EC-Header_December 2015
Becky Sipos, President & CEO 
Which is better: honesty or integrity? empathy or compassion?
by Becky Sipos

Of course, it’s a bogus question. Both are good. At first glance, principle one sounds easy “Choose your core values.” But there are so many good qualities out there, how do you choose?  And how long do you stick with your choices? When should you change?

Over the years that I have been evaluating schools for our Schools of Character program, core values seem to follow trends. In 2007 most of the schools had some variation on these: respect, responsibility and honesty. But in recent years, schools have been including values such as empathy, compassion or kindness. Is that because of the times? The Great Kindness Challenge got over 2 million students to perform acts of kindness last year. Did it also influence schools to change their core values?
 Continue reading >>

The 2016 Promising Practices application window is officially open! 

We welcome your great ideas! 
The Promising Practices program is incredibly valuable because it truly highlights what is going well in classrooms across America and the world.  Each year, we recognize and celebrate fresh, unique ideas in character education.  The program is simple in scope and highlights wonderful ideas from passionate educators who are making a real difference in the lives of their students.  Application deadline: Feb. 12.  Apply Now!

Muskogee High School


"I love my school."  We hear it time and again from students, parents and educators at Schools of Character. When they feel so positively about their school, students are actually excited to go to school every day and are more receptive to learning. You can help us grow Schools of Character and create more schools that students love. Give Today >>

Education Policy Update

Nothing is impossible! The bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education act (ESEA) is moving forward and has been passed in the Senate  and the House of Representatives. The president signed it into law just hours ago! The newest version of ESEA does away with Adequate Yearly Progress and hand a lot of the power back over to the states, requiring them to develop their own accountability systems. Read full language of the bill >>

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CALL FOR PAPERS for the 2016 issue of the Journal of Character Education (JCE)
The Journal of Character Education is soliciting conceptual manuscripts and manuscripts describing notable examples of ongoing programs integrating social-emotional learning, civic education, and other related strategies into the curriculum. Manuscripts should describe best practices in teaching and learning related to the integration of character education into the 21st century curriculum and its applications to, or implications for, the Common Core. Learn more >>

Manuscripts are due by Jun. 30, 2016 and should be submitted by e-mail to

Not quite ready to submit to a formal publication? Consider writing for the blog!
We’re always looking for educators, researchers, and even students to write about character education in their school or community! Download instructions & guidelines >>

Save the Date!
Join us for the 2016 National Forum on Character Education to be held in Washington, DC Oct. 13-15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Our theme for the 23rd National Forum is
Educate, Inspire, Empower: Building Productive and Caring Citizens
During this National Forum in our capital city only a few weeks before a presidential election, we will discuss civic responsibility, creating good citizenship and building leadership in our communities. It’s up to us to make the world better, and we can do that by first developing better people.

Keep an eye out for conference proposal guidelines. We’ll begin accepting proposals next month!

Learn more >>
Participating in the MLK Day of Service next month?
Don't miss out on our service learning toolkit: full of lesson plans, helpful articles and Promising Practices that will inspire you and your students!​
Become a Member of
Individual Membership—$75  |  Student Membership—$40

Join a network of passionate educators. Learn from helpful webinars and podcasts. Access our members-only Facebook group. And we’re introducing even more exciting benefits in 2016!
Join Now >>

 Noteworthy Blog Posts

 Membership Corner small would like to welcome the following new members:
Kathy Abry Raul Acevedo  Jessica Bailey Keith Bearden Sandy Brower
Karen Burress Arif Cihan DeLonn Crosby Yvonne Foster Jeff Harlan
Kathleen Hoeker
Eugene Miller Shelley Nixon Green Daniel Novak Vanesa Pfeuffer
Mary Reinhold
James Riordan Susan Rizzo Gina Siebe Rucker Snead
Travis Tucker Sheri Whittier CITRS Rochester School Whitehouse School

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