Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Garrett Pins Reform in Education System on Character Building

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Garrett Pins Reform in Education System on Character Building

Article excerpt

TULSA _ The success of education reform in Oklahoma will depend upon the strength of its students' character, state Superintendent Sandy Garrett said Monday.

The focus of education reform must turn to families and instilling virtues such as respect and self-discipline in students, she said.

"If we don't work with parents to instill character and strong virtues, then who will?" Garrett asked in her State of Education address delivered during the Oklahoma Administrators' Annual Conference.

The state has no plans to require schools to offer character education, she said.

But Garrett said she will continue to stress the importance of teaching virtues in a world where families are deteriorating and children bring guns to school or experience violence at home.

"There is a great need for character education in our schools," she said, calling it "the glue that holds all the pieces together."

While schools have a role in building character, she said, the problems of today's youth cannot be "laid to blame at the schoolhouse doors. …

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