Santa Clara University

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Where Ethics Engages the World in Education

Because the Ethics Center partners with 41 California county offices of education, we deal with many real-world problems in the schools. In the left-hand navigation, you can learn more about all of our character education programs for communities that live, learn, pray, or work together.

Focus on At-Risk Students
The results of last year's standardized STAR tests in California showed at least a 10 percentage point difference between low-income students and those who were not economically disadvantaged. Disparities can be even broader for students in the juvenile justice system, who consistently score one to several years below expected grade level. One focus of the Center's Character Education Program is to address the needs of these at-risk students.
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Character-Based Curricula for Juvenile Hall and Community Schools

The Center's Character-Based Literacy Program (CBL) began as an effort to improve the achievement of the most vulnerable children while at the same time teaching them the habits, skills, and decision-making approaches of ethics. The program, designed by Character Education Director Steve Johnson, is now in use by the majority of California county offices of education and includes lesson plans in science and social studies, as well as language arts.

CBL for L.A.'s Inner City

An article in the Los Angeles Times describes a CBL lesson at Locke High School, a new charter school in Watts.

Budget Cuts
One of the biggest problems for schools across the country is funding, as strapped states trim education budgets. The way school districts parcel out their declining revenues is an exercise in ethics.

The California State Budget Crisis, and Ethical Choices for Schools (podcast)

Monterey County Schools Superintendent Nancy Kotowski talked with SCU education faculty, students, and members of the public about the impact of state cuts on the districts.