Teaching character has big impact

8-25-11
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Opinions Column

EDUCATION

Teaching character has big impact

By way of background, I am the president and CEO of the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C. Our organization has evaluated character development initiatives in schools for nearly 15 years. We also recognize excellence and share best practices.

From this experience, we have a database that includes hundreds of real-life case studies that show the positive impacts of character education. Simply put, it helps create a safe, caring, supportive school environment where students and teachers flourish.

We consistently see that character education reduces bullying, acts of violence and other problems that get in the way of effective teaching and learning. Furthermore, we see that it consistently improves academics, attendance, teacher retention, parental involvement, emotional competency and more. Beyond this, character education helps to develop honest, ethical, dependable, compassionate adult citizens for our communities, nation and world.

Should Wisconsin schools make intentional character development part of their core mission? Yes. Good character education is good education. If readers would like to learn more the many positive impacts of comprehensive character education, I refer them to www.character.org.

Thanks to the Journal Sentinel for giving citizens and others, like me, an opportunity to comment on this important topic. “Intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Joseph W. Mazzola
President and CEO, Character Education Partnership
Washington, D.C.