Failure Is Not an Option

November 17, 2012

Failure Is Not an Option: How Principals, Teachers, Students and Parents from Ohio’s High-Achieving, High-Poverty Schools Explain Their Success

Why do some schools in high-poverty communities produce remarkable stories of success while others fail? This study, conducted by Public Agenda and sponsored by the Ohio Business Roundtable, the Ohio Department of Education and The Ohio State University, attempts to shed light on this fundamentally important question by talking directly to educators, students and parents from nine high-achieving, high-poverty Ohio schools. Our purpose was to learn more about how principals, teachers, parents and students define the keys to success and to highlight some of the specific strategies and decisions that are used in these high-achieving schools. Moreover, we wanted to understand more about how these schools sustain effective practices and what, in their view, helps them to weather tough times. Our hope is that the insights and ideas that emerge here will stimulate fresh, open and constructive dialogue on K-12 education in Ohio.