-achieving schools!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007


    The National Staff Development Council named this book of the year in 2005. An outstanding book about processes that work! This book will support educational leaders over time in creating school cultures in which all students succeed, especially underserved students. This book has very common sense research based approaches for creating and sustaining high performing schools!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    Impractical and Unrealistic

    I have served in public schools in New Hampshire, Wyomimg, Connecticut and Massachusetts for over forty years. During the course of a lifetime of work in these schools I have attended hundreds of educational workshops and read many books and articles dealing with public school eduation, some good, some not so good. Speaking specifically about this book I grant that the authors are probably very learned individuals. On the other hand if they truly believe what they put in print in this book is practical and realistic in a public school setting even one per-cent of the time they either are living a dream or living in a world of fantasy. Ninety-nine per-cent of the administrators who read this book and try to put into practice what he/she sees in print can look forward to a short tenure in his/her district. The point is not that the authors don't bring out a few good ideas, the point is that they are utopian ideas and we don't live in a utopian society. Public education in our country is considrably better than the liberal press and government would make you believe. Public education, different from independent school education has to try to educate every student who steps off the bus regardless of what his/her background might be. Independent schools educate only those they need or want to while at the same time enjoying the benefit of much more funding than that which is appropriated for the public schools. This book therefore might be more appropriate for the independent school but this in no way infers that an independent school education is superior to a public school education. This is parallel to the person who put an old stove out in front of the house with a sign that read, FREE. No one took it but when the signed was changed to $50. the stove was gone the next day. In my many reviews of books I have written for Barnes and Noble I have never given a book a rating of below four stars. This book I am giving a rating of two stars, 'Disappointing', only because I don't believe in failure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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