Daggett, Willard (Bill):

August 4, 1998

School-to-Career Academy, Burlingame, CA , Willard Daggett & Jondel (JD) Hoye - July 23 and 24, 1998

(The Airport Hyatt Hotel)

 Impressions and Concerns, A Preliminary Report

By Bill Carlson

 The School-to-Career (STC) “academy” featured two keynote speakers, Jondel (JD) Hoye and Willard Daggett.  Hoye bills herself as J.D. Hoye, President, Keep the Change, Inc.  Her web site (http://inet.ed.gov/offices/OVAE/hoye.html) identifies her as the Director of the National School-to-Work (STW) Office in Washington, DC.  (Note: STC and STW as used in this report convey the same meaning.) Hoye’s former involvement was with the Oregon Department of Education and Office of Community College Services. Oregon, arguably and tragically, is the most OBE impacted state in the nation.  “Schools today are teaching students better than ever” but still, we have a need for change, change, and more change.  Both speakers are extremely smooth and clever STW marketers.  Both have a passion for ALL children to learn and seem convinced that STW will “level the playing field.”  ALL children must be involved in STW?  Why?  (Reportedly, 900 attended this conference.)

Hoye gives the message that our current education system does great for 25% – 30% of the students.  She wants a level playing field for ALL students.  She points to a book called, “The New Basics” as a guide.   She plays down memorization, abstract and theoretical teaching because they don’t stick as well as cooperative project completions.  Now is the time to promote STC throughout our communities because it “sunsets in 2001.”  Be creative in finding ways to “convince” skeptics, especially parents.  Involve them in the process and they will believe the ideas generated were their own.  Administrators should only bring in and surround themselves with people passionate about STW goals.  (Adopt policies to hire, promote and retain only those who are in agreement with school-to-work ideology?)    

Most HS juniors and seniors (85 percent?) are working with inadequate learning experiences.  She went on and on about change, change, change, and that most parents want schools to be “museums” of the past.  Students are the best communicators of the need for change and STW.  (Periodically, a student was brought out to give a “first hand example” of our need to change, change, change to STW.  She describes what we are doing (promoting school-to-career) as “the most important thing happening on our planet!”

Willard Daggett was clearly the feature event.  His web site is http://www.daggett.com He was introduced as one who is “taking on the task of promoting school-to-career in California.”  If Dr. Daggett is the King of STW, Hoye is certainly the Queen.  Daggett touts himself as being the President of the International Center for Leadership in Education, Inc.  He focuses on teaching children what they need to know and holds a focus on rigor, relevance and on preparing children for work.  During delivery, he moved around the podium while he spoke, sometimes standing on the seat of a chair, or mingling with the audience, followed by the video camera projecting targeted images (usually his own) onto a huge overhead screen.  He offered thanks to educators for “hanging in there” in spite of all of the criticism.  His advice to the audience was, “don’t put the spin on STC as STC but put the spin on ‘The Basics’ in relation to school-to-career.”  (Fool ‘em?)  In order to effect change (the key word, again!), you must have a passion to change.  Basic conditions to create change:  1.  Have passion, 2. Have data, 3. Leadership, and 4. Staff Development.  Using these four ingredients, you will have successful models to help market STC.  Some of the 255 subject areas in our schools should be taken out.  “In America, when something goes into the curriculum, it never comes out.”  Examples given (I believe?) to take out:  Some of the requirements in math, science, social studies, etc.  He wants schools to make room for information that now “doubles every nine months!”  Daggett declared that the rules of schools and society have changed and that the declarative knowledge advocated by his “friend,” E.D. Hirsch no longer needs to be taught in our schools.  Daggett says reading for entertainment should be mostly replaced with reading and writing technical manuals and emphasis should be placed on procedure and process.  Daggett said that the time has come to create controversy.  He focused on incomprehensible infinity of the universe and described biotech as being a reverse infinity: no end to smaller.  Like counting 3 billion cells in the human body.  He related that genes can tell of predisposition to diseases, and in 1900 longevity was 47 years and today it is 78 years.  He told of biotechnology approved by the FDA that caused a young man to grow a new bladder.  He has discussed with neurosurgeons (he has one in the family) whether death is inevitable or, with the advance of biotech, an option.  Heavy stuff!


Both speakers are promoters of radical change to our educational system.  I should be surprised that erstwhile responsible organizations such as the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and County School Superintendents along with a list of others sponsored this event.  But I’m not.  Some good ideas were presented at this “academy.”  Stagnant curriculum and subjects should be “weeded out” and replaced.  Classes emphasizing technology manual reading and writing probably do deserve a place in public schools.  But must we diminish the concept of “local control” of our schools and hand it over to the federal government just to update our curriculum?  Those eager to embrace a socialist America would probably shout YES!


Sadly, the program opened with a “true” story about a church that made available space for an ACSA event.  The story went on to portray Christians as being nice but simple people.  Later on in the program another such “spoof” was told about another Christian denomination.  One may wonder why “enlightened” secular organizations have this apparent need to belittle Christians.  I don’t.  I do wonder, however, why the few (?) Christian members of organizations such as ACSA tolerate these “innocent” jokes year after year?   (Are other “world religions” ever the butt of these jokes?)


No questions were accepted from the floor.  Both speakers accepted written questions only and responded to the agreeable ones.  Mine, naturally, were ignored.


In one of the “breakout” sessions that I attended, the focus was on how to sell STW to an unaware community.  For the past four years educators, school board members, teacher unions, and some employers have been the targets of repeated STW indoctrination.  Now, parents, students and others must somehow be hauled in.  One lady said she thought the name (STW) should be changed because a conservative group called “The Eagle Forum” is openly and effectively critical of STW.  Other concerned organizations were reported to be doing the same.  I upset some of the group when I stated that the CA STW State Plan called for heavy federal mandates being imposed on states and local districts, and that local control would be severely impacted.  A lady responded that she had promoted STC and attended this “academy” for three years and had never heard of federal mandates, nor had she read any State Plan.  Apparently, touchy questions and opposition were NOT welcome at this STW academy.  Following my skeptical comments, the same lady concluded that, “Now for sure we’ll have to change the name” and call STC something other than STC.  (Fool ‘em?)  I didn’t mention that San Bernardino County had long ago adopted Focus on the Future as alternate code words for STC.  Is changing a program’s name to evade public criticism an ethical and honorable way to implement a controversial program? Has the education establishment been favoring this “technique” for years?  (CA STC State Plan web address: http://www.stc.cahwnet.gov/IMPORTAN/CAPLAN/CAPLNTXT.HTM)


I haven’t heard speakers like this since the radical 1960’s era when those demanding  “change” wore long hair, headbands and sandals.  Daggett and Hoye, smartly dressed illuminists of the world's wealthiest government, continue to get rich evangelizing cult-like followers across America.


The taxpayers, I'm sure, didn't mind picking up the tab for this two-day event, and a hundred others like it.  After all, government does know what's best for our children and our schools no matter the cost, doesn't it? 

[If I could find the link for this story, I would have used it instead of copying the entire article. MM]


If you want to know just HOW rich thumping for the School to Work agenda has made Mr. Daggett, take a look at this Country Living Magazine spread on his home at the beach (these are easier to see if you copy and paste the url into your browser instead of trying to click and open them in the frame of this web page):