HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION
The Maryland Center for Character (previously called
Values) Education (MCCE) grew out of a concern about ethics and values
in the Baltimore business community. The Baltimore Region Council of
Governments sponsored in 1990 a conference called Workforce 2000. Five
task groups were formed as a result of the conference. The Task Group
on Community Values was charged with determining the significance of
values and ethics in the workplace. The group was asked to identify
the needs and the means for addressing them and concluded that:
Values in the work place have a profound influence on
the quality of product and the services, as well as on the quality of
life, of a community. A workforce influencing and influenced by positive
values can provide the impetus for an economically and socially vibrant
community-one that becomes nationally, as well as internationally, recognized
for integrity, quality, and vision.
One of the Task Group's twelve recommendations was entitled
"Encouraging Values Education", which stipulated that the
region should establish and interface with a Center for Values Education
designed to enhance the teaching and modeling of values in elementary
and secondary schools, as well as in teacher education programs.
After two years of study by a group of educators, business
leaders, and community activists, the Center was established, holding
its first official meeting in July, 1992. Soon the work of the Center
expanded beyond the Baltimore Region to the State of Maryland.
Strong ties with the public school systems of Maryland
were established through membership on the Board of Directors and through
various programs developed by the Center. The Maryland State Department
of Education's Office of Character Education has played a significant
role in the organization, as have the Archdiocese of Maryland and the
independent schools of Maryland.
Maryland Center for Character Education Played Key
Role in Achieving Million Dollar Grant
Maryland received one of only four awards given nationally
by the U. S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Education
Partnership in Character Education MSDE, and the public schools in Baltimore
City, Baltimore County, Calvert County, Fredrick County, and Prince
George's County were partners in this grant.
In 1983, Maryland's Values Education Commission defined
character and citizenship goals which Marylanders wanted to see fostered
in schools. Since then, the state's twenty-four local school systems
have been working to integrate character education into the curriculum.
The five initial school systems designed a range of
approaches to meet children's character education needs. This pilot
program was designed to allow school systems to network and share ideas
to find out what works best in different communities. Each of the participating
local school systems developed its own model character education program
based on parent, teacher, and school administration input.
The goal of the "Maryland's Partnership" in
Character Education and MSDE incentives is to create a safe and orderly
school environment for students by teaching values like caring, civic
virtue and citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility,
trustworthiness, and other elements deemed appropriate by the local
The Maryland Center for Character Education played a
key role in the development of this grant proposal. Phyllis Bailey,
a past president of the Maryland Center for Character Education, was
lent by the Baltimore County School system to the MSDE to create the
successful grant proposal.
MSDE provided technical and professional assistance
to the local school systems in the areas of curriculum development training,
networking, and communicating with the community. The total grant award
was $958,027.00, which was distributed over a four-year period.
for Character Education at Stevenson
School of Education
Stevenson, MD 21153-0641