Friday, February 22, 2008

The text of the original Tribune article on International Baccalaureate programs plus the follow-up

Original Article

Utah lawmakers, fearing UN conspiracy, kill funds for International Baccalaureate program

By Lisa Schencker
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 02/21/2008 08:25:06 PM MST

Lawmakers decided against helping Utah schools pay for International Baccalaureate (IB) programs after one legislator called IB's philosophy "anti-American" today.
"I'm not opposed to understanding the world," Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, told members of the Senate Education Committee. "I'm opposed to the anti-American philosophy that's somehow woven into all the classes as they promote the U.N. [United Nations] agenda."
HB266 proposes allocating $300,000 to help seven Utah high schools pay for IB programs. IB students can earn college credit by taking rigorous courses that expose them to world perspectives. More than 800 U.S. schools offer IB.
Though the House passed the bill unanimously earlier this month, the Senate committee shot it down on a 3-3 vote. When a bill vote is tied in committee, the bill fails.
Dayton's characterization of the program frustrated IB proponents.
"It's the most preposterous thing," said Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, who sponsored the bill. "I was stunned."
Skyline High School IB coordinator Ruth Dallas and Rebecca Odoardi, director of Davis School District gifted programs, said IB is definitely not anti-American.
"I have seen nothing in any of these courses to indicate there would be any anti-American sentiment,"Odoardi said. "In fact, quite the opposite is true."
Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Salt Lake City, the Senate sponsor of the bill, said IB emphasizes the kind of world-class education legislators have been "championing up here for a long time."
Paul Campbell, head of outreach for IB North America, said he's heard allegations about IB being anti-American before. He said, however, IB is neither anti-American nor connected to the U.N.
"We would never have survived 40 years if we had a hidden agenda or ideology that we were trying to push on schools," Campbell said. "Ninety percent of IB schools in the U.S. are public schools that have to answer to their local school board and communities and that's exactly the way we feel it should be."
Clearfield High School IB coordinator Rebecca Van Dyke said the program gives students the chance to compete on an international level. Teachers are expected to integrate other cultures into their lessons and educators from around the world grade tests and projects. Van Dyke, for example, is required to teach three works in translation in her English class each year. In the past, she's taught books such as "The Metamorphosis," "Crime and Punishment" and "The Stranger."
"If there is any emphasis on this program in internationalism, it is saying we're all human beings," Van Dyke said. "We need to respect each other as human beings."
The PTA and Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City also spoke in support of the bill. But ultimately, Dayton, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, and Sen. Darin Peterson, R-Nephi, voted against it. Stephenson said only, "I'm not yet comfortable with this based on some of the input I've received."

Text boxes:
About the bill

HB266 proposed giving $300,000 to seven Utah high schools to help pay for International Baccalaureate programs.

What is IB?

IB, or International Baccalaureate, is a diploma program offered at seven Utah high schools. Launched in Switzerland in 1968, the International Baccalaureate was intended to create a curriculum and diploma recognized worldwide. A growing number of schools are working toward approval from the international organization to offer the program.
Earning an IB diploma means a student completed two years of IB courses, which have a more international focus and are taught by IB-trained teachers. Courses offered include foreign language, theory of knowledge, social studies, science, math and other subjects.
Students must demonstrate their mastery of subjects through essay-based exams and take greater responsibility, teachers say, through independent projects. A 4,000-word essay is one of the culminating assignments. Students must also complete community service.

Follow-up article the next day

Lawmakers' conspiracy theories leave high school students giggling
International Baccalaureate program part of a U.N. conspiracy to control our kids, they say

By Ben Fulton
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 02/22/2008 09:11:09 PM MST

Anna Roth, 18, had but one response when she heard a Utah lawmaker's characterization of the International Baccalaureate program as an agenda wrapped in an "anti-American philosophy" designed to "promote the U.N. agenda."
"I honestly started to giggle," she said.
A senior soon to complete her IB diploma at West High School upon graduation this spring, Roth can't say enough good things about the program.
While studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she learned to evaluate historical documents independently of her instructor, then reach her own conclusions. She said she's rarely attended an IB class where a teacher's lecture dominates the classroom. "Pretty much every IB class is a discussion class, and students often direct that conversation. It teaches you to think critically."
Hanne Paine, a 15-year-old sophomore attending West's classes in preparation for the IB program, concurs. "I don't think I've ever been taught anything specifically anti-American," she said.
Such criticism of IB may be new to Utah students, but some conservative groups have fought the program for years. Complaints in Pennsylvania and Virginia that IB perpetuates an "anti-Christian" and "anti-American" agenda have successfully removed IB programs from some schools. A model, online petition against IB at Target="_BLANK"> states the curriculum is used by the U.N. "to brainwash our kids and teach them to despise our country." Utah's conservative Eagle Forum is also a critic.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, is familiar with this criticism. It prompted her comments Thursday that helped kill a bill to provide more funding for Utah's IB programs. In voting against HB266, she said she is "opposed to the anti-American philosophy that's somehow woven into all the classes as they promote the U.N. agenda."
Dayton acknowledged Friday that she's never witnessed an IB class in session. She also said it's possible "good things" are happening in the program. It's the language she says is associated with IB that galls.
She has a problem with the program's association with the International Baccalaureate Organization, based in Geneva. She issued a written statement Friday that contends Switzerland's replacement of its arbitration rules in 2004 with those of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law taint by extension the IB itself.
This means, she said, that high schools signing on to the IB program must also by extension submit any program disputes and frustrations at the local school level to UN-inspired regulations and the goal of creating "global citizens."
"I would like to have American citizens who know how to function in a global economy, not global citizens," Dayton said.
Sen. Darin Peterson, R-Nephi, said he was prepared to vote in favor HB266 as he walked into last week's Senate committee meeting until he conducted an Internet search linking IB with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After reading a line in reference to "worldwide socialization and training for a global work force," along with words such as "independence movements, exploitation and colonialism" his decision became clear.
"Socialization has been a failure everywhere it's been tried," Peterson said. "It's not the system we work in, and it's not the system that pays our education bills."
Peterson's vote, along with that of Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, doomed HB266 despite the fact that the legislation earlier received unanimous support in the House.
Jenny Nichols, who teaches AP and IB history at West High School, wishes lawmakers and others would witness the IB curriculum in action themselves before making decisions and issuing declarations. "This is the first time I've heard of any U.N. connection. I was very surprised," she said. "Certainly we cover the U.N. as a topic from time to time, but not as a governing principle or institution."
Members of Utah State Board of Education on Friday called accusations about the program unfounded and emphasized their support for IB.
"IB is a solid program. It provides solid college preparation," board member Thomas Gregory said.
- ROXANA ORELLANA contributed to this story.

Text Box:
IB notes

HB266 would have provided $300,000 to help school districts pay for International Baccalaureate courses.
Utah high schools with IB programs include Salt Lake City's West High, Midvale's Hillcrest High, Clearfield High, Bountiful High, Provo High and East Millcreek's Skyline High.


Anonymous said...

IB is a scam, and is meant to brainwash the children into 'world government'.

It is devoid of skills and all writing and philophizing on how America is bad, socialism is good.

It is very anti-American. The test questions are outrageous. If I were a student and saw that I would walk out of class.

I am a 35 year teacher and I was asked to sign a paper stating I would promote world government and I refused.

Kick IB in the pants, NOW!

UtahTeacher said...

You are apparently the poster over at the Trib who goes by NH and claims to be from New Hampshire. I'm sure most anti-UN activists in New England are up reading minor education blogs from Utah hours after they are written.

You are lying to support your anti-UN feelings. I know the administrator at a school that offers the IB program and have seen that your claims about the lack of skills are false. I believe you are lying about the world government paper and where you're from. Your story has gotten more fantastic just in the few hours from when you posted at the Trib.

Barbara said...

Totally ironic. We can spend millions on vouchers because private schools with no public accountability provide superior education but we can't spend a small pittance to help our public schools provide the "first-class" curriculum the Legislature keeps demanding. Amazing. Who keeps electing these parochial, close minded, short sighted political hacks? Would the Utah voter please wake up and do a better job?

Anonymous said...

This is simply absurd. Let's just keep producing mediocre machines instead of thinking, global citizens.
What does this mean for a future of IB in Utah?

Anonymous said...

Senator Dayton sent via form letter three documents that support her reason for rejecting the funding. Can I send them to you for posting?

UtahTeacher said...

I linked to two EdWatch articles that contain the same bologna that Sen. Dayton read in her info from Phyllis Schafly. I would be happy to post links to the specific Eagle Forum articles Sen. Dayton read. They only prove my point.

Anonymous said...

The part about having to sign the 'world government' mission on my contract was FROM 1992 under GOALS 2000 so the situation is worse than you think.

There is a lot more to the 'changes' going on in our schools.

If you love totalitarianism and are willingn to give up the form of government we supposedly have in this country (natural rights) then I am sorry for you.

But don't deny that the push is on, in our schools and even churches who are pushing for more taxation.

TJ Clark said...

I am currently an IB student at Cocoa Beach High School, and I must say that IB is in no way a brainwashing entity.

All IB is is a rigorous college prep program. In our classes such as TOK (Theory of Knowledge) we learn things like overcoming bias (which this supposed UN conspiracy would be, bias). IB essentially shows it's students how to be open minded and understanding enough to resist the kind of brainwashing and propaganda that they are supposedly giving us.

Essentially, it would be easier to brainwash children in remedial classes, so watch out! Helpful, peaceful organizations may be taking over the minds of our special needs... I think you should go investigate the Red Crosses infiltration of the minds of our nation's retards, as they now feel like saving people. LOCK UP YOUR CHILDREN!... If you could not tell, this has been sarcasm.

Much of the curriculum is so similar to other rigorous classes such as AP, that the classes are combined (eg. AP US History and IB US History, AP Calculus and IB Calculus, AP Physics and IB Physics, AP Language and Composition and IB English SL, etc.)

Anonymous said...

To Utah Teacher,

I am not lying. I was asked to sign something saying I would teach world government and I refused. That is all this IB program is about -- stealing our money and instilling world socialism in our students' brains. If you are too stupid to see this then you are helping to erase our national sovereignty by your complicity.

SHAME ON YOU is all I can say.

Anonymous said...

The only thing 'rigorous' about IB is the cost and the dedication to globalizing our youth. Most fools think this means teaching them languages and about other cultures, but it's not so. It is making them aware they must share the wealth across the nations, global socialism, under one authority, which won't be the constitution.

There are many many books written on the subject, namely the one written by the education department head from 1980. It's called Deliberate Dumbing Down and tells how we are taking directions from the UN, a very war-like and controlling entity, to manage our school curriculum. This on its face is absurd! To teach children languages and about other cultures you simply need people who know the subject areas and know how to teach... you do not need some OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY organization... whose motivation is admitted by them right on their website at