IB raises more questions than answers<br>
The IB Program has been aggressively marketed to schools as “world class” education. However, this new educational program is based on philosophy, not content. The International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years and Middle Years programs are described in their materials as teaching for “transformation,” “a new ethic” and “education for world citizenship.”
The “Transformational Education” of the IB Program is all about changing society, not educating the student.
No Child Left Behind
In the effort to meet the No Child Left Behind legislation from the U.S. federal government, many schools are finding it easier to adopt the United Nations-sponsored IB programs for primary and middle school, than to design improvements locally. Many teachers, administrators and school boards are sold on IB because there is much that is positive in the teaching methodology, the emphasis on central themes and varied assessment practices. However, all this can be implemented without becoming part of the Global School Board and entering into a contractual relationship with the UN.
Grand Canyon School’s affiliation with the International Baccalaureate Organization now makes it part of a new UN Global School Board. What is “Sustainable Development” according to the UN? What are the political, social and economic principles of the Earth Charter? Is it important to know where the teaching of “values, attitudes and beliefs” are coming from for students at Grand Canyon School? Is it important to know what these “values, attitudes and beliefs” are and what agenda might be intended for the indoctrination of students in grades K-12? Is it important to know where teachers are getting their lesson plans and curriculum guidelines so that some local control of the school’s curriculum can be maintained?
One district’s experience
These are some of the questions that a New York school district addressed in a report entitled “IBO Task Force Final Report, November 20, 2004.” These are just some of the questions the Grand Canyon community should also be asking before the IB Program is fully implemented.
You can find the report and Task Force minutes at www.oacsd.org/. Owego Apalachin Unified School District is a rural, middle class, public school district of 400 staff members and 2,300 students in K-12.
After a five-month study and a one-year implementation of the Primary and Middle Years programs the Owego Apalachin School Task Force recommended that the district discontinue affiliation with the International Baccalaureate Organization. Their recommendation was based on the following reasons:
• Lack of community support, due to issues with the philosophy of IBO, as well as IBO contractual concerns.
• Further affiliation with IBO would continue to cause division within the community, and impact school budget support.
The major concerns of the task force investigation of the IB Organization included its affiliation with the United Nations; IBO’s philosophy; the school’s contractual relationship with the International Baccalaureate Organization; school budget; best practices; lack of communication between the school and the community; operational issues—instruction, homework, and community service.
The task force report concluded that, “According to UNESCO, the world view taught by the International Baccalaureate includes the promotion of the Earth Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and multiculturalism.” They stated in their findings that, “The International Baccalaureate Organization is linked to the United Nations and UNESCO and shares the goals, ideals, and objectives of those organizations.”
Dr. Ian Hill, Deputy Director of IBO, recently said that the primary goal of IBO is the promotion of “world citizenship.” George Walker, IB’s Director-General, says the program is committed to changing children’s values so they think globally, rather than in “parochial national terms from their own country’s viewpoint….”
According to UNESCO, “The core values and attitudes…are chosen (by the UN) because they are deemed to be universally acceptable and desirable. They may best be described as ‘International Humanism’ and are embodied in such documents as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and on Women’s Rights, etc.”
American students will learn code words such as “human rights” and “social justice,” which the UN has never successfully been able to implement or enforce.
The UN talks about democracy but UN officials are not elected by anyone. The officers of the IBO are not elected school board members. Many of the members of the UN are some of the world’s worst dictatorships, guilty of the worst abuses of human rights and social justice. Indoctrination of UN views on immigration, population, health, and environment is a distinct possibility for our students. (“Social Engineering for Global Change” by Carl Teichrib, September, 2004)
America’s foundational principles of national sovereignty, natural law and inalienable rights are at odds with the IB curriculum and are not taught. IBO explicitly states that its curriculum does not follow the political system of any particular nation, including the United States. The UN Declaration of Human Rights ends with the words: “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
The U.S. Declaration of Independence, in contrast, states that human rights have a higher priority than government decisions. (“International Baccalaureate” by Allen Quist June 30, 2004).
Also among their concerns, the Owego Apalachin IBO Task Force cited “Potential Constitutional Violation of the 13th Amendment” and “Potential Violation of Federal Law 20 U.S.C. 1232h” on Sex or Family Life Education. Under U.S. legislation and court decisions, parents (not the state) have the primary responsibility for their children’s education, and parents have certain rights which the school may not deny. Parents have the right to assure their children’s beliefs and moral values are not undermined by the school’s.
First Amendment issues
Pupils have the right to have and to hold their values and moral standards without direct or indirect manipulation through curricula, textbooks, audio-visual materials or assignments…this includes: Anti-nationalistic, one-world government or humanistic or globalism curricula. In addition the First Amendment has been interpreted by the courts with this simple set of criteria that the government (and by extension public schools) may not:
Promote one religion or faith group over any other
Promote a religiously based life over a secularly based life
Promote a secularly based life over a religiously based life