The International Center’s philosophy originated in the 1970s while its founder, Dr. Willard (Bill) R. Daggett, was a classroom teacher. Like most teachers, Daggett worked with students of varying academic abilities. He strove to meet each student at his or her level and to find unique ways to enable each student to shine. His belief: given the right opportunities, all students can learn and achieve.
Daggett recognized early that the U.S. education system would need to do more to prepare students for a technologically driven society. During his tenure at the New York State Department of Education, Daggett headed the Futuring Project, which was designed to help prepare students for 21st century learning. When he recommended that New York schools incorporate technology education into the curriculum, he was met with fierce opposition. Undeterred, Daggett reached out across the globe to Japan and England, where business and industry were intersecting daily. In time, he convinced the New York State Board of Regents to introduce a curriculum of technology education for all students.
Not long after, Daggett founded the International Center for Leadership in Education. The International Center held its first Model Schools Conference in 1991. More than 1,300 educators from eight countries came together to share best practices in education. To this day, the International Center continues to identify Model Schools—the nation’s most rapidly improving schools—and lead a forum where they can share their innovative practices with more than 6,000 educators at the annual Model Schools Conference.