Institute for Global Ethics Education Director Provides Guidance for School Administrators

Paula Mirk offers insight for real-life ethical dilemma in School Administrator Magazine's June ‘Ethical Educator’ column
Paula Mirk, Institute for Global Ethics - Director of Education
Paula Mirk, Institute for Global Ethics - Director of Education
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Rockport - Maine - US

July 3, 2012 - PRLog -- ROCKPORT, Maine – In the June issue of School Administrator magazine, Paula Mirk, director of education and the Ethical Literacy Learning Community at the Institute for Global Ethics (IGE) offers school leaders advice on how to deal with a typical ethical dilemma faced by educators. Mirk is part of a national panel of experts, who provide guidance on ethical challenges confronting school leaders, through the publication’s monthly column, the “Ethical Educator”.

The scenario posed in the publication’s June issue describes that when asked by two students receiving C’s to reconsider the grades he had given them, a teacher ultimately raised one student’s C to a B minus to reflect the student’s effort and improvement, while leaving the other unchanged.   Nowhere in the district’s grading guidelines does it state that improvement can be factored in grading and parents of the child with the unchanged C have complained to the superintendent.  

Applying parts of IGE’s conceptual frameworks for ethical decision making, Mirk suggests that using the language of shared values should be the common thread, highlighting the issues ichix of responsibility, fairness and respect. Mirk aptly points out that “this situation opens up the opportunity for a faculty-wide discussion about grading and the hidden curriculum. Are our grading systems sending the message that only test scores ‘count’, or are we also signaling that ethical values are equally important preparation for our students’ future? ” (Mirk’s complete response can be found here:

Besides Ms. Mirk, the Ethical Educator panel is composed of Shelley Berman, superintendent of schools (Eugene, Oregon), Joan McRobbie, senior associate for national school reform at CTAC (San Francisco), and Roy Dexheimer, retired BOCES superintendent (Ithaca, N.Y.).

School Administrator is the publication of the American Association of School Administrators ( whose 13,000 members include school leaders throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The IGE’s Ethical Literacy Learning Community provides school community members with tools and processes to build and maintain a culture of integrity based on shared values, ethical decision-making, and research about balancing attention to academic rigor with attention to the ethical development of young people. For more information, please visit or call +1-207-542-1546.

About the IGE
Founded in 1990, with offices in Rockport, Maine, and New York City, the Institute for Global Ethics ( is an independent, nonsectarian, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ethical action in a global context. IGE’s challenge is to explore the global common ground of values, elevate awareness of ethics, provide practical tools for making ethical decisions, and encourage practical action based on those decisions.
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