Can Money Build Character In Illinois Schools

Can Money Build Character In Illinois Schools

Can money help build character? That is​ what many Illinois Schools are banking on. the​ Illinois Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) Network will receive a​ grant of​ $471,​038 to​ fund a​ four-year program character education program in​ the​ Illinois Schools. the​ Illinois State Board of​ Education (ISBE) announced that the​ state will receive on​ of​ four awards given by the​ Partnerships in​ Character Education (PICE) for 2007.

Illinois Schools’ State Superintendent of​ Education Christopher Koch believes this award represents the​ state’s successful commitment to​ character education over the​ last decade. Illinois Schools started the​ PBIS program almost ten years ago,​ and credit it​ with helping to​ create safe learning environments and emotionally stable students.

Character education gained popularity after the​ devastating Columbine incident,​ and experiences a​ surge of​ attention with national tragedies like the​ Virginia Tech massacre. But does it​ really work? Parents,​ administrators and educators of​ Illinois Schools have been asking that question for years. One criticism is​ that “additional programs” like character education take time away from Illinois Schools’ critical academic learning,​ arts and physical fitness activities. Some view character education as​ a​ vacuous feel-good program that takes resources needed to​ help Illinois Schools meet ever-increasing state and national standards.

Proponents in​ Illinois Schools point to​ studies showing that children displaying more of​ the​ positive assets that these programs focus on,​ like achievement motivation,​ conflict resolution and empathy,​ show less high-risk behaviors. One 4-year University of​ Louisville study found that younger students and girls benefit more from these programs that older boys. However,​ this grant is​ aimed specifically at​ eight high schools.

PICE grants attempt to​ teach,​ “core ethical concepts” like responsibility,​ respect for others,​ and citizenship to​ awardees like the​ Illinois Schools. Requirements for the​ grant include proof of​ integrating current character education programs into classroom curriculum and teacher training,​ and involvement of​ parents and the​ community. Illinois Schools will be assessed on​ its ability to​ reduce the​ number of​ discipline occurrences,​ improve academic standing and show positive character development among students.

Illinois Schools’ educators in​ favor of​ the​ program insist that parents are still responsible for the​ majority of​ a​ child’s character development,​ but that schools have a​ responsibility to​ support that goal by teaching appropriate skills and providing a​ nurturing environment. Illinois Schools’ PBIS Network is​ one of​ 147 programs to​ receive character education grants since 1994. the​ eight Illinois Schools to​ benefit from the​ current PBIS award are Foreman High School,​ Kelvyn Park High School,​ Bolingbrook High School,​ Alton High School,​ Rock Island High School,​ Romeoville High School,​ and Springfield High School,​ and Springfield Southeast High School. in​ addition to​ Illinois Schools,​ the​ other award recipients were the​ Los Angeles Unified School District,​ New York City Department of​ Education,​ and the​ Black Hill Special Services Cooperative,​ out of​ South Dakota.

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