NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Schools Embracing Character Education

April 26, 1999

A coalition dedicated to ethics courses in schools reports increasing interest in its teaching materials worldwide. Michael Josephson, president of the Character Counts Coalition, says his organization is having a "significant impact" since its founding in 1993.

  • Initially, the coalition trained teams which traveled to school districts in Lithuania and Serbia to introduced values-centered curriculum -- expanding later to Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong.
  • In the U.S., large school systems, including Albuquerque, N.M., Toledo and Akron, Ohio, and Knoxville, Tenn., have enrolled -- paying dues and signing a formal commitment to consistently integrate the character pillars into all activities.
  • The character-building programs have been adopted in about 500 communities and taught in about 2,500 schools throughout the U.S.
  • The program promotes trust-worthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Josephson says the organization gets one to two calls per week from school district superintendents who want character education in all their schools.

Source: Andrea Billups, "Educators Drawn to Programs that Teach Character," Washington Times, April 18, 1999.


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