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Alan  Blankstein

Alan Blankstein

President, HOPE Foundation, Award-Winning Author & Educational Leader

Biography

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. Read More >

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 his latest Excellence Through Equity with Pedro Noguera, which takes an inspiring look at how real-world educators are creating schools where all students are able to thrive. 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. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

How Quality Changed the Course of US Education, How We’ve Lost Direction & What’s Next

The “quality movement” in U.S. education began in the late 1980’s and soon became what is now commonly called Professional Learning Communities. Award-winning author and Founder of both Solution Tree and the HOPE Foundation, Alan Blankstein has the inside story on the rise of this movement, where it is today, and a vision of what is on the horizon. Backed by two decades of practical research and field-tested approaches and drawing from his classic texts Failure Is Not an Option and The Answer is in the Room, Blankstein provides a clear, compelling picture of what is possible in these challenging times and how to go to the next level.

The Answer is in the Room Where Failure is Not an Option®: A Foundation for Creating a High-Performing School Culture

Presentation on how to build leadership communities within and between schools and districts, how to create schools where failure is not an option, and what it takes to turn schools around and continually improve schools that are already good. The session is for everyone and is an engaging, humorous keynote that provides a foundation for creating a high-performing school culture based on Failure Is Not an Option: Six Principles that Guide Student Success in High-Performing Schools. Examples go from teaching to leadership strategies. Content is based on two decades of research and one decade of field-tested practice in districts throughout the world – much of which is encapsulated in the award-winning Failure Is Not an Option ®, and the newly released The Answer Is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Up Student Success.

Failure Is Not an Option ®: Six Principles of Highly Effective School Teams

This presentation focuses on how to build leadership communities within and between schools and districts, how to create schools where failure is not an option, and what it takes to turn schools around and continually improve schools and entire districts that are already good. Content is based on two decades of research and one decade of field-tested practice in districts throughout the world – much of which is encapsulated in the award-winning Failure Is NOT an Option ®, (Third Edition released at the Convention) and the newly released The Answer is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Student Success. It’s not about Common Core – it’s about Common Implementation. While CCSS, Professional Standards, RTL and many other initiatives du jour have our attention, the secret to tackling them all is in the lead team that is capable of shaping school culture and advancing instruction system-wide. This requires relational trust, clarified purpose, and a common language, method and framework for action. This engaging, humor-studded session is for leaders at all levels. It provides a foundation for creating a high-performing school culture, and leadership teams throughout the district capable of handling almost any challenge.