Educational Institutions

The Character Education Partnership Inc

  • Washington, DC
  • www.character.org

Mission Statement

Vision: Young people everywhere who are educated, inspired and empowered to be ethical and engaged citizens.

Mission: Providing the leadership and advocacy for character in schools, families, communities and workplaces throughout the world.

Character.org is a national advocate and leader for the character education movement. Based in Washington, DC, we are a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian coalition of organizations and individuals committed to fostering effective character education in our nation's schools and communities.

Character.org aims to benefit society through reform that addresses not only academics, but also social, emotional, and ethical issues. Character.org has the tools, methods, and strategies to empower teachers, parents and community members to help achieve the important goals of character development.

What We Do

Character.org focuses on defining and encouraging effective practices and approaches to quality character education and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas. We offer:
•A tool for evaluating effective character education, "The Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education"
•Professional development for school teachers and administrators focusing on school-wide systemic change
•An annual conference – the National Forum on Character Education
•A school improvement process for schools or districts through our Schools of Character program
•Resources, including our annual publication, National Schools of Character magazine

Main Programs

  1. Schools of Character Program
  2. National Forum on Character Education
  3. Professional Development
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We work with educators, parents, students and community leaders across the country and world.

We have State School of Character affiliates in 27 states.

State Schools of Character:
-Hold their SSOC designations for 3 years
-Serve as models of excellence within their states where they share character education best practices as part of a state-wide network of schools of character

We have three International Affiliate partners in Singapore, Canada and the Philippines.

ruling year

1993

President & CEO

Self-reported

Ms. Rebecca Sipos

Keywords

Self-reported

Character Education, bullying, school culture, school climate, service learning, academic integrity, Youth Development, K-12 Education,Teacher Education, school reform, social-emotional learning

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EIN

54-1657505

Physical Address

1634 I Street NW Suite 550

Washington, DC 20006

Also Known As

CHARACTER.ORG

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Character.org reaches thousands of teachers who reach hundreds of thousands of students every year. Through our resources, training and inspiration, these teachers are better prepared to help students reach their full potential in a positive learning environment.

We see tremendous impact through our Schools of Character, where trends indicate that when a school implements a comprehensive character education program, academics improve and behavior problems decrease. Statistics from our 2013 NSOC cohort include:
• 93% saw a decline in suspensions
• 78% saw a rise in reading and math scores
• 130,639 students attended recognized schools
• All schools reported a dramatic improvement in their school climate, decreases in bullying and a re-energized staff

Our National Forum on Character Education expands our reach to hundreds of schools by training and empowering teachers and administrators in cutting-edge best practices in character education.

Our online resource center, www.character.org, allows teachers, parents, and students to easily access free online resources and discuss issues at the forefront of the education landscape. The site also provides outreach to other countries interested in character education. In 2013, people from 206 different countries visited our site and 37% of all web visitors were from outside the United States.

Character.org is dedicated to developing ethical citizens committed to building a just and caring world.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Schools of Character Program

In Schools of Character, adults embrace their critical role as models. Teachers work together as professionals—and with parents and community members as partners—to positively shape the social, emotional, and character development of the young people entrusted to them each day. As a result, students in these schools feel safe, respected, and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and be motivated to give back to their communities. Character.org’s State and National Schools of Character program offers K-12 public, private, and charter schools and districts across the U.S. a path to school improvement and excellence through high-quality character education. When schools engage in the schools of character process and seek to implement Character.org’s framework for success, known as the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, they:

-Bring teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, students, and community members together to identify a common set of core values and a unite around a common purpose
-Go through a process of reflection and self-assessment that helps the school community identify strengths and next steps  Receive free professional feedback on their programs as well as suggestions for growth.

From years of identifying schools of character and sharing their stories, we see that in these schools:

-Bullying is rare 
-Cheating and discipline problems decline 
-Test scores, grades, and homework completion go up
-Attendance and graduation rates are high
-Dropout rates are low
-Achievement gaps are narrowed 
-Teacher retention and satisfaction are high
-Parent satisfaction and engagement rates are high
-Student engagement and involvement is high

Thus, the purpose of the Schools of Character program is to bring such dramatic improvements in school culture, student behavior, and academics to as many schools as possible.  Schools and districts that are recognized for reaching a standard of excellence at the state level are named State Schools of Character for 3 years and their applications are sent to Character.org for evaluation at the national level. If they are again determined to have met a standard of excellence, they are named National Schools of Character for 5 years. These schools become part of a national network of Schools of Character that serve as models and mentors to other educators. Schools share their successful strategies with other educators at Character.org’s National Forum and in their home states. They open their campuses as demonstration sites and contribute to Character.org’s communication network.  The schools of character process is an annual one, and schools are encouraged to continue to apply until they have been designated a School of Character.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

Budget

$293,328.00

Program 2

National Forum on Character Education

Each year, the National Forum on Character Education brings together key stakeholders in education to work toward a common goal: quality character education in all schools. Teachers, school leaders, community members, scholars and businesspeople gather to network, learn from each other and share best practices in character education. Inspiring keynote speakers offer big picture thinking on challenging education issues and share the latest research. Top scholars and experienced educators lead breakout sessions on topics such as student leadership, anti-bullying, service learning, academic integrity, and school climate, while participants dig deeper into pressing issues during interactive hot topic discussions. Participants leave the Forum with a renewed sense of what effective character education looks like; concrete ideas to implement in their classrooms, schools, or communities; and an understanding of the importance of character development both in schools and in society.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$200,000.00

Program 3

Professional Development

Professional Development focuses on school-wide systemic change. We prepare educators and school leaders to create safe, healthy, high-performing schools, while inspiring students to reach their full potential as students and as people. Special emphasis is on improving academics and the development of students as our future good citizens, This is done by providing tools to build an engaging culture and an environment that is supportive and inclusive. Replicable exemplary practices are woven into each training to provide example and leadershiour programs emphasize the following: Driving student achievement, ethical growth, and social and emotional skill development.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

$193,080.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Character.org's ultimate goal is for every school to be a school of character where students flourish academically and do the right thing. We want students to graduate from school being both smart and good. We achieve this goal by training and providing resources to empower teachers, coaches, parents, and others in the community who have a direct impact on the character development of children.

    In each School of Character we expect to see improved academic achievement, reduced reports of bullying, reduced disciplinary issues, reduced violence, increased graduation rates and attendance, increased community involvement, increased election participation, increased teacher satisfaction and retention, increased parental involvement and increased student engagement. In general, students should become more respectful, responsible communicators who will ultimately be better prepared for the workforce, as well as engaged and ethical citizens. Our goal is also to see schools of character in every state in the country.

    In order to fully achieve this vision, we must:
    • Expand our scope / capacity / customer base / training cadre
    • Leverage technology to increase our audience
    • Establish fiscal self-sustainability
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    In order to reach our goals, Character.org provides opportunities and resources for teachers and others to help them educate children to have good character. We do this through the following key programs:

    1. The National Forum on Character Education: This national conference brings together researchers and practitioners to see what works in character education. Inspirational keynotes, practical workshops, and a variety of training sessions help all attendees go home with ideas ready to implement.

    2. Our online web resource center (www.character.org): Provides lesson plans, discussions on key topics, and many other resources—most available for free.

    3. The Schools of Character Program: Many applicants have told us that the very act of applying and reflecting deeply on their school's situation leads to school improvement. In addition we provide free professional feedback to all who apply.

    4. Promising Practices Awards: This recognition program for individual teachers encourages everyone to implement strategies and programs to help children improve.

    5. Professional Development: Our trainings help schools understand how to implement effective character education based on our research-based framework, the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. We also offer The 11 Principles Sourcebook, a compendium of resources and examples to help schools apply the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education.

    We feel that these programs, especially in combination, can prepare teachers to develop a classroom and school climate where students thrive.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Character.org has 25 years of experience with schools and educators and a cadre of experts who advise us based upon child development research. Our Education Advisory Council includes well-known researchers in the field like Dr. Michele Borba, Dr. Marvin Berkowitz, Dr. Maurice Elias, and Dr. Tom Lickona.

    Our 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework is research-based and provides us with a roadmap in all of our work. We have a network of 30 state-level affiliates who extend our reach, and a network of like-minded organizations partners and contractors that we call upon for various projects. We also have a membership base which is dedicated to character development and a passionate team who believes in our vision.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    In the Schools of Character program, we look for growth in the number of applicants and in the geographic spread, to ensure there is sufficient reach. Ultimately, our goal is to receive applications from all 50 states and territories.

    In our Schools of Character, we ask them to report academic scores over the past five years, referral and suspension rates over time, changes in attendance and school climate survey information. These demonstrate the impact of character education reform on the school community, and our goals are to see increases in test scores, decreases in disciplinary figures, and improvements to attendance rates and school climate responses.

    We are increasing the visibility of our Promising Practices program, and also hope to grow the number of winners.

    For the Forum, we measure total number of attendees, geographic diversity of attendees, and their satisfaction with programming. Our goal is to have attendees from every state and many international countries who all find that the Forum is not only satisfactory, but that it meets their needs well.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Outcomes achieved: Character.org's Schools of Character program has really grown. When first established we selected only 10 National Schools of Character to serve as exemplar models. Now we consider it to be a school improvement program, and name all schools that reach the exemplar status based on our 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. Since 1997 we have recognized over 250 schools.

    Seven years ago we decided that schools would retain their national designation for five years, giving them more time to mentor other schools and to provide outreach. In 2013 we named our first repeat National School of Character. We have increased our State Schools of Character network to 30 states. Several of these states have produced phenomenal results.

    Not only has the network of schools of character increased, we have seen the concept grow from schools to the community and from school district to statewide standards. For example, Pleasanton, California became a Community of Character after several of their schools and district were named National Schools of Character. Now the city council, police department and other organizations recognize the same core values and refer to character as important just like the schools do. Kansas became the first state in the country to adopt statewide standards for character development.

    Outcomes not yet realized: We have not yet established coordinators in 20 states and we have not named Schools of Character or Promising Practices in 3 states.

    What works and doesn't work: From post-event surveys we have learned that our National Forum is very successful in helping schools with their character education programs. We have also adjusted our Schools of Character publication to become a more mainstream magazine with great practical use for those aspiring to become schools of character.

    Adjustments to goals, strategies or objectives: Because school budgets have been cut severely in recent years and because federal and state policies have focused almost exclusively on test scores, schools have had reduced funding for professional development. So we have had to re-examine at how we deliver our services. We have created some webinars in the past few years to provide a lower cost alternative to trainings. We have also created a scholarship pool for those needing help in attending the Forum, and we have put more emphasis on providing resources via our website.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We work with educators, parents, students and community leaders across the country and world.

We have State School of Character affiliates in 27 states.

State Schools of Character:
-Hold their SSOC designations for 3 years
-Serve as models of excellence within their states where they share character education best practices as part of a state-wide network of schools of character

We have three International Affiliate partners in Singapore, Canada and the Philippines.

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

National Schools of Character program--we seek support to help more schools reach this level of excellence. We offer schools professional feedback and training toward school improvement.Website Developmen--we seek support to add additional resources for parents, students, and community and to build interactivity to our website. National Forum--we seek scholarship support to help teachers participate with this and other professional development trainings. General Funds.

Videos

photos



External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE CHARACTER EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Character Education Partnership Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President & CEO

Ms. Rebecca Sipos

BIO

Rebecca Sipos joined the organization in February of 2007 and has served in the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Director of Communications. Prior to starting at Character.org, she was a reading specialist and taught English and journalism for more than 30 years. At her last school, she directed various character education programs that led her school to recognition as a National School of Character finalist. She also has worked as a news reporter, freelance writer and editor. Ms. Sipos has received numerous awards, including Teacher of the Year, Thomas Jefferson Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Journalism Education Association's Medal of Merit. She holds a master's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as well as a bachelor degree in English from Drake University. She serves on the advisory board of the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University.

STATEMENT FROM THE President & CEO

"Since 1993, the Character Education Partnership (CEP) (now DBA Character.org) has been a national advocate and leader in the character education movement. The organization's goal is to strengthen communities and citizens by empowering K-12 schools—teachers, administrators, students, parents, coaches, and other stakeholders--to implement reforms that address not only academics, but also citizenship, social, emotional, and ethical development.

Schools search for answers on how to improve their overall culture and social climate of education, from safety in the halls to integrity inside and outside of the classroom. They want to initiate effective strategies to deal with difficult challenges: dropout rates, the achievement gap, bullying, cheating, and more.

Character.org is sensitive to these challenges, and that's why we showcase how intentional, systemic character education can be an effective and low-cost solution to school transformation. When done right, it can positively transform school climate. And, when that happens, students are more apt to flourish, achieve and contribute to society.

Although Character.org is proud of what it has already accomplished, please know that we are committed to broadening our reach and impact as we move forward. Our goal is quality character education in all schools, building a nation of ethical citizens who pursue excellence in all areas of their lives. We want to become the "go-to" source of helpful information to support parents in their never-ending efforts to teach children good habits for living lives as caring and compassionate citizens. As Character.org looks ahead, we plan to energize and increase our efforts to advance the cause of character education not just in the U.S., but around the world. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Linda McKay

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?