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

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

4.0 7
by Alan M. Blankstein, Michael Fullan

ISBN-10: 1412909333

ISBN-13: 9781412909334

Pub. Date: 06/23/2004

Publisher: Corwin Press

"Failure Is Not an Option is a deeply passionate call to arms, combined with the wherewithal to take systematic, continuous, and effective action. A must read for all those interested in reform because it is simultaneously inspiring and practical."
From the Foreword by Michael Fullan, Dean
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University

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"Failure Is Not an Option is a deeply passionate call to arms, combined with the wherewithal to take systematic, continuous, and effective action. A must read for all those interested in reform because it is simultaneously inspiring and practical."
From the Foreword by Michael Fullan, Dean
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 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

The powerful new guide to creating successful and sustainable professional learning communities!

Building on a foundation that identifies courageous school leadership and the professional learning community as the center of effective school reform, this powerful newbook by Alan M. Blankstein offers six guiding principles for creating and sustaining high-performing schools:

1. Common mission, vision, values, and goals

2. Systems for prevention and intervention

3. Collaborative teaming for teaching and learning

4. Data driven decision making and continuous improvement

5. Active engagement from family and community

6. 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."


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Product Details

Corwin Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.48(w) x 9.76(h) x 0.61(d)

Table of Contents

1Why failure is not an option1
2Courageous leadership for school success13
3Ten common routes to failure, and how to avoid each31
4Building a professional learning community with relational trust49
5Principle #1 - common mission, vision, values, and goals65
6Principle #2 - ensuring achievement for all students : systems for prevention and intervention97
7Principle #3 - collaborative teaming focused on teaching and learning127
8Principle #4 - using data to guide decision making and continuous improvement141
9Principle #5 - gaining active engagement from family and community167
10Principle #6 - building sustainable leadership capacity189
App. ASelf-assessment215
App. BStrategies for making time219
App. CStrategies for dealing with resistance221
App. DRunning river elementary school mission statement223
App. EDevelopment process for mission, vision, values, and goals225
App. FWorksheet for developing a student improvement plan235
App. GDeveloping a system of prevention and intervention237
App. HPyramid of interventions as used in Hartford, Connecticut239
App. IFaith, hope, and intervention245
App. JTeacher-principal trust item257

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Failure Is Not an Option 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.