Willard R. Daggett, Ed.D., CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education, is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move pre K-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. He has assisted a number of states and hundreds of school districts with their school improvement initiatives. Dr. Daggett has also collaborated with education ministries in several countries and with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Governors Association, and many other national organizations. He serves on several advisory boards, including:
- NASA Education Advisory Board – 2008 – present
- USA Today (national newspaper) Education Advisory Board
- U.S. Department of Education National Assessment of Career and Technical Education Advisory Panel (NACTE Independent Advisory Panel) – 2009 to present
Before founding the International Center for Leadership in Education in 1991, Dr. Daggett was a teacher and administrator at the secondary and post secondary levels and a director with the New York State Education Department, where he spearheaded restructuring initiatives to focus the state’s education system on the skills and knowledge students need in a technological, information-based society.
Dr. Daggett is the creator of the Application Model and Rigor/Relevance Framework, a practical planning and instructional tool for determining the relevance of curriculum and assessment to real-world situations. Dr. Daggett’s Rigor/Relevance Framework has become a cornerstone of many school reform efforts throughout the United States. As mentioned above, he is the senior adviser of the Institute for 21st Century Leadership, a joint effort of the Association of Career and Technical Education and the International Center for Leadership in Education.
Dr. Daggett is the author of numerous books about learning and education, textbooks and research studies, reports, and journal articles.
Dr. Daggett has spoken to hundreds of thousands of educators and education stakeholders in all 50 states. His enlightening, entertaining, and motivating messages have helped his listeners to look at education differently by challenging their assumptions about the purposes, benefits, and effectiveness of American schools. Dr. Daggett inspires his audiences both to embrace what is best about our education system and to make the changes necessary to meet the needs of all students in the 21st century.
Dr. Daggett has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus by both Temple University and the State University of New York at Albany.
Dr. Daggett has a special commitment to individuals with disabilities. He and his wife, Bonnie, volunteer their time and lend their support to Wildwood Programs in upstate New York. Wildwood serves the needs of people of all ages who, like their daughter Audrey, have neurological impairments/learning disabilities or autism, by enabling them to become the best that they can be.
Systemwide Focus on Effective Instruction
To improve student performance, the nation’s most rapidly improving schools have found it is essential to align the priorities, initiatives, and work of all levels of the system from classroom to school to district around instructional effectiveness. The Daggett System for Effective Instruction has been designed based on an extensive review of the research, knowledge of the best practices in these schools, and a deep understanding about what schools can reasonably afford and what they can reasonably impact. Dr. Daggett will describe the system and specific tools and strategies schools can use to improve the performance of all students.
Preparing for the Challenges and Opportunities of the Common Core State Standards
Over the next few years, schools will face a series of challenges and opportunities that will have a major impact on both students and teachers. Fueled by moving to the Common Core State Standards and, more importantly, new assessments tied to these standards, schools must make a fundamental shift in both what is taught and how it will be taught. Students will be assessed on standards that are far more rigorous and much more applied than in the past, and therefore teachers will need to match their instruction to those higher levels of rigor and relevance. Dr. Daggett will lay out why these changes are being made, the impact they will have on curriculum and instruction, and ways that the nation’s most rapidly improving schools provide a blueprint to meet the challenges successfully.
Creating a Culture of High Expectations
The nation’s most rapidly improving schools have created a culture of high expectations for all students, not simply because of the pending demands of the Common Core State Standards, next generation assessments, and the new teacher evaluation requirements but rather because they understand the need to prepare their students for our increasingly technological, globally competitive society. Dr. Daggett will explain the imperative for high expectations and provide suggestions on how schools can achieve them.
Preparing Students for the 21st Century
The skills, knowledge, and attitudes today’s learners bring to our schools and the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they will need to be successful in the technological, globally driven world in which they will live and work have changed dramatically. Dr. Daggett will describe what schools must do to prepare students for their future rather than our past.
Improving Schools with Fewer Resources – Effectiveness and Efficiency
Using research and analysis of the nation’s most rapidly improving schools, the International Center for Leadership in Education created the Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework. The framework is now guiding the decision-making process and work in many districts across America. Dr. Daggett will describe the framework and provide suggestions on how districts can use it to ensure that resources are directed to the most effective programs and approaches for instructional improvement.
Teacher Evaluation – Take Control or Be Controlled
Over the next two years, the most intensely debated issue in and around our schools will be teacher evaluations. Pending federal legislation will require it, governors are calling for it, and the media are embracing it. As educators we can take control of the teacher evaluation process or be controlled by external demands. Dr. Daggett will highlight essential considerations that will ensure teacher evaluations focus on instructional improvement. Specific strategies to meet school and district goals through a teacher evaluation system will also be identified.
Rigor and Relevance for ALL Students
Highly successful schools have academically rigorous curricula that also incorporate real-world relevance. These schools understand that rigor, while essential, is not adequate to lead all students to high levels of achievement. Dr. Daggett will provide an in-depth look at the Rigor/Relevance Framework, created by the International Center for Leadership in Education, which has become a cornerstone of curriculum and instruction throughout the country and abroad. Two additional R’s, which are also critical to maximizing student success, will be described: relationships between student and teacher, student and student, and teacher and teacher and opportunities for reflective thought on what is being taught and learned.
Literacy Across the Curriculum
Both the workplace and post-secondary education are demanding higher levels of literacy. This reality is behind the higher expectations that underpin the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Assessments. Meeting these demands means literacy must become a bell-to-bell responsibility of all educators. Dr. Daggett will describe best practices for driving literacy across the curriculum found in the nation’s most rapidly improving schools.
CTE at a Crossroads
For both academic education and career and technical education, the next few years will be “the best of times” or “the worst of times.” The last decade has presented great challenges for all educators, brought about first by No Child Left Behind and now by Race to the Top, coupled with dramatic changes in the workplace. Dr. Daggett will describe how outstanding programs have responded to the challenges by preparing students very well for academic and workplace success. They have done this by making CTE and academic education a seamless system.