Paul Tough “How Children Succeed-The Hidden Power of Character”

Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed, shares the research that supports Discovery Charter School’s emphasis on character through our Wiser the Owl’s Kindness Skills program. As we focus on learning growth in all of our basic skills,Tough’s research provides us with the balanced perspective of including character strengths as basic elements in our curriculum. Tough’s book would be a good read for all of us, Teachers, Families, Staff, Discovery Charter School Board members. and the Nevada Charter School Authority. We understand that we need to perform much better on annual standard tests by strengthening our basic skills, but we need the balance of character growth and skills to ensure our ability to individualize our instruction and target learning styles. Our most effective measures of individual student achievement come directly from frequent and consistent teacher assessments that can be reviewed directly with students who can see their mistakes, target learning, and grow directly by applying new skills. We need to balance practicing for standardized tests with the opportunities offered students to select areas of learning based on personal learning interests offered through project based learning. As families continue to choose us, and we have waiting lists, we realize that being chosen is a strong testimony to the success of the quality of the initial six years of our charter. We are preparing successful students with effective basic skills. We need to reflect those skills better on annual standard assessments, but we cannot lose sight of the total learning growth of our Learning Team Commitment—(School/Students/Families)—center piece of an innovative charter school.