Starting Point                                                       Page 6


Everyday Dilemmas

As a consumer of no fewer than three newspapers (in print form) every day, I’ve developed a few favorite columnists and editorial features over the years. At the top of my list is a weekly piece in the Sunday magazine section of The New York Times. It’s known as “The Ethicist,” and it deals thoughtfully with one expert’s recommended handling of a dilemma submitted by a reader.

In our newly redesigned edition of School Administrator, we’ve shamelessly adapted our own version, something we are calling “Ethical Educator.” We will present a succinct version of an ethical dilemma that confronted a school system leader. A distinguished panel of four educators — some with expertise in the field of ethics, others with a lengthy track record in school administration — will each provide a brief analysis of the situation and recommend a course of action.

Most scenarios we include in “Ethical Educator” will have no clear-cut answers (after all, that’s why they qualify as dilemmas), so you may discover disagreement among the panelists. The print edition, limited by space considerations, will provide a summary of each analysis, but readers are invited to the recently launched AASA Connect website ( to read much fuller versions of the panelists’ recommendations and to offer their own assessment.

Each month will bring a fresh ethical challenge, and I hope over time that you will share with us situations you have faced or observed that we might adapt in future installments.

Jay P. Goldman, Editor
Voice: 703-875-0745


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