No Excuses: What Nine Poor Schools in Ohio Have to Teach Us All About Effective Management

Rick Wartzman
Rick Wartzman

In his latest column for Forbes online, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman looks at a new report from the research group Public Agenda on nine Ohio schools “that are, at once, high-poverty and high-achieving.”

“The Public Agenda study makes plain that much of what it takes to have a great school isn’t magic; it’s management.,” Wartzman writes. “And in this way, the analysis has something to teach all of us, no matter what kind of organization we work in.”

Among the lessons: Leaders of these schools have a strong and clear vision, foster collaboration, use data to help build a culture of continuous improvement and create an environment in which people feel both challenged and supported.

“Perhaps most significant,” Wartzman notes, citing the Public Agenda report, “principals and teachers at the successful schools ‘have high expectations for all students and reject any excuses for academic failure.’”

Wartzman concludes: “Peter Drucker couldn’t have said it better himself. Indeed, he often did say it himself: ‘Good intentions are no excuse for incompetence.’”