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Failure Is Not an Option

6 Principles That Advance Student Achievement in Highly Effective Schools
Third Edition
By: Alan M. Blankstein

Foreword by Pedro A. Noguera
A Joint Publication with The HOPE Foundation

New case studies, videos, and field-tested processes help educators build high-performing leadership teams and create a school culture that sustains success for every student.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452268279
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 352
  • Publication date: February 12, 2013

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.


School improvement that lasts: find out how with this masterful guide!

Common Core requirements, merit-based pay, new teacher evaluations, project-based learning—21st-century learning is a demanding and rapidly changing landscape. Advance from overwhelmed to empowered with Alan Blankstein’s Failure Is Not an Option, used by more than 350,000 educators to create schools that sustain success for every student.

New case studies and field-tested techniques uncover indispensable insights into successful school change. Develop high-performing leadership teams through

  • Powerful engagement strategies and capacity-building questions to help staff and students leverage what’s working and target measurable goals
  • New real-world examples to help stakeholders maintain collaborative cultures in the face of new teacher evaluations and merit pay, sustain successful RTI and Common Core initiatives, thrive in diverse settings, and promote community engagement
  • New tools, forms, and video segments on a companion website

Use this handbook to discover what makes results-oriented, enduring school improvement models work!

Praise for the Second Edition:
“An overwhelming body of research shows that educational change and improvement must come from the inside. Here is a practical road map for improving the climate and culture of schools in ways that are meaningful and enduring. We must be open to new ideas, new strategies, and new opportunities. School transformation is something you do with educators, not to them. This book will show you how.”
—Dennis Van Roekel, President
National Education Association

Key features

  1. Offers school leaders the FNO framework for action, which consists of 6 principles for building and sustaining a professional learning community that will result in a high-performing school.
  2. Brief case examples and longer case stories, all drawn from the author's/HOPE Foundation's work with school leaders and schools/districts to vividly illustrate concepts with which the reader will connect and show how to implement the 6 principles.
  3. Numerous tools in the Resources section provide school leaders with concrete assistance in applying the 6 principles of the FNO framework for action.


Alan M. Blankstein photo

Alan M. Blankstein

Award-winning author and educational leader, Alan Blankstein served for 25 years as President of the HOPE Foundation, which he founded and whose honorary chair is Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A former “high-risk” youth, Alan began his career in education as a music teacher. He worked for Phi Delta Kappa, March of Dimes, and Solution Tree, which he founded in 1987 and directed for 12 years while launching Professional Learning Communities beginning in the late 1980s. He is the author of the best-selling book Failure Is Not an Option®: Six Principles That Guide Student Achievement in High-Performing Schools, which received the Book of the Year award from Learning Forward. Alan is Senior Editor, lead contributor, and/or author of 18 books, including Excellence Through Equity with Pedro Noguera,. He also authored some 20 articles in leading education print including Education Week, Educational Leadership, The Principal, and Executive Educator. Alan has provided keynote presentations and workshops for virtually every major U.S. Ed Org, and throughout the UK, Africa, and the Middle East. Alan has served on the Harvard International Principals Centers advisory board, and the Jewish Child Care Agency, where he once was a youth in residence.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Resources

Foreword by Pedro A. Noguera



About the Author

Chapter 1. Why Failure Is Not an Option

Chapter 2. Courageous Leadership for School Success

Chapter 3. 10 Common Routes to Failure, and How to Avoid Each

Chapter 4. Relational Trust as Foundation for the Learning Community

Chapter 5. Principle 1: Common Mission, Vision, Values and Goals

Chapter 6. Principle 2: Ensuring Achievement for All Students: Systems for Prevention and Intervention

Chapter 7. Principle 3: Collaborative Teaming Focused on Teaching for Learning

Chapter 8. Principle 4: Data-Based Decision Making for Continuous Improvement

Chapter 9. Principle 5: Gaining Active Engagement from Family and Community by Alan M. Blankstein and Pedro A. Noguera

Chapter 10. Principle 6: Building Sustainable Leadership Capacity by Alan M. Blankstein with Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink



Book Group Discussion Questions

References and Further Readings


Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

This book is not available as a review copy.

Related Resources

  • Access to companion resources is available with the purchase of this book.