Beware outside consultants? – Part 1, Willard Daggett

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The work of Willard Daggett is HUGE here in Iowa. Dr. Daggett heads the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). His emphasis on ‘rigor, relevance, and relationships’ is so prevalent in the state that those three buzzwords come up in almost every conversation pertaining to school success and student achievement.

I’ve never had a chance to intersect personally with Dr. Daggett, although I did get to hear ICLE’s Senior Vice President, Dr. Ray McNulty, speak at the Vermont Principals Association Leadership Academy this summer (and he did a nice job). I confess that the center’s rigor/relevance framework has at least some intuitive appeal to me.

So I was surprised today when I ran across a scathing May 2008 blog post by Gerald Bracey that raised some pretty serious concerns about Daggett’s veracity (if you don’t know Dr. Bracey, he’s a longtime education scholar and a passionate defender of American schools). Back in 1995 he originally voiced his doubts about Daggett. Thirteen years later he is still concerned about Daggett’s accuracy and/or truthfulness. Here’s the video that accompanies Bracey’s post


Here are additional links (some by Bracey) that raise concerns about Daggett:

Should Iowa be basing much of its school reform work on this guy?

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