"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

International Education and IB Curriculum vs The Constitution of the United States

There is a theme emerging in public education from the Obama administration. Curriculum increasingly focuses on becoming globally competitive and pursuing international goals vs US constitutional teachings. We wrote about this issue previously and raised the question on exactly what type of international doctrine is being taught in Missouri schools. Based on the information on the DESE website, it appears our state is emphasizing international goals and ignoring our own nation's Constitution.

I received information about new curriculum being proposed for Missouri schools in the Ozark region. Have you heard about "International Baccalaureate" Curriculum? Here is a concise statement about IB from its website:

Our three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. There are more than 872,000 IB students at 3,070 schools in 139 countries.

The history link in the website stresses the international education students receive. Hmm. I'm thinking this is the type of education DESE in Missouri is promoting. Currently there are 13 schools in Missouri with IB Curriculum. Why should we be concerned about IB Curriculum?

I received a letter from Ronnie White, Retired Military, who is fighting IB's attempt to enter into the Ozark area. He asked me to share some information with the readers. He is attempting to alert parents and taxpayers in his area about this curriculum and why he feels it is dangerous and circumvents the teaching of US constitutional principles.

Take time to read Mr. White's letter and research into IB philosophy and curriculum. Why would we want curriculum in our schools that promotes world history over national history? What is the agenda? Is "International Week" a precursor of curriculum to come not only in an attempted IB entrance in the Ozarks, but in all Missouri schools?

The information from Mr. White follows:

All Ozark Voters,

Many if not most people just don’t want to hear it. They get a smidgen of information here or there, mostly colored by the liberal mainstream way of spinning nearly every blurb. Those of us blessed to live, work, and raise families in Ozark, Missouri have a hard time diverting attention from our day to day cares and responsibilities long enough to process and digest the overwhelming barrage of information, and would just as soon ignore it.

There may be as few as thirty percent of the population that makes a concerted effort to be accurately informed about issues which will have a direct bearing on recently passed laws, administrative policies, judicial decisions, and their children’s education.

I want to bring to your attention an effort by our school district to initiate a so, called higher-level education program at the high school. The program is known as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Below is a letter from Lisa McLoughlin, founder of truthaboutib.com that explains what IB is all about. Please take time to read it.

The IB was officially formed in 1968 to serve the children of UN diplomats who traveled around the globe and were in need of a recognizable standard for admission into Universities. According to former IBO Director General George Walker, the intellectual process which would culminate in the IB Diploma Program was begun by Marie-Therese Maurette in 1948 when she wrote a paper for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) called “Ways for Educating for Peace: do they exist?” Maurette had outlined a program and pedagogy (the art of teaching), which included the following elements:

Ÿ Geography should be taught starting not with the student’s country of origin but with the whole world

Ÿ History should not be taught before the age of 12 to avoid it becoming a catalogue of national heroes and patriotic celebrations. When introduced, it must be world history

Ÿ Each week there should be an hour’s lesson of “national culture” taught to classes divided into small national groups, but this will be deliberately subordinated to international geography and history.

Ÿ Promotion of bilinguals

Ÿ Regular debates should encourage students to think about world affairs

Ÿ Students should take part in sports, community service and in the life of the school.

According to Ian Hill, Deputy Director General of IBO, “The primary goal of IBO is the promotion of world citizenship.” Currently, IBO is a signatory to a Peace Education agreement with UNESCO through the year 2010 whereby IBO agrees to integrate the UNESCO educational goals into every aspect of its curriculum: http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/Report/IBO.pdf. IBO and its representatives often publicly deny a relationship with the UN, but it is there in black and white in addition to annual funding of IBO by the UN which can be viewed in any of its annual reports.

Many dismiss the IBO/UN relationship and for the rest of this letter, I shall do the same as I feel there are enough deficiencies in the program’s design to discourage any American general public school from implementing the program without getting into the politics of it. However, the history of the organization should be known and its ongoing attempts to sugar coat its true agenda and philosophy should be kept in mind every time one asks a legitimate question about IB and is unable to get a legitimate answer.

IBO claims a “rigorous” approval process, which takes approximately two years. Actually, there is nothing terribly rigorous about the process except the strain it puts on a district’s budget. There is absolutely no evidence of a school EVER being denied IBO authorization. In fact, IBO has approved several schools in Florida, which had received a grade of ‘F’ from the State. http://www.duvalschools.org/reseval/SchlImpPlans/2008/092_SIP_2007-2008.pdf

According to IBO representative Ralph Cline, the IB Diploma Program was designed to be implemented in magnet schools or to be run as a “school within a school”. (Upper St. Clair, PA Minority Report, 2006). Of the current 714 IB DP schools in the U.S., approximately 10% are private schools and 60% are magnet or charter schools. From U.S. News & World Reports http://www.usnews.com/blogs/college-rankings-blog/index2.html -

In addition, Elizabeth Brock, head of research, development, and communications for IB North America, says:

The IB is committed to providing rigorous, international education to students from around the world. In the United States, the IB has received much support from governments and policymakers, including the U.S. Department of Education and local school districts, to increase student achievement and to turn around low-performing schools.

IB is not for everyone. Only some universities recognize the full diploma program (DP) as a “gold standard”. In the general public schools where the DP has been implemented, the number of actual full diploma candidates hovers in the 5-8% range of graduating seniors. For example, in Locust Valley HS, NY, Class of 2007, there were 160 seniors. Of those, 20 were full DP. Of those, only 14 earned the IB diploma, (4 were earned on appeal). What people need to know about the IB Diploma is that just earning it is no guarantee of scholarships or sophomore status. An IB Diploma can be awarded with a point range of 24-45. Schools like Towson University will award sophomore status to a student who scores 30 or higher and schools like Harvard or Oxford are looking for scores upwards of 38 for admission.

Unlike AP, a school may not simply pick and choose IB courses to offer, it must buy the complete package. A school does not have the choice of not offering the Theory of Knowledge(TOK) course, as it is one of the key components of the Diploma program. A school agrees to make the DP central to its scheduling and to fully support all aspects of the DP. This includes hiring an IB Coordinator, an EE Coordinator and a CAS Coordinator in addition to running TOK; even if you only have four students’ sign up to be full DP.

So what of the students who don’t want to be full DP but want to take one or two IB courses? They can, of course, however there are two levels of IB courses, SL (Standard Level) and HL (Higher Level). The vast majority of colleges and universities in this country do not recognize SL IB courses for college credit, only HL. So what is the difference between the two levels in terms of difficulty? After four years of research, no one has been unable to obtain a definitive explanation from IBO. All IBO will say is SL are supposed to be 150 hours and HL is 240 hours. This begs the question, if such is the case, why don’t universities give IB SL courses credit in the same manner as one-year AP credit?

One of the only reports in existence, which actually compares IB and AP, is the Fordham Report. It should be noted that the Math Professor who participated in the study asked to have his name removed from the report because his results were changed to favor IB. http://www.csun.edu/~vcmth00m/wp2.pdf IB Math and Science are relatively non-controversial, however it is the History of the Americas course which has caused many great concern from day one. In the Fordham Report, they state: “this option is neither detailed nor rich enough to serve as the sole course in U.S. History for American high school students.”

http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/APIB.pdf (pg. 51)

Any general public high school considering implementing IB should take into account the impact it will have on an existing AP program. While IBO representatives will tell schools they can probably run both or combine classes, what traditionally happens is due to the limited number of advanced students in any but the largest of high schools, students are “recommended” for and pushed towards IB by teachers and guidance counselors at the directive of the administration, instead of AP, so that districts can justify the tremendous expense of the program and show better numbers. A subsequent low sign-up for an AP course forces the Board to examine its minimum class size policy and often forces those classes to be cut. IBO even has a document on how to implement IB in an AP school. It should be noted that neither of the schools mentioned in this document presently offers AP.



1. Any student work submitted to IBO for assessment becomes the “absolute property” of IBO.

2. IBO requires submission of medical and psychological reports for students with disabilities for consideration of testing modifications http://search.ibo.org/cs.html?charset=iso-8859-1&url=http%3A//www.ibo.org/ibna/research/documents/Abstract_SpecialEducation_000.pdf&qt=disabilities&col=ibeng&n=8&la=en

3. An IB Certificate is nothing more than a receipt for the exam fee and a reporting of the score earned pass or fail.

4. IB has caused controversy in NY, PA, NJ, TX, CO, VA, UT, NH and MN.

5. IBO’s testing history is certainly not without its flaws: (27,000 in UK take IB History exam given two years earlier) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article1795958.ece.

Although I cannot provide you with a press release, at LVHS last year, our HL Bio students were very disappointed as a major portion of their finals went missing when a truck carrying the exams in Argentina was hijacked and IBO refused to adjust the grades for the missing portion.

6. IBO refuses to disclose the salary of its top executives.

7. Jay Mathews, the author of Newsweek’s Best High Schools List and journalist for the Washington Post, had his book Supertest: How the International Baccalaureate Can Strengthen Our Schools co-authored and published by IBO. (Ian Hill and Blouke Carus). Mathews is therefore financially biased in favor of IB and continues to be this country’s leading (and only?) media promoter of IB.

8. The U.S. News and World Reports’ first Best High Schools List (2007) was unable to include IB schools due to “lack of verifiable data”. This year’s list is due out in October and an effort to include IB schools is being “worked on”. Unlike the Newsweek List, U.S. News includes passing scores on AP exams as part of its methodology.


Ÿ IB causes controversy and divisiveness in communities not fully informed and on board with the “program”

Ÿ Scheduling problems - due to the IB DP’s restrictive construct, students often have to go without lunch or are forced to drop band, chorus, orchestra or other extra-curricular activities

Ÿ Additional layer of bureaucracy, loss of local control

Ÿ Legal questions remain unanswered: IBO requires any litigation to be handled in the courts of Geneva, Switzerland. http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/may06/IBSchools.html

Ÿ TOK forces students to question their faith and family values they were raised with.

Ÿ IB History only covers a 100 year period, requires extensive curriculum rewriting to meet most State standards for graduation requirements.

Ÿ IB creates an elitist atmosphere within the school and often forces the elimination of Honors and AP courses

Ÿ High teacher and administrative turnover - while no cumulative data exists on the issue, at Locust Valley HS, NY, since IB was implemented in 2004, there have been 3 IB Coordinators and the HS is now searching for its 4th HS Principal in 4 years. The original Principal who ushered in IB was promoted to Asst. Supt in January of 2006, and has also resigned as of 7/1/08. All of these administrators in addition to many teachers, who have left the district, were trained in IB and now all new personnel must be trained in their stead. Training averages $1500 per teacher, per 3-day session. Most training takes place during the school year, requiring the hiring of untrained substitutes at additional cost to the district and loss of educational time for the students. LVHS is a general public high school with 650 students.

Ÿ IBO Executive salaries and questionable fundraising and finances: http://www.peytonwolcott.com/International_Baccalaureate_Inc.html

I hope this information is helpful as you consider whether or not to proceed with the implementation of IB. I have been accused of spreading “misinformation” and “propaganda”, yet everything I have relayed to you in this letter is verifiable. I am featured in Jay Mathews’ book Supertest, Chapter 45, and criticized in former IBO Director General George Walker’s 2005 Plenary Speech (as Mrs. Long Island) for my concern of his endorsement of loss of individual and national sovereignty: (pg. 4) http://www.ibo.org/dg/emeritus/speeches/documents/ibna_jul05.pdf. Mr. Walker urges supporters of IB to:

“…recognize that difference, to be able to describe it and to be prepared to defend it. Increasingly, there will be moments in this region when we shall all need to stand up and be counted”.

If Mr. Walker considers me enough of a philosophical threat to “stand up and be counted” against, I hope you will give due consideration to my position and research on IB. Please feel free to contact me at lisamc3@optonline.net with any further questions

Lisa McLoughlin is available as an independent consultant to American public school districts considering the implementation of IB. Phase B of the IB authorization process requires districts to hire an IB consultant. Board of Education Trustees, as representatives of the Public Trust, should avail themselves of the opportunity to hear both sides of the IB story before investing taxpayer dollars into this expensive educational program. If interested, please e-mail lisamc3@optonline.net for information on fee and availability.

“McLoughlin, in my view, has become the liveliest and most intelligent IB critic in the country.” ~Jay Mathews, The Washington Post, 10/09/07

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the information. I'm a little late to the game. Did this ever get implemented or was he able to stop it?


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