When students feel safe, engaged, and respected, they can focus on their academic goals. Effective character educators ensure that these needs are met. Character education is the foundation upon which students can reach academic achievement. It’s not just about teaching kids to be good. It’s teaching them to be their best.Character education includes and complements a broad range of educational approaches such as whole child education, service learning, social-emotional learning, and civic education. All share a commitment to helping young people become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens. Because students spend so much time in school, our schools offer a critically important opportunity to ensure that all students get the support and help they need to reach their full potential. Schools that embrace character education become places people want to be because they bring out the best in everyone.While not a “quick fix,” character education provides effective solutions to ethical and academic issues such as bullying, cheating, truancy, and dropout rates that are of great concern in many schools. In addition, as our National Schools of Character demonstrate, character education can be done effectively in any school setting. Educators from a diverse array of schools have successfully used character education to transform their school cultures, reduce discipline referrals, increase academic achievement for all learners, develop global citizens and improve job satisfaction and retention among teachers.To be effective in schools, character education must involve everyone—school staff, parents, students, and community members—and be part of every school day. It must be integrated into the curriculum as well as school culture. When this happens and school communities unite around developing character, schools see amazing results.