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December 2019
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Character Education

Character Education Pays Off in Los Angeles School

The Los Angeles Times (8/26, Rivera) reported on St. Genevieve High School, which "has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative high schools in Los Angeles." The school provides "classes in Mandarin, overseas trips to China and France," and "fitness instruction that includes salsa and tai chi." It also has a policy of closing "for a week each year for a teachers retreat to discuss educational goals," and "to foster cooperation and trust."

The school is particularly "well-known for its character-education curriculum." This includes a number of field trips to public venues where "part of the goal is to teach the teenagers comportment." The Times noted that "character education has its skeptics," supported by a 2007 U.S. Department of Education report which "found that many programs have failed to prove their effectiveness." But the school's principal "cites the turnaround of his school as the best evidence" of the policy's success, noting increases in student attendance and performance.

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