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Tennessee Department of Education Abstract

Contact: Laura Ellis
Tennessee Department of Education
Andrew Johnson Tower, 6th Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 253–6037

Laura.Ellis@state.tn.us

Tennessee's Character Education Partnership, A Commitment to Children

Application Number: R215V000009
Project Period: 8/l/00–7/31/04
FY 2000 Award: $250,000
FY 2001 Award: $250,000
FY 2002 Award: $250,000
FY 2003 Award: $250,000

Tennessee's Character Education Partnership will build effective character education into our schools by converting the strengths of programs that have emerged on local levels into a coherent program of character education across the state. This program will help individual schools strengthen current programs or design and implement new programs. Our project will work with seven partner LEAs during the first year to establish guidelines for quality character education programs, pilot model programs that reflect Tennessee's diversity; and develop a procedure for collecting information about the impact of these programs on student achievement and behavior.

The project will encourage the growth of effective character education programs through annual character education awareness conferences; a competitive program to fund projects during Years 2, 3, and 4; dissemination of information on the State Department of Education (SDE) Web Site; and a school-to-school support initiative.

One of the most innovative features of Tennessee's project is its collaborative design. The SDE and 35 schools within partner LEAs will transform current projects into models by selecting their most effective programs and strategies. At the same time, the state agency will write state standards and guidelines for character education that meet Federal statutory requirements, following accepted principles for successful character education programs that reflect the core values of our schools and communities.

The SDE will guide the project and ensure that project activities are completed on schedule and project objectives are met. Otherwise, the project will be built from the ground up. Programs successful in partner LEAs will become models for others to follow. Teachers and administrators in successful programs will become trainers and mentors to teachers and administrators initiating new programs. Thus, the strength of the program will lie in its collaborative structure, its diversity and the infrastructure of support for character education it will build.

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Last Modified: 11/08/2011