To the Editor:
In response to “For Schools, Rating Students’ Character Is a Tricky Prospect” (May 31, 2017), I’m delighted to see a recognition of the real growth needs of students by schools entering the character domain. In character development, parents are the primary teachers and the home the primary classroom, and I salute these schools that start involving parents. There is nothing tricky about rating character—it just requires a more comprehensive evaluation process that includes social, emotional, and intellectual growth.
As the founder of the Hyde Organization, a network of character-based public and private schools, I know thousands of alumni and parents who would be amused at calling character a “soft skill.” To them, evaluating students just by academic grades is like trying to make the tail wag the dog. Character is the whole; academics are a subset.
Joseph W. Gauld
The Hyde Schools
A version of this article appeared in the June 21, 2017 edition of Education Week as Character Is Fundamental to Measuring Success