Teachers affect all eternity. You never know where their influence stops.

Teachers affect all eternity. You never know where their influence stops.” – Henry Adams. The day to day tribulations of teaching, especially in often overcrowded and under-resourced public schools, can be so consuming that both the teachers and students forget the monumentally important impact they have on children. Often the impact goes unnoticed but it occurs. A great teacher teaches …

The Soul of a Child

No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. Emma Goldman

Greatest Quotations on Mothers and Motherhood

— compiled by Michael Josephson — All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother. ~ Abraham Lincoln The formative period for building character for eternity is in the nursery. The mother is queen of that realm and sways a scepter more potent than that of kings or priests. ~ Author Unknown An ounce …

Memo From Michael: A Quick Note From Paris

I haven’t posted in a while, as I have been focused on some important personal matters, including a sad and ugly lawsuit my family filed against the Archer School for Girls and its head of school, Elizabeth English. (Those interested in status see JosephsonvsArcher.com. My hope to reform the law and assure that private school administrators can be held publicly accountable …

There are over 300,000 more black men in college than in prison, but you wouldn’t know this watching cable or network news? How come?

In the decade from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Black students increased by 53 percent, and the number awarded to Hispanic students increased by 87 percent. In 2009–10, Black students earned 10 percent and Hispanics earned 9 percent of all bachelor’s degrees conferred, versus the 9 and 6 percent, respectively, earned in 1999–2000” (NCES, 2012).

COMMENTARY 893.2: Tyranny of the Minority

According to a survey of parents, 93 percent want schools to teach basic values like honesty and respect. The problem is, schools are left to contend with the 7 percent who disagree. In any enterprise that seeks to avoid conflict and find consensus, that small minority may often dictate policy. Too often, aggressive objectors bully administrators into quick surrender with …

COMMENTARY 893.1: A Parable About Leadership

Listening to politicians’ nasty rhetoric, one might think that leadership has to be aggressive and confrontational, but consider this parable about leadership. A student assigned to write an essay about an effective leader wrote this story: “I’ve been taking a bus to school for years. Most passengers keep to themselves and no one ever talks to anyone else.

A Cost-Free Way to Help

Regular readers know that the Josephson Institute (my life’s work since 1987) is really struggling this year. A few of you have made donations and I am grateful. I hope more of you will, but there is another way you can help without depleting your wallet. The Institute’s creative director, Tony Baer, came up with a great way everyone can …

Reflections at 71: Life Expectancy, Life’s Expectancies and The Seven Biggest Truths I’ve Learned

(updated December 12, 2013) Where did the time go? I hate clichés like this, but among the things I’ve learned in my 71 years of lurching around life is that these pithy statements became clichés precisely because they are true. Often profoundly so. Looking through the rear view mirror of my life the past feels like a movie played a …

What Do Teens Really Value? A Josephson Institute survey of more than 20,000 high school students reveals surprising information about their values.

Teens Place a Very High Value on Ethics and Good Moral Character. Students were presented with a long list of options and were asked to indicate how important each item was to them. Here are the highlights of the percentages that rated the item as very important or essential: Being treated with respect – 99 percent. Having good moral character …

MEMO From Michael: Youth Violence and Bullying

Just last month in a weekly memo I asked if violence and mass killings had become our new reality. That was prompted by the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Since then, the headlines have continued to shock and sadden us with news of seemingly random acts of violence. Some might ask: Since when has the news media not brought us …

Sneak Peek at Results of Educators’ Survey

(updated 12/4/13) Almost 4,500 educators (including 2426 teachers, 616 principals, 411 school counselors, 225 superintendents,  and 79 school board members)  have already taken the new Josephson Institute survey on the state of education in America. (If you haven’t already, please take the survey here and please share this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JIEducatorSurvey on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to encourage others to take it as well — the …

Eight Sentences That Changed the World: The Aspen Declaration

In July 1992, the nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics hosted a 3-day summit of prominent youth leaders, educators and character education scholars in Aspen, Colorado. The result was this declaration, which provided the guiding principles for the CHARACTER COUNTS! movement that currently reaches about 8 million young people. It is clear that the eight sentences making up the Declaration is as …

What Do Educators Think About Education in America? (Preliminary Report #2 on our Survey Results)

Summary. We surveyed more than 2,500 educators (board members, superintendents, principals, teachers, counselors and support staff) and asked them to give their opinions on the trends in education in the past five years. (Are you an educator? Please take the survey here if you haven’t already.) Here are some of the survey results so far. What’s Going Well. Majority of educators believe …

MEMO From Michael: Sneak Peek – Some Surprising Preliminary Results of Our Educators’ Survey

(Updated 11/26/13) Nearly 4500 educators (76 Board members, 225 superintendents, 616 principals, 2414 teachers and 406 school counselors) have already taken the new Josephson Institute survey on the state of education in America. (If you haven’t already, please take the survey here and please share this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JIEducatorSurvey on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to encourage others to take it as well — …

MEMO From Michael: 9/11, Colombia, New Survey on Education

Thoughts on September 11 Re-experiencing the 9/11 attacks is always a traumatic experience for me. I’ve posted several videos I think you will find worth your time. One cannot think about this shocking proof of our vulnerability without some anxiety and deep sorrow for the loss of life and of our innocent naiveté about our safety. Two images are etched …

NEW SURVEY: The State of Education in America

The Josephson Institute has just launched a new comprehensive survey for educators (school board members, superintendents, principals and other administrators, teachers and school staff) and parents of children in school. It is designed to be one of the most comprehensive and influential studies of the trends, opinions and actions of administrators, teachers, students and parents. We hope to have at …