School boards need to provide vision

8-28-11
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Opinions Column

CHARACTER EDUCATION

School boards need to provide vision

In response to the Aug. 21 editorial “Building character,” I would suggest character education transcends the Milwaukee schools and applies to all schools.

School boards, in their role as policy-makers, need to provide the vision and support to educate all students for their future. In these challenging times, it is hard to predict what the future might be.

We know that in order to compete in a dynamic global economy, students will need to be strong in the core academic areas. They will also need skills in civic literacy, interpersonal and self-direction skills. They must be able to work with others in order to collaborate and innovate with a diverse workforce. They must have a strong sense of right from wrong so they make ethical decisions and navigate a world rich with information and social communication.

Policy-makers need to understand that an important mission of schools is to develop educated and good citizens. The citizen’s part comes through the development of a student’s character in a partnership between families, schools and the community. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

Pamela Woodard
School Board member
Whitefish Bay