HB 1403 Is Good Law For The International Baccalaureate Program

“You know your in the IB if your school has this traffic sign posted in the parking lot: Caution: Kids might throw themselves in front of your car.”—Unknown

Jeffrey Beard, director general of the International Baccalaureate Organization writes today in our own local Union Leader. Mr. Beard extols IB virtues and advocates for schools to adopt an IB curriculum, while making a strong statement against House Bill 1403, Requiring a school curriculum and instruction to meet school approval standards only when the “curriculum and instruction promote state and national sovereignty … not subject to the governance of a foreign body or organization.(amended analysis from the bill)

Beard writes in the Union Leader,

“The bill aims to outlaw study related to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a rigorous education program founded in 1968 to develop students who are knowledgeable, critical thinkers, life-long learners, active leaders, and who understand and respect other cultures. If passed, the bill would eliminate IB as a school choice option in New Hampshire.”

Really? This bill aims to outlaw IB? IB is proscribed nowhere in this bill. Section VII in this bill states,”In continuing recognition of the duty to provide public school pupils with fundamental knowledge and learning as established by the New Hampshire constitution and the Constitution of the United States of America, a public school or public academy shall be deemed to meet school approval standards only if the curriculum and instruction of the school or academy promotes state and national sovereignty and is not subject to the governance of a foreign body or organization.

That seems pretty straight-forward. This is America, after all…And more specifically, the sovereign state of New Hampshire. Our educational system should espouse and embrace our constitution and our national sovereignty. Who in America would oppose that principle? But there are those who did.

What exactly is the International Baccalaureate?  Often referred to as the IB Diploma Programme, the website describes it as,

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

Sounds great! But, what the hell is the IB..in a nutshell? See? It tell us nothing. And if one makes a Google search asking, “What is the International Baccalaureate Program?” The best result is always a facile description or definition that tells the inquisitor absolutely nothing about its’ workings.

This morning, Jeffrey Beard writes and still tells us nothing, other than to give us more of the same facile anecdotes that the rank and file sheeple can glom onto. On the one hand, IB allegedly promotes critical thinking. Yet, when critical thinking analysis is applied to the inquiries about IB, the result is more sandbagging with platitudes and surface feel-goodism.

Beard asserts in the UL, In the United States, “IB programs are offered in 1,331 primary and secondary schools that span a thick slice of American life: public, private, magnet, charter, urban, suburban and rural schools.” That is a thick slice? hardly. New Hampshire for example has only one school laying claim to an IB curriculum. the claim is fallacious and gregarious.

Beard next asserts, “[T]he IB is an independent, apolitical, nonprofit organization. The IB is not controlled by any ministry, government, or the United Nations. Nor does the IB own or operate any schools.” An organization can hardly be considered apolitical when it operates on world communitarian principles finding their roots in progressive notions. Independence works well for the IB because it depends on no mechanism for accountability, especially were publicly funded institutions are concerned.

Beard next tell us, “What the IB does is prepare students for life beyond high school graduation far more successfully than many competing education programs. But that is not really true, either. There currently exists no independent metric to test that assertion. Likewise, despite the program being around for over forty years, not one independent study suggests the success of IB with any measurable results.

Beard goes on to say, “More than 1,000 U.S. universities actively recruit students who graduate from the IB Diploma Program (DP); many so value IB graduates that they waive freshman year completely to attract them. A recent study by the University of Chicago linked participation in the IB Diploma Program to college success, citing a higher likelihood of attendance at a university, better preparation for university studies once there, and a high likelihood of completing college studies in four years compared to non-IB Diploma students.

As if the American public is oblivious to pretext under which Colleges and Universities live: Progressive Liberalism. College campuses are rife with it…Many academics are the bastions for everything anti-American. It makes sense that Beard would assert that.

Finally, Beard lectures us, The IB curriculum emphasizes understanding and respecting one’s own culture and values first, and then becoming cognizant of the values and cultures of the larger world in which we live. As Americans, we enjoy freedom of expression and tolerance for all as core ideals. An IB education promotes diversity of thought, opinion, background and viewpoint — not at the expense of an American identity, but in addition to it.

This is all just smoke and mirrors. If such were the case, then why oppose HB 1403? The bill does not ban IB. Rather, it reaffirms the American values as the focus of education. But don’t take my word for it.. Let us look at an anecdote that give us some viewpoints from a school system with experience in the IB experiment.

About.com, a clearly left-leaning informational website, posted an opinion poll indicating that while 1,127 respondents thought it was an excellent addition to a public education, 2,284 asserted IBO promotes a global anti-American curriculum, has a left-wing hidden agenda, and promotes socialism & anti-Christian values.

And finally, there is Jeffrey Beard’s, own personal credibility challenge.  In August of 2010, Beard gave a talk on “Education for a Better World” at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.  The following day the Chautauqua Institution expressed disappointment citing that Beards’ assertions were not his own, but those of renowned British educationist Sir Ken Robinson  Beard mildly admitted to the plagiarism, stating this as an “unfortunate incident” due to “oversight.”  “Sorry ’bout that…”

Oversight. Is it? Or, in order to pimp a world social agenda, does an organization have to recruit those willing to lie? It is a tough question to ask, but the tougher question really is, How honest is Jeffrey Beard?

It was later discovered that significant portions of IB’s Diploma program marking guides were lifted from websites sans attribution.  One of those sites was Wikipedia. In a letter to schools, Beard wrote: “We have and always will take immediate and appropriate action when we discover any violation of our policies or standards.” The examiner responsible for the plagiarism resigned from the examination board five weeks after the issue came to light.”

A Google search, posing the question, “What is the International Baccalaureate Program?provides a screen  awash with a plethora of sites, descriptions and yes, definitions… But none of them are clear, coherent or the least bit concise. In the information age where the masses absorb information in 15 seconds or less,  nobody is concise.

Here is what I have learned. The IB curriculum is hardly transformative on the surface level …But what is, and should be of larger concern is its’ lack of focus on societal core values, its advocacy for  process over outcomes, its importance placed on defining social justice, and its’ overall process-based methodology.  The IB is little more than a viewpoint recalibration of worldviews. Worldviews that later find themselves open and responsive to the tenets of socialism, Marxism, and denigration of American sovereignty. Apathy for the American value system is the pathway IB follows to achieve its goals. To say that IB is apolitical is not only dishonest, but corrupt.  When I think of IB,  Aldous Huxley’s, A Brave New World, comes to mind.