Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The board of the Omaha Public Schools is scheduled to vote Oct. 5 on whether to allow International Baccalaureate programs in Central High School and Lewis and Clark Middle School. The International Baccalaureate program, often under fire as being tinged with globalism, socialism, anti-Americanism and anti-Christianity, has been shown to cost $1,800 extra per student per year, and is not considered as cost-effective as the Advanced Placement programs that are more prevalent across the state.
Moreover, the International Baccalaureate program, or IB, appears to be in direct violation of Nebraska state law. The law requires curricular control by a locally-elected school board, adherence to Nebraska state standards of learning, parental control over a child's education, and a pro-America civics orientation for any taxpayer-supported public school.
Members of a local school board who fail to fulfill the American civics requirements of Nebraska State Statute 79-724 (http://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=79-724) are guilty of a Class III misdemeanor. But the IB curriculum that is under consideration for Central and Lewis and Clark appears to ignore the provisions in the law that require the teaching of civics pertaining strictly to the United States and to the State of Nebraska.
The two OPS schools would join Millard North and Lincoln High as IB schools in Nebraska.
There are many other reasons the IB program should be rejected, but the extra expense for no demonstrable benefits over AP programming, plus the apparent illegality, should be plenty to convince the OPS board to move on to more productive types of quality upgrades for the state’s largest school district.
The Swiss-based IB program, with much of its curriculum produced by the United Nations, demands an override of control or even input by the students' parents, the local school board, school administrators, and state and local elected officials. Testing and grading are conducted in Switzerland rather than by the district or state’s own personnel.
Although Omaha philanthropist Susie Buffett's Sherwood Foundation would pay the IB planning and start-up costs, estimated in other places as over $100,000 per school, it appears that there would be no private funding or subsidies to offset the additional $1,800 per student per year that IB typically costs.
In brief, IB has come under fire by U.S. education activists for many reasons:
-- The IB organization became a signatory in 2001 to the United Nations Earth Charter, which promotes the concept of world citizenship over the U.S. sovereignty proclaimed in American founding documents and legal principles. The "worldview," or perspective, of the IB organization and the educators it trains is clearly toward globalism over American sovereignty, which would violate the beliefs and wishes of most, if not all, of the Nebraska parents whose children would be taught in the IB system.
-- IB also is on record in favor of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which directly contradicts the American Declaration of Independence. The U.N. document contends that human rights stem from government. But the American document contends that rights and liberties are God-given and inalienable, transcending human government. The U.N. point of view has been criticized as enabling totalitarianism over democracy.
-- The IB organization also is on record in favor of an array of U.N. policies that the U.S. has not endorsed. These U.N. policies, among others, promote biodiversity over economic development, children's rights over parental rights, environmental constraints over business (the Kyoto accords), global military disarmament vs. independent systems of national defense, and an international court which would supersede the high courts of sovereign nations, even in matters involving citizens of sovereign nations such as the U.S. Most, if not all, Nebraska parents of students who would be enrolled in an IB system would oppose most, if not all, of those policies, but their children will be taught to accept and promote them anyway.
-- The U.N. and therefore the IB curriculum, since the U.N. created and copyrighted much of the IB curriculum, also favors same-sex marriage, in direct contradiction to Section I-29 of the Nebraska Constitution.
-- Parents are blocked from seeing the IB curriculum in advance and cannot see their child's essays or test papers, since they are graded and kept in Switzerland, an obvious undermining of the parental rights which are strongly supported in American law.
-- Each district's IB coordinator acts as a "gatekeeper" trained to direct parental concerns to the IB headquarters in Switzerland; parents are denied the opportunity to work out concerns with locally-elected school board members or paid administrators even though their tax dollars are paying for the IB program.
-- The IB literature curriculum is heavy on anti-American, anti-Christian books which are leftist politically, negative about capitalism and traditional family values, and paint a bleak picture of the past, present and future. They lack richness of plot, vocabulary or character, and are almost without exception not even in the top 100 books most fans of quality literature would consider essential for an American middle-school or high-school student’s literary education. Many ridicule Christianity or by omission ignore its contributions, while elevating New Age and pantheistic religious belief systems. Examples of books frequently in the IB lineup that ridicule the Judeo-Christian religious belief systems: The Demon Haunted World by the late Carl Sagan (who claimed that science is more valid than religion), and The Power of Myth by the late Joseph Campbell, who called the belief in a bodily resurrection which is central to Christianity "a clown act." These sentiments would be highly offensive to parents of IB students, if they had any idea about the radical ideology which their children are being taught. If books like these comprised a minority of the reading lists in IB, it would be one thing. But books like these comprise 100% of the lists, and that amounts to politicized indoctrination, not intellectually-free education.
-- Most IB curriculum is heavy on relativism, the idea that "what is true for you might not be true for me, but that’s OK." Relativism permeates the teaching of conflict resolution within the IB curriculum. An example given is content that seeks to equate the perspective of a violent terrorist from a Third World country who feels deprived of resources, with the perspective of a law-abiding citizen from a wealthy nation, as if violence and terrorism are OK because the possession of resources isn’t equal between the two people. In stark contrast, the Judeo-Christian heritage on which the American form of government is based has a strong foundation in objective, rational, unchanging truth, which is not relative, but can be discovered and understood. Terrorism is always wrong, under the American system of thought, but under IB's relativism, there are conditions under which terrorism can be right.
-- Although IB is usually promoted in a school in order to try to attract college-prep type students and improve the intellectual atmosphere in a high school, it most often acts to segregate the strong students from the weak ones to an even more extreme degree than already occurs, since the IB students don't mix with the others and a degree of arrogance and exclusivity often develops in the student body.
Need more proof?
Here are 10 brief reasons why IB conflicts with the pro-American requirements of any elected school board under state law:
Here is why a well-regarded school district near Pittsburg, Pa., rejected IB after several years of experience with it:
This shows how IB is the intended vehicle for the international standardization of curriculum at the expense of any semblance of local control by locally-elected school boards:
Here is how a Minnesota teacher computed that IB would cost his district an extra $1,805 per student per year, but was nowhere near as cost-effective or helpful to students in obtaining college credit for high-school course work as Advanced Placement. In addition, he criticized IB because its insistence on curricular control pulled all power out of the hands of the locally-elected school board and local education officials:
Costs & Contents of IB (Eaton, in ppt) (10/14/06)
I once read a book entitled "Suicide of the West" by James Burnham. He explained how the West was committing slow suicide by it's piecemeal appeasment of the Communists. (Thank you, Jesus, for Ronald Reagan!)
Foisting the left-wing, anti-West,anti-capitalist, anti-US constitution, UN resolution inspired International Baccalaureate program on impressionable high school kids is another step in the suicide of the West..
The curriculum of this program lists as "universal human rights" unfettered abortion, gay marriage and immigrant rights, which latter means the right of any person to choose his own country. This is according to Carilyn B. Eager, president of World Class Education Research.
Suicide can be slow, through a thousand cuts.The IB program is , for America, one of those thousand cuts.
I wish I had read this blog before allowing my daughter to enter the pre-IB program at our local High School. Now, trying to get her OUT of the program and into regular and/or AP courses is proving much more difficult than they led us to believe. At first, I thought it was due to funding issues, but after reading this blog, I think it may be much more than that involved .... To me, it is just more evidence of America's decline.
I'd be interested in hearing more about your experience with the pre-IB program and your concerns, and would like to receive any materials you might be willing to share by mail. Also, if you would like me to speak with school officials on your behalf, I would be willing to do so. Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost a Comment