School counselors and information literacy from the perspective of Willard Daggett. (Special issue: career development and the changing workplace).The central leadership role to be played by school counselors A school counselor is a counselor and educator who works in schools, and have historically been referred to as "guidance counselors" or "educational counselors," although "Professional School Counselor" is now the preferred term. in 21st century schools focuses on growth and success for all students. The American School Counseling Association National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs emphasizes closing the academic, career, and personal/social development achievement gaps among disparate groups of students (American School Counselor Association [ASCA ASCA American School Counselor Association
ASCA Australian Shepherd Club of America
ASCA Arab Society of Certified Accountants
ASCA American Swimming Coaches Association
ASCA American Society of Consulting Arborists
ASCA Association of State Correctional Administrators ], 2003). Within the National Model context, school counselors take on greater significance, assuming leadership and change agent roles within the school community. Yet, with the tremendous expansion of school counselor responsibilities, there is a lack of data regarding the knowledge base of school counselor preparation in relation to actual practice (Holcomb-McCoy, Bryan, & Rahill, 2002). As a result, expecting school counselors to be leaders in creating and nurturing a school vision that effectively prepares students for the future and supports classroom teachers, administrators, and the school community challenges the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. at many levels.
To initiate such a change process, school counselors must alter their basic understanding of what education means. Expanding school counselor leadership requires questioning current definitions about literacy and learning and expectations about student achievement and success.
School counselors need to track global changes that will undoubtedly require new ways of thinking about what students must know to meet future employment needs. Subsequently, they need to communicate the implications of these changes to students, teachers, curriculum development specialists, administrators, parents, and community stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. .
School counselors risk becoming irrelevant when they fail to bridge the gap between present student outcomes and future employment needs. Conversely con·verse 1
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.
2. , as a result of helping students make curriculum choices, accessing community feedback, and understanding of student development theory, school counselors can be knowledgeable of what students need to know and what they need to be able to do as adults within an increasingly competitive technological and global workplace.
CHANGING ROLES OF THE SCHOOL COUNSELOR
With education increasingly accountable for what students can do and not just for the courses they take, the emphasis in schools is moving from teaching to learning. Schools are asked to create learner-centered opportunities, with school counselors advocating for active learning through resources and strategies that appeal to varied student interests and learning styles. Watching youth struggle within and through their high school transition, school counselors see opportunities for integrating relevant activities into classrooms, thus providing students access to the skills and knowledge needed to function in a technological, information-based society. School counselors observe returning students, study annual follow-up reports, and gain insights into the performance requirements for information management and decision making (U.S. Department of Labor, 1999). They are well aware that students are increasingly demanded to retrieve, analyze, and evaluate large amounts of data and to distinguish fact from opinion as they make sound decisions.
More than ever counselors must play an active role in shaping curricular and instructional decisions as technology skills and higher and more diverse forms of literacy are expected of students to become truly educated adults. This can be accomplished by astute as·tute
Having or showing shrewdness and discernment, especially with respect to one's own concerns. See Synonyms at shrewd.
[Latin ast analysis of labor market labor market A place where labor is exchanged for wages; an LM is defined by geography, education and technical expertise, occupation, licensure or certification requirements, and job experience trends, emerging fields, developing technologies, and human resource development issues. Counselors need to share workplace-related data to ensure understanding of current and future workplace literacy requirements. As they witness the escalating influence of technology and information, they are expected to argue for the educational options needed to prepare students for success in a dynamic workplace.
CHANGING DEFINITION OF AN EDUCATED PERSON
In the waning industrial economy, a baccalaureate degree generally guaranteed a good-paying job and a stable, respectable career. Many school counselors advised students and parents to believe that only those with a 4-year college education, and preferably a liberal arts liberal arts, term originally used to designate the arts or studies suited to freemen. It was applied in the Middle Ages to seven branches of learning, the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. degree, would become the educated elite. Accordingly, high schools and school counseling programs have focused on and been rewarded for producing students with the math, science, and English/language arts skills needed for college entrance.
As the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. completes its shift from an industrial to information-based economy, the math, science, and English/language arts skills needed within the workplace now are different from, and often higher than, those needed for college. No longer is a 4-year degree a guarantee of success in the job market. In many cases, what individuals can do and the skills they can apply have become much more important than where they went to school, what their grades were, or how many credits they accumulated in a field.
A LOOK AT THE FUTURE AND INFORMATION LITERACY Several conceptions and definitions of information literacy have become prevalent. For example, one conception defines information literacy in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and
Most Americans agree that the education system should give all students as rigorous and relevant an educational experience as possible. Central to that experience is acquiring standards-based academic skills, career-technical skills, study and interpersonal skills "Interpersonal skills" refers to mental and communicative algorithms applied during social communications and interactions in order to reach certain effects or results. The term "interpersonal skills" is used often in business contexts to refer to the measure of a person's ability , and the ability to apply knowledge at multiple levels. Although the traditional curriculum remains essential, it is also proving insufficient. A new hierarchy of competencies has emerged, headed by strong technology and literacy skills. These two skill sets blend into a skills taxonomy taxonomy: see classification.
In biology, the classification of organisms into a hierarchy of groupings, from the general to the particular, that reflect evolutionary and usually morphological relationships: kingdom, phylum, class, order, called information literacy. With unskilled labor disappearing and the need for all students to become lifelong learners, this emerging information literacy is critical for success. The impact of technology and the changing nature of literacy will be increasingly important as technologies such as the Semantic Web A collaboration of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and others to provide a standard for defining data on the Web. The Semantic Web uses XML tags that conform to Resource Description Framework and Web Ontology Language formats (see RDF and OWL). (Berners-Lee & Fischetti, 2000) become better understood.
Along with biotechnology and nanotechnology advances, the Semantic Web will demand fundamental shifts in the concept of literacy required to be competent. The Semantic Web is based upon new technology adaptation that operates similar to the human brain. By connecting new information to recognizable prior knowledge through the identification and comprehension of similar underlying themes or meanings, the Semantic Web creates a common language to serve as an international and universally understandable dictionary or thesaurus for words, phrases, and concepts. Concepts will be cross-referenced to this common dictionary, crafting an entirely new communication system.
This will enable students to ask a complex question or raise an issue and have the entire Semantic Web search for a solution. Moreover, the results will prompt back to the user, checking for (a) accuracy of the inquiry information, (b) reporting format preferences (e.g., table, map, chart, or prose report), and (c) readability read·a·ble
1. Easily read; legible: a readable typeface.
2. Pleasurable or interesting to read: a readable story. level and language of choice for the deliverable. Virtually, the Semantic Web will "draft" a complete report.
The Semantic Web will change how the Internet is used and how information is analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. , synthesized syn·the·sized
1. Relating to or being an instrument whose sound is modified or augmented by a synthesizer.
2. Relating to or being compositions or a composition performed on synthesizers or synthesized instruments. , created, accessed, and reported around the globe. In doing so, it will change the key communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and presenting, merging them profoundly with computer mediation and management skills. Thus, how school counselors advise students about what has traditionally been called communication, reading, research, writing, and literacy skills will need to be redefined.
As languages converge con·verge
v. con·verged, con·verg·ing, con·verg·es
a. To tend toward or approach an intersecting point: lines that converge.
b. between professions (e.g., engineering, medicine, education) as well as between peoples of the world into a single communication system, the Semantic Web will deepen deep·en
tr. & intr.v. deep·ened, deep·en·ing, deep·ens
To make or become deep or deeper.
to make or become deeper or more intense
Verb 1. the concept of a global village in ways hard to comprehend. While its full impact is impossible to predict, it is reasonable to assume that the Semantic Web will redefine Verb 1. redefine - give a new or different definition to; "She redefined his duties"
define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify - determine the essential quality of
2. literacy. Getting and creating information via reading and writing, listening and speaking, and viewing and presenting could lose some of its importance when machines begin performing these previously exclusively human tasks. Perhaps the truly literate person will be the one who can evaluate information, assess its reasonableness, and use it to make more insightful decisions and connections--something that could be called information literacy.
In reality, the Semantic Web will not function in isolation. As the genomics process moves forward and scientists integrate bioinformatics data with information systems, the impact on health care, agricultural, environmental, and other technology systems and work options will be exponentially ex·po·nen·tial
1. Of or relating to an exponent.
a. Containing, involving, or expressed as an exponent.
b. greater. Consider the impact when "smart" nano-sensors implanted im·plant
v. im·plant·ed, im·plant·ing, im·plants
1. To set in firmly, as into the ground: implant fence posts.
2. into human hearts can monitor heart rhythms Noun 1. heart rhythm - the rhythm of a beating heart
regular recurrence, rhythm - recurring at regular intervals
atrioventricular nodal rhythm, nodal rhythm - the normal cardiac rhythm when the heart is controlled by the and send continuous data as well as warning signals to remote internal monitors that can, in turn, trigger or adjust medication dosages from surgically embedded Inserted into. See embedded system. micro-dispensers of precise measures of heart medication. In this world, information literacy becomes vital; meaning that both level and type of literacy needed--even for basic workplace competency--will increase dramatically.
INFORMATION LITERACY: WHAT RESEARCH SUGGESTS
School counselors must play an integral role in redefining education to coincide with essential 21st century employability skills and technology competencies. Underscoring the need to redefine literacy, several recent studies have noted the enormous human and economic consequences should America not increase literacy levels (Sum, Kirsch kirsch
A colorless brandy made from the fermented juice of cherries.
[French, short for German Kirschwasser; see kirschwasser. , & Taggett, 2002).
The National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS NALS National Association of Legal Secretaries
NALS North American Lily Society
NALS Neonatal Advanced Life Support (nursing certification)
NALS National Adult Literacy Study
NALS National Liaison Staff ) and International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS IALS International Adult Literacy Survey
IALS Inspector Activity List Subsystem ) used three separate literacy scales to describe reading, writing, and information-getting and processing tasks (Sum et al.). They are:
* Prose Literacy. The knowledge and skills needed to identify, understand, and use information from continuous text sources as diverse as newspaper editorials, magazine articles, reference sources, and fiction (e.g., finding a key piece of information in a newspaper article, interpreting instructions from a warranty, inferring a theme from a novel, or contrasting views in an editorial).
* Document Literacy. The knowledge and skills required to locate and use information contained in functional materials such as job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, online consumer surveys, maps, tables, and graphs (e.g., locating a particular intersection on a street map, using a schedule to choose a train, or entering information in an application form).
* Quantitative Literacy. The knowledge and skills required to apply arithmetic operations, either singly or sequentially, using numerals and quantitative data embedded in printed materials (e.g., balancing a checkbook, figuring a tip, completing an order form, or determining the amount of interest from a loan advertisement).
These studies offer insight to school counselors and should be used to define and set benchmarks for 21 st century literacy.
After more than two decades of school reform, gross demographic inequalities in the national literacy rate remain. This is an intolerable situation for a nation committed to equal educational opportunity and democracy. With good-paying, unskilled jobs declining dramatically in America and information-handling and reading requirements of the workplace increasing steadily, the United States must address literacy for all. This nation must move those at the lowest levels (those who are functionally unemployable un·em·ploy·a·ble
Not able to find or hold a job: unemployable people.
un ) to levels where they can find employment enabling them to sustain a decent standard of living. Without a commitment to the workplace literacy skills of all students, too many future workers face significant limitations.
Consider the following findings on jobs and the workplace:
* Job growth is becoming restricted to certain higher-skill occupations. Between 1983 and 1996, the growth in jobs requiring an associate's degree as·so·ci·ate's degree
An academic degree conferred by a two-year college after the prescribed course of study has been successfully completed. or postsecondary career-technical education was 3.1%, more than 50% higher than overall employment growth (Comings et al., 2000).
* The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 70% of the fastest growing jobs will require postsecondary education and that 42% of all jobs projected to 2010 will require a postsecondary vocational certificate or an academic degree (Hecker, 2001).
* U.S. business leaders attribute over $60 billion in productivity losses annually to employees' lack of basic skills (Employment Policies Institute, 2001).
* Ninety percent of Fortune 1000 executives have stated that low employee literacy hurts their business (Sum et al., 2002).
* Individuals with minimal skills will qualify for only 10% of all new jobs open between now and 2006 (Employment Policies Institute, 2001).
Recognizing the serious disconnection dis·con·nect
v. dis·con·nect·ed, dis·con·nect·ing, dis·con·nects
1. To sever or interrupt the connection of or between: disconnected the hose.
2. between the reading and literacy skills graduates bring to the workplace and what employers need, the International Center for Leadership in Education (2002) completed a project to define the literacy gap and its implications. The Lexile Framework, an independent, research-based readability measurement tool developed by MetaMetrics (2001), uses a computer program called the Lexile Analyzer analyzer /ana·ly·zer/ (an´ah-li?zer)
1. a Nicol prism attached to a polarizing apparatus which extinguishes the ray of light polarized by the polarizer.
2. [R] to examine and analyze whole texts. It reports a Lexile measure based on uniform increments from lowest to highest difficulty.
The International Center researchers collected authentic workplace and employment documents as well as professional reading materials from a wide range of businesses. Materials included handbooks, manuals, forms, reports, memos, directives, and other reading considered part of employees' core job responsibilities. Documents were sorted and analyzed using the Lexile Scale according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. whether they must be, should be, or might be read as part of job duties; and the frequency with which they would typically be read, used, or referred to by workers. Jobs studied were classified as entry level, intermediate level, or advanced level. For example, health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract occupations might include entry-level medical assistants, intermediate-level respiratory technologists, and advanced-level hospital administrators, doctors, and nursing supervisors.
For comparative purposes, researchers also collected and analyzed a variety of nonemployment-related reading sources--college and high school textbooks, academic and professional assessment tools, newspapers, best-selling best·sell·er also best seller
A product, such as a book, that is among those sold in the largest numbers.
best books, consumer forms, and other widely used documents. These sources were ones adults at all socioeconomic so·ci·o·ec·o·nom·ic
Of or involving both social and economic factors.
of or involving economic and social factors
Adj. 1. levels could reasonably be expected to read independently with a high rate of comprehension.
Analyses indicated that readability levels of the employment documents were nearly as high as, or higher than, many of the literary works, textbooks, and assessments encountered in high school and college curricula. Furthermore, the readability requirements of documents used in entry-level positions were neither consistently nor significantly lower than those used in higher-level jobs. Finally, the International Center determined that many of the most difficult reading tasks were required across all job levels.
The implications of this study are significant to school counselors when defining reading and literacy expectations and standards in schools. As the sheer load of information increases across all facets of life, counselors must promote an increasing emphasis on literacy in school programs. Content-reading skills and information literacy have become essential skills for negotiating the demands of daily life and developing key employability competencies.
WHAT INFORMATION LITERACY FINDINGS MEAN FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS
As student literacy advocates, school counselors must alert decision-makers, parents, and students that the reading tasks required by the broad spectrum of adult roles involve higher readability levels than previously understood. Reports from both national and regional business organizations point to the basic skills gaps between graduates and employer needs (American Management Association, 2001; Employment Policies Institute, 2001; Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, 1991). The International Center's ongoing examination of workplace reading and literacy demands demonstrates that schools have prepared students neither for the readability levels of many entry-level job An entry-level job is a job that generally requires little skill and knowledge, and is generally of a low pay. These jobs may require physical strength or some on-site training. Many entry-level jobs are part-time, and do not include employee benefits. workplace documents nor for the literacy proficiencies workers and other adults use in their daily lives (Sum et al., 2002). In light of the following findings (see Daggett & McBride, 2002), education needs to consider reallocating its resources and raising its expectations:
* The U.S. spends the most per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. on education of all nations surveyed. Yet, the overall literacy rate barely matches the world average.
* U.S. literacy rates are lower for young adults compared to young adults of other nations.
* Changing demographics The attributes of people in a particular geographic area. Used for marketing purposes, population, ethnic origins, religion, spoken language, income and age range are examples of demographic data. worsen wors·en
tr. & intr.v. wors·ened, wors·en·ing, wors·ens
To make or become worse.
to make or become worse
worsening adjn the U.S. literacy problem. The fastest growing segments of the U.S. population (minorities) and the youngest adults (ages 16-36) are the least literate in comparison to other nations. To a significant extent, these groups will comprise the future work force.
* As well-paying, low-skilled jobs continue to be replaced by technology, a growing segment of the population with low literacy levels is becoming functionally unemployable.
* The U.S. spends far above the international average on higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. (for the more literate) and well below the international average for basic adult education (for the least literate).
Literacy programs for both children and adults must become a national priority. Fiscal and human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. need to be directed differently. Moreover, as the ongoing research at the International Center shows, education must also broaden its definition of literacy to include not only prose, but also document and quantitative literacy. With the influence school counselors hold in student curriculum decisions, their leadership in promoting greater attention to literacy cannot be understated.
TOWARD INFORMATION LITERACY: THE CHALLENGE TO SCHOOL COUNSELORS
In its efforts to raise standards, the U.S. education system has not kept abreast with society. The standards movement that typically defines state testing requirements uses a 1950s perspective of literacy, thus overlooking the learning, behavior, and literacy skills underpinning un·der·pin·ning
1. Material or masonry used to support a structure, such as a wall.
2. A support or foundation. Often used in the plural.
3. Informal The human legs. Often used in the plural. the increasingly technological world. To update literacy requirements, school counselors must influence decision making so that more rigorous and relevant academic, workplace, and adult role competencies are included within school curricula. It is imperative that schools teach the broad-based, high-utility skills of (a) accessing information in an effective and efficient manner, (b) evaluating information for both accuracy and completeness, and (c) using information in effective and creative ways. Considering the promise of "intelligent technology" (i.e., Semantic Web) in addressing routine problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. and decision making, human creativity will need to be highly developed to actualize fully both human and technology's potential.
Current K-12 English/language arts standards as well as instructional practices, notably the neglect of instruction in reading after grade 6, need to be rethought. U.S. schools must raise literacy to more internationally competitive levels. In an age of information literacy, nanotechnology, and the Semantic Web, school counselors must use their voices to improve the quality of educational options from which students choose. For students to access the skills needed to create higher levels of discourse and analysis for effective decision making, school counselors cannot be passive. Ultimately, unnerving un·nerve
tr.v. un·nerved, un·nerv·ing, un·nerves
1. To deprive of fortitude, strength, or firmness of purpose.
2. To make nervous or upset. as it may sound, school counselors need to argue for raising U.S. academic standards and achievement.
The ASCA National Model is applauded for its focus on accountability, the goal of better preparation of students, and its stand that "encourages school counselors to become catalysts for educational change and to assume or accept a leadership role in educational reform" (ASCA, 2003, p. 13). Its affirmation of school counselors as change agents, collaborators, and advocates is forward thinking. Yet, school counselors need to expand their influence, assume a role in mentoring teachers about the changing workplace, more persuasively convince administrators to provide only rigorous and relevant learning options, and effectively alert parents and students about information literacy expectations. Unless school counselors assume leadership that demands higher standards and greater levels of achievement, their role will become irrelevant.
As school counselors help the definitions of information literacy and lifelong education evolve and expand their link with the world of business, students will find better options available. Acceptance of this challenge is essential if school counselors are to become a force behind any movement to better prepare students with the literacy they will need to succeed.
American School Counselor Association. (2003). The ASCA national model: A framework for school counseling programs. Alexandria, VA: Author.
American Management Association. (2001). 2001 AMA (Automatic Message Accounting) The recording and reporting of telephone calls within a telephone system. It includes the calling and called parties and start and stop times of the call. survey on workplace testing: Basic skills, job skills, psychological measurement. New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of : American Management Association. Retrieved January 28, 2003, from http://www.amanet.org/research/pdfs/bjp_2001.pdf
Berners-Lee, T., & Fischetti, M. (2000). Weaving weaving, the art of forming a fabric by interlacing at right angles two or more sets of yarn or other material. It is one of the most ancient fundamental arts, as indicated by archaeological evidence. the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web. New York: HarperCollins.
Comings, J., Hartman, A., McLendon, L., Murphy, S., Pugsley, R., Sorensen, R., et al. (2000). From the margins to the mainstream: An action agenda for literacy. Washington, DC: National Literacy Summit 2000. Retrieved January 28, 2003, from http://www.nationalliteracysummit.org/
Daggett, W. R., & McBride, R J. (2002). 21st century literacy--the challenge to schools. Rexford, NY: International Center for Leadership in Education.
Employment Policies Institute. (2001). State flexibility: The minimum wage and welfare reform. Washington, DC: Employment Policies Institute. Retrieved January 28, 2003, from http://www.epionline.org/ study_epi_stflex_minwage_03-2001_2.html
Hecker, D. E. (2001). Occupational employment projections to 2010. Monthly Labor Review The Monthly Labor Review is a publication by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly publications are usually published by topic. Researchers outside of the BLS are welcome to submit their articles. External links
A research agency of the U.S. Department of Labor; it compiles statistics on hours of work, average hourly earnings, employment and unemployment, consumer prices and many other variables. . Retrieved January 28, 2003, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/11/ art4abs.htm
Holcomb-McCoy, C., Bryan, J., & Rahill, S. (2002). Importance of the CACREP CACREP Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs school counseling standards: School counselor's perceptions. Professional School Counseling, 6, 112-119.
International Center for Leadership in Education. (2002). Leading with reading in grades 7-12. Rexford, NY: Author.
MetaMetrics. (2001, June). How is readability determined within The Lexile Framework for Reading? Durham, NC: Author.
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills. (1991). What work requires of schools: A SCANS report for America 2000. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor.
Sum, A., Kirsch, I., & Taggart, R. (2002). The twin challenges of mediocrity me·di·oc·ri·ty
n. pl. me·di·oc·ri·ties
1. The state or quality of being mediocre.
2. Mediocre ability, achievement, or performance.
3. One that displays mediocre qualities. and inequality: Literacy in the U.S. from an international perspective. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service The Educational Testing Service (or ETS) is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization, operating on an annual budget of approximately $1.1 billion on a proforma basis in 2007. .
U.S. Department of Labor. (1999). Futurework: Trends and challenges for work in the 21st century. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved January 28, 2003, from http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/history/herman/repo rts/futurework/report.htm
Willard R. Daggett, Ed.D., is president, International Center for Leadership in Education, Rexford, NY. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org He is known worldwide for his efforts to move education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students and sponsors the Model Schools Conference.