Engaging every learner

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This insightful first volume in The Soul of Educational Leadership series offers educational leaders key concepts and strategies for framing discussions about equity and the achievement gap.

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The Emergence of a Knowledge Base

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About the author (2007)

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 OptionŽ 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.

Presented by The Courageous Leaders Network, this online event featured Alan M. Blankstein and a panel of teachers and school leaders discussing how the principles from Failure Is Not an OptionŽ helped them turn their schools around and raise student achievement. Covered are specific practices and strategies on how they overcame their challenges on using data to drive improvements in instruction on a daily basis, using RTI and comprehensive support to engage ALL learners, and building leadership capacity at all levels to sustain student success. Panelists include Assistant Superintendent Reed Lindley (Pottstown, PA), Principal Anthony Catalano (Thermalito, CA), Principal Shawn Smiley (Ft. Wayne, IN) and Teacher Lettishia Freund (Wichita, KS).
(Length: 79 min)

Robert W. Cole is proprietor and founder of Edu-Data, a firm specializing in writing, research, and publication services. He was a member of the staff of Phi Delta Kappan magazine for 14 years: assistant editor 1974-1976, managing editor 1976-1980, and editor-in-chief 1981-88. During his tenure as editor-in-chief, the Kappan earned more than 40 Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Association of Educational Publishers, three of them for his editorials.

Since leaving the Kappan, Cole has served as founding vice president of the Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform (1990-1994). At CLSR he managed districtwide and communitywide school reform efforts and led the team that created the Kentucky Superintendents’ Leadership Institute. He formed the Bluegrass Leadership Network, in which superintendents worked together to use current leadership concepts to solve reform-oriented management and leadership problems.

As senior consultant to the National Reading Styles Institute (1994-2005), Cole served as editor and lead writer of the Power Reading Program. He and a team of writers and illustrators created a series of hundreds of graded short stories, short novels, and comic books from Primer through Grade 10. Those stories were then recorded by Cole and Marie Carbo; they are being used by schools all across the United States to teach struggling readers.

Cole has served as a book development editor for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), for Corwin Press, and for Writer’s Edge Press. He has been president of the Educational Press Association of America and member of the EdPress Board of Directors. He has presented workshops, master classes, and lectures at universities nationwide, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Indiana University, Xavier University, Boise State University, and the University of Southern Maine. He has served as a special consultant to college and university deans in working with faculties on writing for professional publication. Recently he began serving as managing editor and senior associate with the Center for Empowered Leadership.

Paul D. Houston has established himself as one of the leading spokespersons for American education through his extensive speaking engagements, published articles, and his regular appearances on national radio and television. Formerly executive director of the American Association of School Administrators from 1994 to 2008, Houston has served as a teacher and building administrator in North Carolina and New Jersey. He has also served as assistant superintendent in Birmingham, Alabama, and as superintendent of schools in Princeton, NJ; Tucson, AZ; and Riverside, CA. Houston has served in an adjunct capacity for the University of North Carolina, Harvard University, Brigham Young University, and Princeton University. He has served as a consultant and speaker throughout the United States and overseas, and he has published more than 100 articles in professional journals.