Character Education - Revealing Quotes of Willard Daggett Revealing Quotes from Character Education Director Willard Daggett

(For another long article on Daggett, see Newspaper Outlines Dishonest Characteristics of Daggett, "Fact or Fiction"  - Investor's Business Daily's article on Daggett, "UNC Consultant Gets Big Buck for Small Bang, Report Says." (If  link doesn’t work type in title between quotes in Search Engine)                                                                              

 Educational Issues

Character Education, A Front for OBE

Revealing Quotes from Character Education Director Willard Daggett

    Dr. Willard Daggett, who is heading up the character education initiative in Arkansas, has been blasted in several news articles for being totally dishonest in his presentations and has been banned from speaking from one campus in Arkansas.  Considered to be an educational expert, he is a consultant to the Arkansas Department of Education, and was a keynote speaker at a Smart Step Summit in Little Rock.  Daggett is described in fliers as an "Eminent Outcome-Based Reformer and Implementer" who is "Shaping America's Future Through Outcome-Based Education."  In his latest book Daggett calls teachers elitists and says many other things that are unacceptable to teachers and parents.

    In a two page spread of a story done in a newspaper at Grosse Pointe, Michigan, the reporter documents numerous fictitious claims that Daggett has made. (To read this article click here)  He then lists the facts that disprove those claims.  In this same newspaper is an article highlighting a student who took the schools' administrators to task for refusing to acknowledge their mistake in paying Daggett nearly $10,000 "to hear something far from the truth" from this so-called education expert.  This student pointed out that "When district officials fail to do this [acknowledge their mistake], it is hard to have faith in an educational system supposedly based on truth and responsibility."

   Arkansas should take note of these facts especially since it has hired a man known for his dishonesty to head up its character education program.  Students have unusually high expectations of those in authority and are quick to recognize hypocrisy.  Honesty and responsibility (qualities which Daggett apparently lacks) are always two of the most important qualities listed in character education programs. 

    The Grosse Point student also says "the district has looked foolish in the educational journal Phi Delta Kappan, in Investor's Business Daily, and most recently in "The Washington Pose."  These publications (among others) contain articles taking Daggett to task for his dishonesty. Arkansas appears even more foolish for hiring this controversial figure to head up its character education program.  As this information becomes public, taxpayers are also going to be very upset that Daggett gets an average of $10,000 for a one day presentation for "helping our kids" when there are so many other educational needs. 

    Daggett has written, "[I]t would benefit our students and country to abandon the traditional courses, curricula, and assessment programs in place in our schools," and "The work of the outcome based educator [OBE] groups across the nation can serve as a spring board for developing new curricula."  Preparing Students for the 1990's and Beyond, pp.20 & 25.  Daggett is now denying that he was a part of OBE, but the proof is in his books and his fliers.  Denying this fact only adds to his dishonesty.  Also disturbing is the fact that he tried to recall the video of his controversial presentation in Grosse Pointe when he was challenged on his "facts".

    It appears that character education is now being used as a front to get the controversial outcome based (OBE) values and curriculum into our schools.  We trust that this material will disturb our fellow Arkansans, and that you will take appropriate action.

Willard R. Daggett Quotes

(Willard Daggett is heading up Governor Huckabee's Character Education Program. Note how these quotes line up with OBE and School to Work (STW) philosophy)

Preparing Students for  the 1990s and Beyond by Willard R. Daggett

 Change Traditional Curricula and Assessment

1. " [W]e must have the courage to abandon our traditional curricula and assessment methods."  Introduction p. 1

 "We tinkered with programs and courses instead of contemplating a wholesale restructuring of school curriculum" p. 24  [The other name for Arkansas OBE law  was restructuring law.]

 Letter Grades Are Insignificant

2. "Change student information or report card systems to make them more meaningful.  Present systems, which give letter or numerical grades for independent courses, tell employers, parents, and others little, if anything, about the true progress students are making." p. 29

 Advocates Outcome-Based Education (OBE)

3.  "Schools must continue to balance the various demands placed upon their instructional programs.  Worker is one of several adult roles.  Lifelong learner, citizen, family member, consumer, effective use of leisure time, and being of good moral/ethical character are all essential roles or attributes which should be addressed in our school curricula.  We must identify  the knowledge skills, and behaviors needed for each of these adult roles.  Movement towards a more outcome-based education program should enable us to do that." p. 19 

 4.  "We should identify the total array of skills, knowledge, and behaviors needed for all adult roles and then compare the levels of skills required for each role.  In the process, the need to refocus our math, science, and language arts curricula will become apparent.  The work of the outcome-based education groups across the nation can serve as a springboard for developing new curricula." p. 20

 Advocates Expanded Basics (Values) Curriculum

5.  "Although it would benefit our students and country to abandon the traditional courses, curricula, and assessment programs in place in our schools, moving this far is politically and economically unrealistic.  Instead, we must rethink and reconfigure present disciplines into interdisciplinary packages. . .The expanded basic skills must be included in these packages.  Extensive staff involvement in planning and executing these changes will be the critical factor.  Teachers must understand that their present courses and assessments are simply means to an end, not ends in themselves." p. 25  On page 10 Daggett says, "Appendix B lists the Basic and Expanded Basic Skills.  In Appendix B the following are some of the things listed under Expanded Basics:  adaptability, personal and civic responsibility, workplace values and ethics, goal setting, setting priorities, building self-esteem, handling conflict and criticism, working cooperatively and competitively, working as a member of a team, interpersonal skills.  [These are basically the values and attitudes outcomes that were in Act 236 or the fuzzy standards that Governor Huckabee refers to as being unacceptable.  These are areas that are controversial and that most parents want to teacher their own children in the home and in the church.

 Portfolios and Authentic Assessment Recommended

6. "Major changes in state and local testing programs cannot be made until curricula have been modified.. . .It is apparent, however, that when we begin to teach higher level skills and the expanded basic skills, we will need to change our testing programs and move towards portfolios and authentic assessment techniques (Wiggins, 1989)." p.29 [Then Daggett extols the Vermont portfolio system.  There was an article in the NEA publication Oct. 1993, "When Bad Things Happen to Good Ideas., " saying "All eyes turned to Vermont three years ago when it pioneered student portfolio assessments statewide.  But since then, the project has been under heavy criticism by teachers and researchers alike.  Teachers were overwhelmed by the demands portfolio use put on their time." 

 7.  "Policymakers must find ways to nurture and reward testing and curriculum specialists who have the courage to  abandon past testing techniques and move into the little known world of portfolios and authentic assessment. Our present testing programs, for the most part, are not measuring the skills, knowledge, and behaviors needed in the workplace, or for that matter, in society in general in the 1990's.  Without new assessment instruments and techniques, we cannot reform our schools because, despite the rhetoric, assessment still drives instruction--not vice versa."  p.33

 Extensive Teacher Retraining  & Portfolios Recommended

8.  "Curriculum must be integrated across disciplines and placed on a continuum; assessment must move toward portfolios and authentic testing techniques; and staff must be provided extensive retraining so that educators come to "own" the changes being made. [Is this local control or brainwashing] Do we have the time and energy to travel this road to a restructured curriculum and assessment system?  Do we have the fiscal resources to finance it?  If our workers and business have any hope of competing in the global economy, we have no choice."  p. 34

 9.  School districts throughout America should deliver the total package of skills, knowledge, and behaviors needed for the workplace. Incorporating previously untaught skills will require major modification  in how we organize and deliver instruction, as well as in the content of our courses and programs.  Furthermore, new assessment techniques, such as the portfolios and authentic assessment, will be needed to measure many of the expanded basic skills. p. 23  [See next quote for what expanded basics are]

 Expanded Basics (Values)

10.  Daggett uses New York's Career Preparation Validation Study as a model to explain the expanded basics. "The Steering Committee recommended that performance levels for all students in language arts and mathematics (called "Basic") be raised. The Committee also identified a group of skills (called "Expanded Basics") that they believed were not addressed adequately in the curriculum and recommended that those areas --interpersonal skills, thinking skills, human relations, information systems, and personal skills --be incorporated in all educational experiences." pp 9-10   

 Change in Methods and Curricula

11.  "Make a major commitment to ongoing staff development.  The new curricula and delivery methods being promoted are fundamentally different from those which teachers are using now.  As noted earlier, many teachers do not believe that being prepared for work has anything to do with the school curriculum  Furthermore, they believe that only minimal skills are needed to function in the workplace.  Unless we change the general attitude towards the purpose of education, these teachers will continue to do what they have always done when they close their classroom doors --teach a curriculum that has little relevance to the world of work." [Most of  us believe our education did prepare us for the world of work.  How did we become the great nation we are (or were) if it didn't.]


12.  American schools have catered to the passive learning style, which is dominated by memorizing textbooks and teacher-talk.  

STW Central Theme of Every Educational Program and for All Students.

13.  "The school-to-work transition initiative is for all students. (Daggett had all students underlined.)" p. 34  [We are led to believe that STW is voluntary]

 14.  "School-to-work transition should be a central theme of every student's educational program.  Policy makers throughout the nation must make a commitment to emphasizing the school-to-work transitions in elementary and secondary curricula . . .Such a policy will require a concerted effort to enlighten the many educators who believe that preparation for work has nothing to do with school. Large-scale staff development will be an ongoing need for faculty." p. 22

 15.  "In reality, we typically do not teach the expanded basic skills or, if we do, they are covered in a superficial way.  Moreover, in many cases our delivery methods are counterproductive to the development of these skills.  Too many of our classrooms are based on a teacher-talk, that is, the student listen-and-read scenario.  We must place far greater emphasis on fostering a learning environment where students function as active workers and teachers as managers of the instructional process.  As noted by Lauren Resnick, schools now teach students to work independently, while in the work world they now need to work interdependently with others  (Cole, 1989).  "Generalized" work in school does not prepare students for 'situation-specific competencies' needed on the job." p.23

 16.  "Our existing elementary/secondary curricula were established at a time when there was little commitment to school-to-work transition. . .Consequently, our vocational education curricula, with their focus on job-specific skills, and our academic curricula, with their focus on developing skills at the understanding level rather than the application level, are both inappropriate in a school-to-work transition program."  pp 24-25.

 17.  "Schools are an extension of society, and while tracking is consistent with European and Asian values, attitudes, and  beliefs toward work and education, it conflicts with American values.  Our nation is committed to providing all students an opportunity to attend higher education.  For that reason, separating preparation for postsecondary education and preparation for employment may be counterproductive. . . If we determine that separate programs are indeed necessary we should not let our fear of  tracking lead to paralysis of our system." p. 21

 18.  "The Michigan Department of Education initiated an Employability Skills Portfolio . . .based upon a series of employability skills identified as necessary to obtain and maintain employment in the 9990's.  These skills were grouped into three categories:  academic, personal management, and teamwork skills." p.30

 19.  "Worklink, a system linking education with the workplace, was stimulated by needs identified in an article entitled, "Why Apathy in American High Schools" (Bishop, 1989)

Worklink requires employers to use a new information system in recruiting and hiring certain entry-level employees.  It requires school administrators and teachers to cooperate in developing and maintaining additional school records besides the traditional transcript."  p. 32

 Educators Must "Own" the Changes

20.  "Extensive staff involvement in planning and executing these changes will be the critical factor.  p. 25  [S]taff must be provided extensive retraining so that educators come to 'own' the changes being made." p. 35

 The following quotes are taken from Education Is Not A Spectator Sport by Willard R. Daggett, copyright, 1997

National Standards

21. "In addition to identifying content to be covered, this set of standards presents samples of student learning activities and examples of the kinds of portfolios students can be expected to prepare as outcomes.  At this writing, it seems safe to predict that America will have national educational standards some day.  For now, however, the standards can still be regarded as works in progress. . .A renewed effort to develop workable national standards was picked up by the National Center on Education and the Economy. . .in 1996 . . identified as performance standards as well as content standards"  [emphasis added] p. 82-83

 Outcomes & Grading

22. [T]his kind of transition does require pedagogical adjustments.  In particular, since the outcomes of a sound education are being redefined, it becomes necessary for teachers to become classroom managers and, in this new role, to accept new principles and methods for student assessment and grading.   [emphasis added] p. 220 (Don't have this page copies off.)

 Teachers Must Conform or Endure Massive Suffering

23. Teacher, "must completely rethink what they have believed about their responsibilities and the structure of their jobs . . .and adapt to entirely new sets of expectations and methods...and deliver as expected .  He says these education changes, "involve new thought processes and massive retraining for millions of college-trained people, programs that are bound to become agonizing and expensive. . . if unreasonable resistance [by teachers] does materialize either on a broad scale or isolated areas, unnecessary, severe, massive suffering could be the result...The same legislative bodies that have effectively created the teaching profession can alter it to disqualify most current members.  Education Is Not A Spectator Sport, pp 181, 183, 322.

Teachers A Elitists With an Attitude Problem

24. Teachers are elitists, "A Club With an Attitude problem. . .persons who set themselves apart from and above their fellow citizens. . .The great majority of educators qualify as Club members and, unfortunately, this status tends to separate them from an understanding of the needs of the remaining majority who encompass their constituents. p. 2

 Teachers Fired if Test Results Don't Measure Up

25. A factor at work here is that North Carolina, a right-to-work state, has no labor agreements with teachers' unions or organizations representing administrators.  This enabled the superintendent to set some drastic rules.  School administrators and teachers were held responsible for stipulated improvements in the test scores of their students.  If these goals were not met at the end of the first year of the program, the administrators and teachers with oversight responsibility were subject to dismissal if they could not prove extenuating circumstances.  On the other hand, if students performed successfully, the responsible adults earned bonuses.  Staff turnover was high.  But results were noteworthy, providing direct proof that a system of rewards based on results can be a major factor in educational improvement."  p. 105

 Definition of Staff Development

26. "The activities associated with getting teachers ready for implementation of a major program of educational change are typically referred to collectively as staff development." p. 183

 Changes not "File and Forget Like In The Past

27.  "Teachers have been bombarded with new ideas and content materials with such regularity that they may seem immune--at least resistant--to suggestions for new changes.  At the outset, it is important to help teachers understand the extend of the need for and support behind current programs. It must be made clear that these are not "file and forget" request like so many they have seen before, but reflections of public policy affecting their jobs.  They must understand that it is incumbent on them to help make these changes happen.  They also must accept that they will have to understand the results demanded, and deliver as expected." p. 183

 Retraining Teachers a Monumental Task

28. "Formats and techniques for instruction also will be fundamentally different from past and most current methodologies.  There is little choice:  the system supported by the established curriculum and text documents and pronouncements no longer meets the needs of American students. . .Though the job is far from routine or automatic, changing books and completing other physical adjustments can prove to be the easy part of an overall program for educational change.  The really massive workload centers around the monumental task of retraining and re-orienting more than 2 million teachers.  p. 313-314

       Educational Changes Are Revolutionary

29.  Getting Ready for Classroom Introduction. . .Bear in mind that curriculum descriptions like those provided above, compounded by breakdowns into grades and a dozen separate subjects, describe what amounts to a revolution.

 Eliminating or Replacing Texts for Revolutionary Changes

30.   Even allowing that core skill lists are complete, consider these questions:  How and with what materials will specific instruction be handled?  Are existing texts still valid. . .how can students be expected to learn new materials from old texts? . . p. 137 The existing educational system is heavily stocked with curricula, books, and associated materials that support a long-established teaching methodology that has failed to meet expectations for student achievement and requires extensive change. . .Over time, with decisions reached on a school-by-school basis, such commitments would lead to high rates of obsolescence for tens of millions of copies of in-circulation books.  Millions of pages of curriculum, test, and other assessment materials developed at costs running perhaps to hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of staff years of creative and professional effort would require replacement or extensive rework.  There could be major problems in finding texts that correspond directly with the contents and levels of the courses envisioned in a revolutionary undertaking like that at Polk County. . . Polk County core skills lists represent what is clearly some of the most advanced and effective thinking about new educational requirements." 137, 312, 138. & p. 312.

 New Plans, Blueprints, and Change in Job Descriptions

31. "Okay.  Educational change is "sold. . .Entire sets of new plans and blueprints need to be drawn.  People whose jobs are to be changed will need new job descriptions and statements of responsibility that can't be implemented unless and until all affected people sign off to indicate both acceptance of and commitment to the new methods and project results. . . .Change can be implemented carefully and gradually, as described in a later chapter.  But there must be a point, for every teacher, class, and student, when the old ways are discontinued and the new methods take over. . .Finally, a new curriculum, described in terms of sets of core skills, is approved.  After all these preparations, it's time for change." p. 141

     Dangerous To Change Too Much At Once

32.  Avoid Changing Too Much at Once.  This can be dangerous.  IT CAN BE JUST AS DANGEROUS TO CHANGE TOO MUCH AS TO DO NOTHING OR TOO LITTLE.[This was in caps in Daggett's book]  A complete new curriculum can give a school or district operational indigestion.  Changes this critical should be done incrementally, in what might be called digestion of chewable bites. . .How can that be done?  Some possible answers among many that will emerge in any school or district faced with a change of this magnitude:  Phase in the new curriculum by starting at the beginning.  Begin with the lowest grade level, first grade in an elementary school .. .Phase in the new content according to subject area, English, math, science, etc. . . .Leave academic instruction alone for the time being and start the changes with newly introduced courses, such as computer information systems, technology, and economics. p. 126-127, 142

Gradual Implementation

33. "Thus, some kind of interim step is necessary to determine what to change over to the new curriculum, on what kind of schedule...In any case, full implementation of a totally new educational framework will have to be gradual."  p. 137

 Neatly Aligned Rows of Desks Don't Promote Learning

34. "Students must acquire knowledge as they pursue their own curiosities and motivations rather than being bombarded by static oral presentations or prescribed assignments performed in lockstep. p. 210...Many teachers will undoubtedly recognize that neatly aligned rows of desks don't promote learning.  Some may already have rearranged things in their own rooms.  In their rebirth as promoters of learning, they must be acquainted with the arrangement of furniture and equipment clusters that support study teams [cooperative learning and peer tutoring] in completion of their learning assignments. p. expectations around which successful educational change programs are currently being modeled.  In addition to gaining more emphasis, however, the teaching of language is also acquiring a new focus:  It's more about exchanges of information and ideas and considerably less about completing workbook lessons and drills in spelling and grammar.  219


36.  "However, a learning approach implemented by student study teams and methods similar to those described in this book seems like a promising hope at the moment p. 314  [Seems to be saying change the whole educational system for what is  only "a promising hope."]

     Facts to Be Sandwiched In

35. "If emphasis is to switch from etching to learning, what happens to the testing ordeals that students still have to endure?  Students are still required to sit for tests that emphasize names of people and places as well as dates.. . .The most practical answer is that assorted time lines, names, and facts can be sandwiched (emphasis ours) between explorations and discoveries within the learning approach p. 271  It must be made clear to all faculty, other staff, parents, and other constituents that this level of concentration reflects the real-world. p.185


                                EDUCATIONAL ISSUES                             





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