Eye on Education

Is the International Baccalaureate Program Anti-American?

The Sound of Ideas, our partner station WCPN’s daily talk show, took on the topic of the International Baccalaureate program this week.

The International Baccalaureate program, originally developed as a standard curriculum to use with the the “internationally mobile” children of diplomats, is now growing in popularity in U.S. schools. That popularity is due in part to the belief that the program “seeks to teach students not just what they need to know, but how to think and learn,” as the Sound of Ideas puts it.

While more than 20 Ohio schools have adopted parts of the IB program, some parents and educators are critical of it.

In one part of the hour-long show (listen to the full show) Sound of Ideas host Michael McIntyre asked IB proponents about some of those criticisms.

Q: How do you answer critics who say that IB is anti-American?

A: Paul Campbell, Head of Regional Development, International Baccalaureate Program
I let the schools answer that. I look at a body of schools, Northeast Ohio being a microcosm, from all kinds of backgrounds, parochial schools, wealthy schools, poor schools, urban schools, suburban schools, schools across the political spectrum, who have found their way to IB. And because of all the choices that schools are empowered to make within the [IB] program they can have it reflect the values of the local community. But I think that story is much better told by the schools rather than by the organizations.

Q: What about the idea that IB is in conflict with America’s founding principles?

A: Tim Mitchell, International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Coordinator for the Shaker Heights school district
I think the critics can fear not. Our students are still well equipped with experience in American history courses and do receive an American government experience as well. They’ve gotten that through the course of their K-12 education. The reality is that national boundaries are probably less significant in the 21st century then they’ve ever been… We need to be able to integrate with the rest of the world and think intelligently and problem solve. And I think IB allows our students to have that preparation.

Q: Ninety percent of the schools that have IB in the United states are public schools. What about that money commitment when we’re having financial crises in our school systems? Can they afford IB?

A: Paul Campbell, Head of Regional Development, International Baccalaureate Program
We’ve been surprised by how few schools have dropped the IB in the past couple years in the midst of this shattering depression in the eduction economy. It’s probably not as expensive as people portray it to be because you’re going to have to spend that money anyway. You’re going to have to have teachers. You’re going to have to have laboratory equipment. you’re going to have to have information technology.

But what we’re finding, and it’s very encouraging, is that this investment is one that schools are fiercely maintaining. We have as many new schools coming on board or in the pipeline, again Northeast Ohio being a perfect example, as we had when things were a lot rosier economically.

Listen to the full show here.


  • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

    Despite IB’s claims that its programmes instill critical thinking and self-reflection in students, I am not the least bit surprised that Mr. Campbell refused to reflect on why this charge is repeatedly lobbed against IB.

    IBO is an NGO of UNESCO. President Ronald Reagan withdrew the U.S. from UNESCO in 1985 and it wasn’t until 2002 that George W. Bush re-engaged the U.S. with UNESCO. IB’s “philosophy” is deeply tied to UN Millenium Goals and holds the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) above our U.S. Constitution. Most recently, the U.S. cut off funding to UNESCO for admitting the Palestinian Authority as a member. IB likes to claim that none of IB’s alignment of its programmes with UN values translates into the classroom, but this is simply untrue. Just check any of IB’s Global Engage lessons and see how many come directly from the UN.

    Mr. Mitchell states above: “The reality is that national boundaries are probably less significant in the 21st century…” Really? Tell that to Israel. Tell that to Americans dealing with kidnappings and murders on our Mexican border.

    It should be pointed out that IB isn’t just anti-American, it is anti the national sovereignty of ANY country. Take a look at some of the problems India is having with IB. IB embraces a socialist, green “one world” philosophy, as demonstrated by its ongoing training of teachers in the tenets of the Earth Charter which promotes, “Equitable distribution of wealth within a nation, and among nations.”

    At the Diploma level, unless it is very large high school, IB pushes AP courses to the curb. Because of its outrageous cost, school administrators need to “nudge” students into IB in order to justify the expense and make it appear popular. IB also requires our public high schools to align their mission statements with the IB in order to “transform the culture” of the school. IB is in direct competition with AP and only uses AP exams (which are accessible to IB students, but not the other way around) to supplement its claims of college-credit.

    I could go on, but if you want to read the entire truth about IB, please visit:


    • Anonymous

      Yeah. Human Rights SUCK! Have you thought about the possibility that being pro-human rights actually discourages all kinds of political violence, from all sides, not just sides you personally think are “right”? Again, I have a child an IB school. To say that they push APs to the side is just plain crap, because they are a college prep school, and to not have APs would lower kids’ chances of getting into college.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        I’m glad you support the UN’s addition of Iran to its Human Rights Council. If that’s IB’s idea of human rights for Americans, (Sharia Law) and uninformed, globalist loyalists like yourself are blind to the sheer hypocrisy of such a position, I can see I’m going to have to step up my defense of our Constitutional Republic. IB really is a bigger danger than I originally thought. However, because of its outrageous cost and the FACT that 82 U.S. schools have chosen to drop IB since March, 2009, I have faith that very soon, IB will be relegated to private schools only.

    • Slowest_man

      LEM thank you! This last post of yours just convinced me to consider IB for my children! :-)

    • Skeptik

      Curious that you mention national boundaries and Israel, without addressing the fact that business, particularly big business, is already borderless. As big business operates without borders, it can pick and choose which countries win and which lose, based on a country’s business policies.

      • Anonymous

        I get the feeling that LEM and Co. are fine with the U.S. benefitting economically from globalization. They just don’t want any “foreign” IDEAS.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1216004397 Stacey Krepcio Olivieri

      I’m going to quote this from your website:
      ‘Some key phrases he uses in the speech to describe the “hidden curriculum”:
      “-compulsory, timetabled part of the learning in which everyone participates”
      “-extra- or co-curriculum which is voluntary but enriches the compulsory curriculum; it is what we often remember most from our school experience”
      “- the informal but influential rules, beliefs and attitudes that determine the transmission of norms and values.” ‘

      So- you do realize that all public and private school curriculums are compulsory and timetabled? That they all have co-curricular experiences which help enrich the curriculum? And that all parts of society, including every school in America, has informal but influential rules, beliefs and attitudes that transmit norms or values?

      AP exams are not all they are cracked up to me. My children attend a non-IB school, it’s a full time gifted school that kids have to qualify and test into. They push the AP classes, and it’s no uncommon for high school seniors and juniors to be taking 3-5 AP classes at once. AP classes are ONLY worth it if the teacher is worth it. My daughter just switched from AP Econ to Honors Econ because the AP teacher’s qualifications were: “well, the only economics background I have is the class I took my freshman year of college. I owned a surf shop, but we closed it and I became a teacher. I really didn’t like teaching the middle schoolers so I told the VP that I needed a different classroom the following year and she suggested that AP economics was open.”. That’s not made up. AP is over rated- if the teachers aren’t well qualified, the kids don’t get the level of education that’s purported to have been given.

      • laurel parker

        I teach groups of children from various local schools, and I promise you, co-curriculum is a rarity. I can tell by the way my (up to 180 a day) students respond to our activities, and I know from textbooks my daughter is expected to learn from, and from her papers that come home from school. “co-curriculum’ in High school translates to drawing pictures to illustrate French words.

        The fact that your children are in a gifted program indicates that you are likely aware of the difference between types of classes ( gifted education being based on co-curricular activities).

        Also, I think you may have judged that surf shop owner too hastily. I have a number of relatives who have been serious surfers for decades. They all have extremely high IQ’s. One, who has been surfing for 60 years, *and* owned a surf shop, is also a successful author and script writer. He’d make an amazing teacher.

        I homeschooled my children – my son all the way to college, and my dd to 11th grade, where both became top students. I don’t have a college degree, and in fact as a lousy student, who was ability tracked at the lowest level all the way through. The reason? Because teachers are statistically C students who rarely recognize gifted children, and who commonly interpret the boredom and needs of exceptionally and profoundly gifted children as stupidity, ADHD, behavioral, etc. Read a biography of Einstein or Edison for prime examples.

  • MOMwithAbrain

    Of course it’s anti-American. If IB does not instill the foundation of this country in their curriculum and instead replaces it with a tyrannical view (U.N. grants human rights vs. unalienable rights American) then the argument has already been made.

    IB promotes the UNDHR which specifically states that our rights must now counter the U.N. Look at their own document.

    That contradicts the foundation of this country. Our basic individual rights are not an entitlement from the Govt. They are GOD-GIVEN/Unalienable rights.

    This isn’t even debatable. Just look at IB and you can see it for yourself.

    • MomWithAWorkingBrain

      Boy, that’s a very reasonable opinion: that it is NOT EVEN DEBATEABLE that IB contradicts the foundation of the United States. Noooo, it couldn’t possibly be anything exept a tyrannical conspiracy to bring kids into the United Nations cult. You ever notice that the puzzle seems to go together much easier if you just cut off all the weird ends that don’t fit?

      If anyone actually seeking answers to IB questions finds their way to this page, you should move along. Its the same tin-foil hat brigade every time… 10s of grouchy people coordinated by the “tempest in a teapot” ringleader of the TruthAboutIB website. Seriously, do some google searches and look at the names of the commenters. Look at the IB page on Wikipedia — they finally BLOCKED the main TruthAboutIB person from editing the article! How out-to-lunch do you have to be to get blocked from editing WIKIPEDIA!??

      • Veteran73

        Hmmm! Use that working brain. God forbid that anyone would disagree with a working brain. If it was working then you could appreciate why somone might disagree with your comments, respect their views and not resort to calling people and groups names that do not further the debate. And just so you know I have spent the better part of 18 months studying and researching IB programs and to date have found no tangiable proof that these programs better prepare students academically than our own home grown versions. Thought IB does cost tax payers considerable more money and for what? A framework and an ideology! Just trying to move the debate forward and not get hung up on what anyone person thinks about an individual or group of individuals that do not support IB.

        • Veteran73

          Sorry should be “though” not thought!

        • MomWithAWorkingBrain

          When you figure out how to have a productive debate with a person who talks like this, please let me know:

          “As far as I’m concerned, the UN should fall into the East River and suffer the same fate as The League of Nations. It is a destructive, corrupt, dysfunctional, power-hungry organization that seeks to rule the world. Our idiot President just yesterday, joined the UNHRC. If ANY division of the UN is a bigger farce and more full of communist hypocrites, I can’t really think of it. UNESCO is a close second. Reagan pulled the U.S. out of UNESCO and it was only idiot Bush the 2nd who rejoined after the adoption of Goals 2000. Tax cheat TurboTax Geithner and the Obamination are now meeting with the G20 and the concept of a “global currency” is “on the table”… I am afraid a revolution is coming… I now go to the range regularly to hone my skills. The cost of ammunition has gone up 250% since the election…”

          source: http://www.computernewbie.info/wheatdogg/2009/04/06/blast-from-the-past-the-international-baccalaureate-conspiracy/

          What kind of rational debate can you have when this is the foundation of their argument?

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Obviously debating the issue is far beyond your intellectual capacity, Momwithaworkingbrain. It’s good to see you go on record as supporting Iran’s mistreatment of women and homosexuals and its desire to wipe Israel off the map. You are so open-minded! And what a risk-taker!

          • MomWithAWorkingBrain

            And now I just “went on the record” as supporting horrible things even though I never said that. And I have a low intellectual capacity. Do you see how hard it is to have a conversation? There is no debate — there is “my way or your a marxist traitor”.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            That should be “you’re” a Marxist …. LOL

          • Anonymous

            yeah. “LOL” for insulting people who disagree with you based on online conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with the truth. But everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, right? You don’t have to like or support IB, but viewing it as some conspiracy is ridiculous. My daughter goes to an IB school that does amazing things for the community — an AMERICAN community. Show us some “facts” other than Wikipedia, maybe?

          • American Patriot

            If it’s an American community.. then American Ideals should be taught in the schools..

          • Anonymous

            But you haven’t shown that they aren’t. You have actual IB students and parents on here talking about how they value America, but you’re only listening to your own echo chamber. My daughter’s IB class just did a game show about the colonial era in American history in which they had to perform quotations from the founding fathers. How is that not American?

          • Skeptik

            LEM, why do you refuse to debate the topic?

          • American Patriot

            LEM you sound like you have drank to much of the Liberal coolaid

          • Eric Scoles

            so, you criticize someone else’s debating skills, and then attribute to them views they haven’t espoused in a clear effort to discredit — I’m really not getting why it is that you think anyone should listen to anything you say, after that….

          • American Patriot

            I’m ready for the revolution..time to get rid of the UN and all it’s groupies

          • Anonymous

            YEAH! Why don’t we just nuke the rest of the world, except for the people who clean our houses or make us stuff for no money! better yet, let’s go find our OWN planet! (FYI: I feel the need to say that I’m being sarcastic, because I’m afraid that these people might agree with me.)

        • Anonymous

          FACT: In NYC, where my daughter is in an IB school, taxpayers pay exactly the same amount per IB student as they do for every other school. Can you show evidence to the contrary, please? From a source other than yourself (public school budget, etc.)?

        • Ibgrad

          I will ask you the same question I asked “momwithabrain”. Do you have an IB Diploma? Also, What is your occupation? Did you attend a notable college? How about grad school? Through getting an IB education, not AP, I gained an incredible amount of knowledge. IB led me to a prestigious university, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and going to graduate school to work in physics and mathematics. I am completely certain that if I had only done AP or “advanced” classes in high school, I would be no where near this level of success in my academic and personal life. IB is most certainly not just a “framework and ideology”. You are proving yourself to be ignorant and unaware with every word you speak.

        • lum

          As a graduate in 1995 with an IB diploma, as well as numerous AP courses/credits as well, I’ll actually disagree with the statement that the AP system offers the same benefits at less cost.

          What the IB program at my high school provided, over the “AP” track kids, was a coordinated and synthesized support structure for thinking about topics outside of their individual topic of study. Because there was a core of highly-motivated students taking the full suite of IB classes, teachers were able to use Math classes to reinforce the Science classes, literature classes to interact with the history courses, etc. etc. It allowed the students to support eachother in thinking about the broader context of what we learned in class. The “extended essay” portion of the IB curriculum is perhaps the culmination of the broad-theory approach, as the student is forced to integrate all they’ve learned into a personal research project.

          In contrast, the AP classes I took provided a good education on the topic in question, but failed to provide encouragement for thinking about the application of those ideas outside the taught context.

          Its kinda of like the saying “Is it better to give a hungry man a fish, or give him a fishing pole?” AP classes were tasty fish, but IB was a pole and angling lessons from a top fisherman.

          I personally don’t find anything unAmerican about that.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        The IB proponents guard the IB Wikipedia articles with their lives, I’ve never seen such sick devotion in my life! And yes, several of them are IB teachers. Go ahead – try and post a FACT that doesn’t reflect well on IB. I dare you.

        Funny you should use the word “cult” to describe IB. It is accurate. Cults try and deceive people about their real agenda. IBers speak of each other as “family” …. We are IB!

        IB has caused controversy and divided communities across the U.S. IB should be relegated to private institutions of learning and kept far away from our American public schools.

        • Anonymous

          Do any of these “facts” you have come from anywhere other than Wikipedia? Reliable news sources? Public documents? Minutes from Board of Education meetings?

        • Kate

          I don’t know if you’ve gotten the memo, but American public schools sort of suck. Any program that challenges students to be more academically competitive should be welcomed.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        IB loves Wikipedia so much it plagiarized mark schemes from it!

        Of course, any reputable teacher in the world would not allow Wikipedia as a legitimate source for research.

        • Eric Scoles

          actually lots of reputable teachers allow Wikipedia as ‘legitimate sources.’ they’re not _authorities_, though. It’s where you start from, and then move on to the authoritative sources.

          Perhaps you need a comp 101 refresher…?

        • Amy Dinovo

          Actually, one IB class that was required and essential was titled “Inquiry Skills” where we learned to gather a variety of sources to support any conclusions or assertions that we made in our required writing assignments. When I graduated with and IB diploma in 1990, was sill 11 years from launch.

          • Amy Dinovo

            *Wikipedia wast STILL 11 years..

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Coopersmith-Matthews/794230112 Lisa Coopersmith-Matthews

      Yougo girl!!! I mean,. Mom with a Brain!!!!

    • Slowest_man

      Not even debatable??? Excuse me. The idea that god, an imaginary entity, grants individual rigths, like Santa grants toys and the Tooth Fairy grants money is not debatable??? I hate to break this to you but the founding fathers were male chauvistic, racists,

      • Who’s yo Daddy!

        And yet they were far superior to you!

        • Slowest_man

          superior? sounds Nazi… Are you a Nazi, Who’syoDaddy? OK, just pulling your chain ;-)

    • MomWithAnEducation

      Uh, no. IB does not teach that the UN grants rights. Even the UN doesn’t say that. The UN has a document (as does the US) that outlines unalienable rights that are inherent to the human condition regardless of government. And unalienable means that something cannot be removed (or alienated) from something else. It does not mean God-given, which is why the US document says endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Get an education, IB or otherwise.

      • Kerrycorkmd

        IB is not the UN those are different letters and different organizations. If you really are a woman with a brain you may want to take it back, you got one that’s defective.

      • ForAllThe People

        Somewhere along the way, MomWithAnEducation must have failed something as simple as reading attention. The phrase is “inalienable rights”

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM


          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,”

          Now apologize to MomWithaBrain!

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            I mean, MomWithanEducation

    • visitor

      It’s the UNIVERSAL Declaration, not the UNITED NATIONS declaration, btw and it begins with: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,”

      That seems, to me, to endorse the view of our founders, who were following in consort with the prevailing views of the European Enlightenment movement, that human rights are not granted by a sovereign, but are part and parcel of our humanity.

    • American Patriot

      I agree with you 110%

      • Eric Scoles

        “That is impossible. 110% is the most that anyone can give.” — The SImpsons

    • Summer

      Um, I went to an IB school, and I find your assertion that it is potentially Un-American highly flawed… My school was not in the US, we had much stricter rules on what we could and could not learn, but IB still managed to factor in well.

      Like one of the guests said, IB can adhere to local values of the community. Any way, you’re not supposed to be talking about religion in public schools, that was already decided by the Supreme Court, so if the IB curriculums you know aren’t talking about religion, they are just following the laws of the United States of America.

      The way IB works is that it has a set of requirements such as Theory of Knowledge (which has four ways of learning: sense perception, reasoning, language, emotion), Creativity Action and Service hours (CAS), and the Extended Essay.

      Theory of Knowledge would have the same general classes other schools had such as Math, Science, History, Arts etc. And content is controlled by the schools. For example, my school did not teach evolution at all in the sciences. And although my school did not reside in the US, we did have a unit on American History, within the history class. We also studies ancient civilizations and the European Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

      For CAS my school had it so that everyone who wanted to graduate with an IB diploma must have done 50 hours in the Arts (for creativity), sports (for action), and community service (for service), a total of 150 hours in your junior and senior year.

      And then for the Extended Essay, everyone pretty much picked their own topic and worked on it for the whole year, doing their own research and stuff. So, if you wanted, you could right a whole essay for the IB program on American History if you wished.

      I fail to see how those general guidelines can’t be altered to fit the specific needs of the State, or community an IB school resides in…

    • Eric Scoles

      So, I’m guessing you don’t realize that the UN’s position on human rights is that nobody gets to grant them, because they’re HUMAN RIGHTS? (that is, they aren’t rights granted by any government — UN, national, whatever — but rather, they’re rights that EVERY PERSON ALWAYS HAS.)

      THAT’S the “UN position” on human rights, MOMwithAbrain. Funnily enough, it’s exactly the same as yours.

    • open to education

      OK, we get it. You don’t want your kid in the IB program. That’s OK. My kid will need someone to work on his Mercedes one day.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        Don’t you mean your kid’s Chevy Volt? ;-)

    • A

      “Our basic individual rights are not an entitlement from the Govt. They are GOD-GIVEN/Unalienable rights.”

      pretty sure the government could take away our right to free speech, freedom of the press, and the whole shebang and God wouldn’t do a thing about it. Take a look at China.

    • God

      Ann Marie Banfield is the biggest troll I’ve ever seen! Leave your political extremism in your fanatical dreamland and wake yourself up. I didn’t give you eyes only to have you keep them shut.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        I see a blasphemous, cowardly IB cult-member has decided to malign an American citizen and violate posting rules by attempting to “out” poster MomWithaBrain. Your post has been flagged “god”. Your cognitive dissonance as to whom the “troll” is in this discussion, is truly disturbing.

    • IB and AP Teacher

      I just wasted 10 minutes reading this string of comments. For six years, I taught IB courses and found the program to produce more thoughtful, engaged, and democratically-minded students than in my years teaching AP courses.

      IB students are better prepared for university than AP students. IB haters, you are welcome to dig up the numbers there. Consider the EPIC study of a few years back.

      The primary legitimate criticism of IB is that it does have the potential to overwhelm or burn out students who are not ready for such rigorous coursework.

      This anti-American argument is wildly speculative. The founding fathers of this nation were free-thinkers looking for a new way to govern in the best interests of the American people. They were revolutionaries–quite anti-England. Now, what, it is anti-American to question a monolithic interpretation of American history? To understand a universal declaration of human rights? To learn about the cultures and histories of people all over the world? To assume various perspectives on an issue in the hope of better understanding it? To formulate a theory of knowledge based on multi-disciplinary study?

      Go ahead and respond all you want, nutballs. I’ll keep teaching students to examine tone and diction so that they can see the hate underlying your rhetoric; I’ll keep pushing students to evaluate arguments based on evidence so that they see the gaping holes in your thinking; and I’ll keep teaching logical fallacies so that they dismiss your ad hominem and slippery slope tricks.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        What a shame that yet ANOTHER teacher is incapable of defending IB without calling those of us who have objections ……. “nutballs”. Whatever happened to “others, even with their differences, can be right.” ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1676245702 Chris Pumphrey

    I think the best way to answer the questions about IB is to look in depth into both the history of IB as well as the back ground and writings of those that founded IBO, and have run IBO since its inception. And also look at what IBO’s partner organizations say about their relationship with IBO. Those who created and have run IBO have supported and advocated such Ideas as reducing the influence of the Family unit, specifically Parents in a student’s life development as to insulate them from destructive ideas and beliefs like Nationalism, Patriotism and belief in archaic National Heroes. Other ideas like Globally instituted population control, forced disarmament, the Absolution of National borders and National Sovereignty. Global Regime for Sustainable Development, Global Pluralism, and the need for a Global Government with the powers to Tax, Enforce Eminent Domain and Control individual migration (i.e. the free movement of each person).

    Be warned that – These are the Values that IB speaks of and seeks to instill when they talk about their goal of the IB program/me with respect to our students ” To Develop the Values that lead to International Mindedness ( an invented term) and the creation of Global Citizens (also an invented term with no legal standing or definition).

    See IBO.org then see http://truthaboutib.com/

    Then do your own personal in-depth research … don’t take anyone’s word for it find out yourself…… , don’t accept IB’s flowery answers, look behind the Curtain.

    • Anonymous

      What “curtain?” My kid is in an IB school. None of this is true, and as an educator I would know. Sorry.

      • P.h.D ? I have mine

        So you you are an “educator” and that somehow makes you more informed on UN propaganda? NOT

        • Anonymous

          Um, being an “educator” makes me informed about “education.” You DO realize that, with every comment you make, you’re actually undermining anyone who has rational objections to IB, right? There may be some, but they certainly aren’t coming from you.

        • Eric Scoles

          My dad’s a nuclear engineer. He spent much of the ’70s and most of the ’80s trying to argue with anti-nuclear protestors before he gave up.

          One of the complaints he used to make was that protestors always accused him of bias, because he was a nuclear engineer. “Heaven forbid they should listen to someone who actually knows something about the subject.”

          This is where you’re at: you’re arguing that because someone is a teacher, they aren’t qualified to criticize teaching. It’s like saying you’re not qualified to teach driving unless you can’t drive.

    • A former IB Student

      Why don’t you ask someone who’s been through the IB Program instead of making these assumptions you have no basis to make. I graduated from the IB Program and being a part of the program has been crucial to my success in college and society.

      • Gregory Lambert

        IF IB is in deed a cult, then being an objective participant in this discussion would be suspect. You seem to blindly credit IB with your success. Could you offer detailed arguments of HOW IB was crucial to your success, please?

        • Amy Dinovo

          I’m happy to take that one on. It’s been 21 years since I received my IB Diploma. During my time in the IB Program I was required to take several courses that taught me how to learn, how to study, how to take tests and how to engage in critical thought. These courses wer only offered to IB students in my high school. My peers in college came to me for assistance because I seemed to be able to understand better, learn faster and perform better on tests and assignments. It’s about learning how to learn and when I teach my friends and now my colleagues some of the skills I learned in 9th grade inquiry skills they are blown away. “Theory of Knowledge” taught me how our brains work as we encounter and process information. This is a course I never even saw offered at my college, much less at my high school. Now my fellow IB grads that I am in touch with, are running companies, developing cures, building rockets and making the people around them smarter. I have been out in the world living a full life for 21 years since being in the program, no kids in it, no contact with it, so if it was a “cult” don’t you think I would would have been deprogrammed by now?

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            “Now my fellow IB grads that I am in touch with, are running companies, developing cures, building rockets and making the people around them smarter.” ~Amy Dinova

            Sure sounds like a cult to me! 21 years later and you still view IB grads as smarter than the rest of the world, as though we should all bow down and kiss their feet for making the rest of us non-IB dummies smarter.

            I have a friend who is a nuclear physicist. Non-IB
            I have a friend who is a Dr. of Oncology. Non-IB
            A good friend of mine from HS is an award winning journalist with the London Times. Non-IB
            Another is a world-renowned lead guitarist for Sonic Youth
            Another is a psychologist and another an OSHA attorney ….

            ALL NON-IB. All from a very small public NY high school.

    • Summer

      I’m just copy-pasting an answer I posted earlier. But also specifically looking at your accusations that an IB education instills love for the UN: as a person who went to an IB school and was a part of Model UN, I can safely say I think the UN is a big joke that doesn’t really do anything except make arbitrary laws it couldn’t possibly enforce. That’s just my opinion as a student who was taught to critically asses all knowledge I’m exposed to, and that’s all thanks to my IB education.

      So, indoctrination? I think not…

      “Um, I went to an IB school, and I find your assertion that it is potentially Un-American highly flawed… My school was not in the US, we had much stricter rules on what we could and could not learn, but IB still managed to factor in well.

      Like one of the guests said, IB can adhere to local values of the community. Any way, you’re not supposed to be talking about religion in public schools, that was already decided by the Supreme Court, so if the IB curriculums you know aren’t talking about religion, they are just following the laws of the United States of America.

      The way IB works is that it has a set of requirements such as Theory of Knowledge (which has four ways of learning: sense perception, reasoning, language, emotion), Creativity Action and Service hours (CAS), and the Extended Essay.

      Theory of Knowledge would have the same general classes other schools had such as Math, Science, History, Arts etc. And content is controlled by the schools. For example, my school did not teach evolution at all in the sciences. And although my school did not reside in the US, we did have a unit on American History, within the history class. We also studies ancient civilizations and the European Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

      For CAS my school had it so that everyone who wanted to graduate with an IB diploma must have done 50 hours in the Arts (for creativity), sports (for action), and community service (for service), a total of 150 hours in your junior and senior year.

      And then for the Extended Essay, everyone pretty much picked their own topic and worked on it for the whole year, doing their own research and stuff. So, if you wanted, you could right a whole essay for the IB program on American History if you wished.

      I fail to see how those general guidelines can’t be altered to fit the specific needs of the State, or community an IB school resides in… “

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        “So, if you wanted, you could right [SIC] a whole essay for the IB program on American History if you wished.” ~Summer

        No comment.

        • FocusPlease

          Point out a typo. Never mind his point. Well done!

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Using “right” instead of “write” is no typo, FocusPlease. With all due respect, I am sick and tired of listening to IB students pontificate on the wonders of IB when they are unable to compose a grammatically accurate sentence.

          • Summer

            And I’m sick of anti-IB people “pontificate” on grammar when they have no substantive arguments… Don’t worry, no one expects you to admit your wrong, it’s an internet debate after all.

          • Summer

            forgive me, I meant “pontificating” don’t worry, I corrected myself this time.. would you like to make a point this time, LEM?

          • Summer

            Thanks, and its “her” point ; )

    • Grateful_IB_Grad

      Another IB graduate here. The most persuasive information I can give you is just my own story and my take-aways from it.

      I remember my teachers from the all-IB school I graduated from. One was a wealthy entrepreneur who retired from his stock broker career to teach high school economics. Another was a former intelligence agent for a branch of the US armed forces. A third was a consummate American history buff who taught me how political everything under the sun can be (I learned more about the cold war and World War II in that classroom than anywhere else). A fourth was a brilliantly insightful Harvard graduate who taught our English class (This fourth teacher demanded more articulate thought from me with every paper and taught me to challenge myself when I had grown accustomed to being the smartest kid in the class). A fifth was an outstanding engineer who led field trips to local universities to expose high-schoolers to career possibilities in physics and engineering. I loved, and love, every one of them.

      I loved my school, my peers, and my program. Not because of the agenda of some far-away, unrelated person in the higher echelons of the IB program or its backers. I loved it for what it did for me and my peers on the ground, in the classroom. For me, the IB was a framework for achievement, critical thinking, and true academic excellence in a sea of inferior high school education options.

      The value of an international diploma is great, but I haven’t exercised that. I think the program’s value is something different – the variety, depth and breadth of the graduation requirements. The breadth and challenge of the requirements demanded creativity, persistence, and peer support to overcome. (In other words – it was possible to fail. Some students did. As we used to say, it’s easy to get in it but hard to stick to it.)

      It bears mentioning that the graduation requirements include more than passing tests. You must write huge papers that demonstrate critical thinking and put in dozens of CAS hours. That means you must find time outside of school for Creativity (such as music and painting), Activity (such as sports) and Service (meaning you help your local community outside the school). CAS hours are part of this open-ended framework that lets teachers creatively set and modify requirements that broadly encourage individuality and critical thinking. It was very important that the IB gave our teachers opportunities to teach us things about the world that would never appear on a test.

      For my teachers, the IB was a teaching framework that ignited their passion to ignite OUR passion – to see our lives and this world as ours to shape if we sharpen ourselves to be equal to that challenge.

      I graduated from this school ten years ago. Since then I have graduated with honors from a prestigious US university, traveled widely both at home and abroad, held management roles, started my own business, disposed of all debt, married, and attained a very high income. My wife and I only have good options in our future. I see many friends in my generational peer group struggling to get by, to find work, and escape poverty, because someone told them to follow their dreams without equipping them to do it. I wish I could help them more, but I was never the person who truly could.

      IB is not the only way to equip young people to deal with a frightening and uncertain world, and no doubt not all IB schools are equal. Mine did equip me, though, and I will always be thankful for that.

    • Eric Scoles

      So, instead of looking at what they actually do and say, you look at what you divine as the motives of some of the people who developed or currently support the program (and of course, of their friends)?

      So, by that token, if you have friends who espouse the armed overthrow of the united states, replacing it with a christian theorcracy, then we should damn you as well?

    • Kerrycorkmd

      Since its inception? The program has been around since the sixties and I don’t know of any institution that has kept the same people around running things for half a century. And as “invented terms” all terms are invented terms. you’re using invented words. and truthaboutib.com uses imaginationally (an invented word, you heard it here first) invented “facts.” Talk to the students, faculty and local school boards if you want a true understanding of the program.

  • Pjdm101

    Very poorly written article. Starts out saying that the International Baccalaureate Program isAnti-American, but never says why they say it.

    • AmandaP

      I agree.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=556709834 Lynn Shackelford

      It’s not an article. It’s an exerpt from the transcript of the broadcast. You have to listen to the whole interview.

      • Kaylee Olney

        I have neither the time nor inclination to listen to an hour-long discussion. The point of this page is to summarize the story. I agree with Pjdm101 – the author did not adequately answer the attention-grabbing headline.

        • Divinaray

          The clip is 3 minutes long…

      • witheringglance

        Still, Pjdm101 is right.

    • ELJ

      Did you listen to the entire show? What you see above is just an introduction to an hour-long program.

      • Joe

        agreed–this is a teaser for their radio show.

    • Anonymous

      Right. And now it will come up when people Google “IB” and “Anti-American,” as if this is a legitimate issue, when they apparently couldn’t even find a sane representative of that group to mention in the article. (The link is to a website that associates IB with “tyranny” — no, I’m not kidding.

    • http://www.facebook.com/garlinghaus Chris Saidwut

      You can clearly infer what the article is about.. IB is too much work for lazy american students.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Salinger/1583730057 Jeremiah Salinger

        We’re not all lazy, we just happen to have lazy politicians.

        • Caroline Maday

          …that we voted for.

          • Menachem Schmuel

            … Because they were the rich ones with campaign money.

      • Quiltmichigan

        I can tell you one thing. My IB student daughter studies constantly to the point of exhaustion and I agree that most students don’t want to put in the kind of effort she puts in. She studies in spite of me telling her to call it a night, take a day off, get some rest (me, the lazy American PARENT). IB has given my daughter the tools she needs to become a confident, successful adult, no matter what career path she chooses.

        • nikiti

          And only IB can do that? I don’t think so!!! My daughter is in AP and does the same as your daughter. My son was in AP too and was accepted to an IVY. Both are confident and will be successful too no matter what path they choose…and all without IB. Go figure!!!

          • Stodini

            Nitki, what is your problem? No one here has denigrated AP or implied that it is the only way to success. Being positive about their results in IB doesn’t constitute an attack on you or your children. Though I teach in an IB program, my kids went to an AP school and did well, too. As to whether the program is anti-American, I have had many staunchly conservative students who went through IB and remain staunchly conservative. The program does not brainwash kids into accepting a one world government.

    • Peet

      Because it makes American flunkies feel inferior, that’s why they call in unÁmerican

  • IBstudent

    I go to an IB School and all I can say is that it’s great education. I may be biased, but for a high schooler I think I’m generally open-minded and can make objective opinions without being biased. I can look at the facts. And the fact is, everyone in IB at my school are a lot more motivated than the students at the local public school, which is not IB. IB has made me a better writer, better at math, etc. than I would have been going to a non-IB school. Some other commenters seem to think that the History component is not good for students, but I don’t really take stories from the history books seriously. You can never truly know what happened if you were never there. Of course, some of my classmates don’t think the same thing.

    • American Patriot

      You are being fed propaganda..You will either someday realize it and put it behind you.. or you will become part of the problem.

      • Ibgrad

        Propaganda? What type of propaganda? And what is this “problem” you speak of? I keep having to ask all of those who are for some reason opposed to IB- Did you get an IB diploma or have an IB education? I gained so much from IB and am extremely grateful for the high school experience it gave me. I am more intelligent, more cultured, and more aware of everything in the world. IB led to to prestigious universities and graduate schools, with a fantastic occupation.

      • Anonymous

        Yes. Anyone who disagrees with you must be deceived. For you, there’s only one way to be an American — YOUR way — even though American history, from the founding fathers onward, is full of people disagreeing and then finding a way to move forward together.

        • IBgrad

          You’re clearly delusional. What is wrong with a student getting an even better education in high school? This should be considered more American than Anti- anything.

          • Anonymous

            I’m being facetious. If you read my comments, I have a daughter in IB, and I support it fully.

      • Amy Dinovo

        I graduated from an IB school in 1990, received the IB diploma and was able to get almost a full scholarship to a private college. I come from a lower middle class family who would not have been able to afford my education had I not received this scholarship. Further, of my middle school friends who went to the high school nearest my house, NONE of them graduated on time, two had children in HS and one went to rehab. ALL were smart girls who were succeeding in middle school. I truly believe that the learning environment of intense, rigorous coursework and cross discipline curriculum is what saved me. My college coursework was easier for me than most of my peers. Going back for my high school reunions (that include both IB kids and “regular program” kids) my IB friends have made significant achievements, seem happier and more successful (by however you want to measure it). It’s been 21 years and I can look back still and say that IB gave me a competitive advantage in the job market not just because I know more facts but because I adapt quickly and know how to learn efficiently. I wish every kid in America could be given the advantages that I received from the IB. For the record, I have not been unemployed since I graduated from college and I have paid taxes every year since I was 16. I vote, volunteer, respect my elders, donate to charities and spend my entire life being part of the problem.

        • Susan Holsapple


        • nikiti

          What about the kids at high schools that are doing AP? They are getting into good schools and not getting pregnant in high school. Why do you IB kids always think that your success has to do with IB and not something to do with your work ethic, and the culture at your school? AP students work hard and put a lot into their classes too!

          • IB alum

            Hi Nikiti: AP and IB are very similar programs, it boils down to a matter of preference. I think the comments are defending IB because the story is about IB. AP is an extremely reputable program as well.

            That being said, IB has an international component to it that AP does not focus on, which can be extremely valuable in our globalizing world.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            The IBDP’s curriculum is proprietary. AP’s is not.

      • Eric Scoles

        RIght, well, it’s got “international” in the name, so it must be anti-american, right? Right? I mean, what more reasons do you need?

        Of course there must be other reasons. I just don’t know what they are. But maybe you could tell us….?

      • Anonymous

        And you haven’t been fed any propaganda yourself? ahahahahh

      • http://www.facebook.com/garlinghaus Chris Saidwut

        I hardly think this person is being fed propaganda. I’ve been out of school for five years now, and you know how often I use the lessons I learned in History class in my day-to-day working life? Never.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Salinger/1583730057 Jeremiah Salinger

          Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

          • Guest

            I agree Jeremiah, and often use this quote–however, those who fail to question their history–and who is spooning it to them and what their motivations may be–can be equally doomed.

      • Sarah Furey

        You are a closed minded bigot who thinks that anything foreign or different is anti-american. Having gone to international schools, as well as American public schools, and an American liberal arts college, I’m pretty sure I can safely say that the IB has helped me rather than “made me part of the problem”.

      • Feeding Propaganda


      • Fousten

        I really hope you’re being ironic

      • PNM

        The IB will foster the minds of actual Patriots and help them achieve success. It is a program that makes us competitive in this global economy and helps us better understand ourselves and others so we can be educated Americans, who are capable of more. Americans seeking knowledge, like students in the IB program, are the people who made America. Our founding fathers studied democracy from the Greeks. The Wright brothers who made flight an American achievement by initially studying the mechanics of a bicycle, named by the French and invented by Germans.The great American Martin Luther King Jr. visited Gandhi’s birthplace in India to further understand non-violent activism, making our country a more accepting place.
        The richness of our still young American history can only truly be appreciated with a better understanding of the history the real Patriots who made our country also studied.
        The IB program in history truly makes students dive in to exploring it, to realizing all sides of the story. It is what good Public Schools across the country strive to do.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          And to think, our Founding Fathers were able to do all of that without IB!

          • Dmoyer101

            I learned about logical fallacies in my IB program, so now I know how to not to be wrong on the internet.

            If your only contention is that a point is wrong because the founding fathers did not do it, then therefore by using the internet, toiletry, refrigerators, and not keeping/sleeping with slaves you are wrong.

            Logic, you should try it some time LEM.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM


            Did you bother to read PNM’s post? To try and assign affirmation of IB to dead people, is not even a logical fallacy, it is simply disingenuous.

            It sure seems to me that every single pro-IB poster in this forum has claimed that I cannot possibly understand the wonders of IB without having experienced it. Therefore, every single pro-IB poster on this page, according to you, is using “logical fallacy” as the basis of their argument.

        • actual free thinker

          “Our founding fathers studied democracy from the Greeks”? and gave us a Constitutional Republic because if it. This country was founded by radical freedom lovers. The fear of the few that are left is, people are being educated to believe a lie. History is twisted, and we are doomed to repeat it. Look at the Greek democracy and why it failed. I hope this research reminds you of something. (America today)

      • Nutmegan101

        What exactly is the problem? The fact that IB teaches students critical thinking skills (so that they can see through propaganda) and international cooperation? I don’t see anything remotely negative about that.

        • nikiti

          Does IB have the rights to critical thinking? Please!!!!

      • Anonymous

        This is true! Any school that teaches young children to be activists when they have no idea about the world, is criminal. There should be NO POLITICAL AGENDAS in our schools. This is why kids can’t do math.

        • Anonymous

          that seems logical, IB has definitely made me an activist who also hates math, its strange how the two are so well related….

      • IB Teacher

        Propaganda is often short simplistic ideas, like the statement you made, not the thoughtful and insightful one you replied to. Who’s really a part of the problem “patriot?”

    • http://forthelionhearted.wordpress.com/ Fieryicegems

      Maybe it is “anti-American.” If by “anti-American” you mean acknowledging that America is not the only culture and powerful land mass in this world. -.-
      I love my IB program, we have to put a lot into it, but I know that I would be so bored at a regular public school. And it gives people chances that they might not normally have. I have friends whose parents have never been to college, and because of IB, they’re getting full rides to state universities.

  • Surfsno2008

    The USA may very well be the most insulated country in the modern world. This FEAR of change for FEAR’s sake is not healthy nor does it allow the nation to move forward and compete. A perfect example is the ignorance of the Metric system and the use of the Fahrenheit scale. It will continue to cost jobs and as the USA slips into the second or third tier of economies the country has a lot of growing up to do. Good luck, better get started.

    • American Patriot

      We’ve done just fine without the metric system..and will continue to do so.I’d rather be in an insulated Sovereign Nation..and be free..than be a subject of the UN.I will never submit to the UN,physically or any other way. I am an American Patriot..and I will fight to the death to remain so!

      • Global Thinker

        classic american moronic response

        • Classic american

          Freedom is “classic American”. unfortunately, today it’s listed as “moronic response”. Think globally if you like, I do. But act locally! Freedom only extends to the boundaries of another human’s freedom.
          You being free to express yourself here. American Patriot being free to express him/her self. It is the action that reduces freedom, not the expression. Global expression is not the danger, it’s Global activism!

      • Boonepharm

        Find out how many of the things in your home are made in America instead of China or South Korea and then try to convince somebody that it’s even possible to be insulated in today’s world market. You would have to remove almost every item in your home PLUS at least some of the construction materials used to build it, and good luck finding USA replacements. And tell everyone in North Korea that insulated nations are a fantastic place to live! I’m sure they’d be happy to hear it.

        • Markm118

          corrupt politicians and bug business sold out through NAFTA..cheap child labor in China..No other country can overcome US Industrial capability..Yes, American History is used in everyday life skills.

          • BetterBecauseofIB

            NAFTA = North American Free Trade Agreement. The parties to which are the United States, Canada and Mexico. (read: China is involved in, a party to, or beneficiary of NAFTA)

            I didn’t have to earn an IB diploma to figure that out (but it dure didn’t hurt)

          • BetterBecauseofIB

            *China is NOT involved in, a party to, or beneficiary of NAFTA

      • Bob E E

        Yawnnnnn! Patriot that kind of thinking is your right to hold and although greatly appreciated, no is asking you to die but your passion is awesome. The reality that faces America is that we are no longer the big boy (the only one) on the block and unless we are going to nuke everyone around us to regain that sole title, tis no longer about having the strongest military. Its about economic power that is based on industry, trade, business, science, etc AND the ability to recognize that the world no longer revolves on what the U.S. dictates. In the midst of the last few decades where we touted our military muscle, the rest of the world quietly built upon their education. Being congnizant of the symbiotic relationships that must be fostered on an international level does not make one less patriotic. In fact, it provides strength to our nation when we can continue to engage the world in a manner that fosters goodwill and promotes freedom and democracy. Try some other channels other that Faux News and eat some Chinese or Mexican food once a while. You will find that the Earth will not swallow you up or the sky will fall around you from appreciating a more world view of things.

        By the way, all our US science, health care, automotive and military ballistics are based on the metric system so a slight correction is due. WITH the metric system we have done just fine!

        • Amy Dinovo

          Wonder how many milligrams of antidepressants he’s supposed to be taking instead of drinking all those liters of vodka? I’d give him 50 cents to go away but oops, that’s metric too.

      • IB Student.

        I’m pretty sure that the IB program doesn’t teach of UN domination…

      • Anonymous

        We actually haven’t done fine without the metric system. Scientists and engineers – people who spend their life designing computer chips, discovering new physics and cures for disease, building airplanes and rockets and satellites and cars and bridges – use it every day. It works. It keeps the error rate low. Then we go back, convert what the public needs to know into imperial units, and call it done.

      • WTFINF

        The metric system has nothing to do with UN subjugation. Using imperial weights and mesures never set a man free. Keep fighting in that close-minded box you call a mind.

      • http://teachergirlblogs.com/ IB Teacher

        I love the improper comma usage in this comment. Totally strengthens your argument.

      • Nutmegan101

        clear example of the false choice logical fallacy- who says that our *only* choice is between being “an insulated Sovereign Nation” and being “a subject of the UN”?

      • Pnancywallach

        We’re definitely NOT doing fine. We are no longer ahead of other countries, mainly due to the mediocre aspirations and effort expended by our people, starting in their education. IB offers strong and superior preparation for college , graduate school, and high level careers.

      • laurel parker

        We don’t use the metric system, so what DO we use?

        The Imperial system Which is British. And where on earth did you get the cockamamie idea that the metric system was started by the UN?

        • Peet

          Even the British have switched over to the metric system. The Imperial system WAS British but not any more.
          The US is the only country left still using idiotic measurements like “inches” and “miles” , “ounces” and “pints.” We have a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the world. Long live the IB !!!

  • Blasphemous369

    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!! Oh, we’re not doing that? Because I gotta say, It look a lot like that. Way to be civil, rational and intelligent, all of you. Resume:

    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!! (Is it helping yet?)

  • Ibgrad

    Wow. “MOMwithAbrain”, were you asked to be part of the IB Program? Did you earn your IB diploma in high school? Did your children? I am an IB graduate studying Physics with a 4.0 GPA in college. My graduate work focuses on physics in an international sense- working with physicists and mathematicians from around the globe. How is this anti-American? Is my salary not aiding our own country? Is my knowledge of physics and the research my team and I have discovered not benefitting our own country? You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

    • American Patriot

      I also have a 4.0 GPA and have had for some 250+ hours of university level course work.Since when does the level of academic achievement entitle you to be the only person with an opinion,or life experience? I see in you what I see from many others in their ivory tower..an attitude that you are somehow elite and superior to those with less academic education. Wisdom seldom comes from the contents of a book.. but is learned through life experiences..

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

        Sorry man but everything you have written so far has brought me and most other readers to the same conclusion… You are totally full of it (unless you consider Glenn Beck University “University level” coursework) There is no way you made it through high school let alone college. I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure you have not only a cognitive disability but I also think there is a mental health problem in there too.
        GET HELP before you drive the rest of us bananas.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          This post is nothing more than a run-on ad hominem. However, I thank you for posting it Mr. Anzalone. Seeing as how this post generated “16 Likes”, I think it is an excellent example of the “values” IB teaches.

      • Worldly

        American Patriot, you have shown yourself to be very hateful. You wrote to a high school student who is proud of their success that they are fed propaganda and that they are part of the problem. How is that appropriate? Do you even understand what propaganda truly is, and that applying that label to anything you don’t like is itself a kind of propaganda? You said in this posting that you have over 250 hours of university coursework, but then go on to criticize scholars and academics. But doesn’t 250+ hours place you pretty squarely in the Ivory Tower as well? You’re clearly afraid of the word “international,” and you seem to think that an IB education is all about teaching students that other countries are better than America. It’s not. IB programs are about students reaching a higher level of critical education. How is that un-American?

        • think_global

          No, so-called American Patriot. YOU have shown yourself to be very hateful. There is no way out: the United States will have to move forward, will have to learn the meaning of global and begin to respect it like all democratic nations in the world (globe). There is a new generation (and another after that) and with the internet (global) allows them to go beyond our frontiers. Unfortunately, not everyone will have access to such valuable education but the mindset will gradually shift. It is far more common today to meet an American who knows where India, Brazil, Belgium is (although I recently met someone who asked me if Spain was in Europe *sigh*). Public and private schools should find a way of funding education programs to send every American student abroad for a year or at least six months. I just hope that happens soon. So, suck it up and join the more knowledgeable and culturally open minded global crowd in this country and in the world.

      • IB Student.

        To the “American Patriot”,
        I would like to let you know that within the IB curriculum, there is a one year course dedicated to solely teaching on America’s history, ideals, and basic tenets, with no allusions, whatsoever, to anything even slightly UN or leftist. The idea that a program made to help students excel much like the AP program being a conspiracy of sorts is absolutely loony, and I’m not sure why people wanting to be successful puts them on an ivory tower; “Ibgrad” was, I believe, simply trying to state his credentials in order to demonstrate that he does, in fact, know what he is talking about. Someone going to Medical school over vocational school doesn’t make them uppity, it just shows that they have somewhat larger aspirations in life. You know, something people like to call the American dream.

      • http://teachergirlblogs.com/ IB Teacher

        Then why can’t you write a comment with proper punctuation or spacing? Interesting.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        I wonder why I am unable to “like” American Patriot’s reply?

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          Never mind, it just went through. Must have been a delay.

      • singlepoledoublethrow

        Let’s see if we’re all reading this correctly. On one hand, you claim that life experience provides more wisdom than academic achievement. On the other hand, you simultaneously claim that you do not need any direct experience of IB in order to vilify it, even in the face of those who do have life experience regarding the subject.


  • Adams Eagle

    I have 4 children in an IB magnet program in our local public school.

    I haven’t noticed my children loosing their sense of being an American while also gaining the sense of being a member of the world called Earth.
    The classes they have taken so far are Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Algebra 1 and 2, Geomerty, Pre-calculas, World Histroy and Culture, US Government, Economics, History of the Americas, Art, Health, Wood Shop, Spanish, French and Business and Personal Law.
    Hardly sounds like a condeming of the USA.

    As for expense, I agree the program can be expensive to begin, and a little less to continue but at our school it has been a financial boon. The program has drawn students away from private and out of district school which brings more money to our school.

    For my 4 American children, IB works.

    • Adams Eagle

      sorry calculus

    • American Patriot

      A class can be titled US government..but if it’s taught by a leftist,liberal and anti American teacher it can and will undermine American values and American society.

      • Eric Scoles

        A class can be title US government..but if it’s taught by a rightist, reactionary and anti American teacher it can and will undermine American values and American society. In fact, I see it happening every day, all across this country, endorsed by people who don’t realize (just as one trivial example) that Newt Gingrich’s promises about what he’ll do to stop ‘legislation from the bench’ directly and explicitly contradict the Constitution.

      • Bob E E

        OMG…..you actually DO believe everything you hear and the things your write down. Kudos….Glenn Beck and Rush would be soooo proud. The issue with US Government comes down to truth. The reason we teach our kids the concept of Washington not telling a lie with the picture of the cut down tree is that we begin early to try to convince our children that GOVT. is flawless and ALWAYS tells the truth. If that is the basis of your conclusion that government is taught with a liberal slant then you my patriotic friend are evidence of propaganda. When a history teacher fails to mention that the US CIA led a coup to topple the DEMOCRATICALLY elected president of Iran in the 50s only to the insert a puppet who we fed military aid for decades so that he could then oppress his people that then resulted in the 1979 Revolution, then sir you are the one that have swallowed the kool-aid. The teaching of objective truth is not leftist. Its reality.

      • Adams Eagle

        Then you don’t know Mr. Szucs. He had been teaching at this same school since I went there 30 years ago and I still don’t know which way he leans politically.
        This was my son’s favorite class as he wasn’t asked to memorize the numbers of senators or amendments to the Constitution but rather to understand how the senate works (or doesn’t) and how the amendments keep the Constitution alive.
        My daughters can’t wait to take this class next year!

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          Let me get this straight. You believe that “memorizing” the fact that there are 100 U.S. Senators, 2 from each state, is unnecessary knowledge?

          I guess if you think our country has 57 States like our President does, that might be an “inconvenient truth”.

      • WTFINF

        Take an aspirin and go lie down. Those conspiracy theories swirling in your brain must surely be giving you a headache.

      • IB for critical thinking!

        What are these ‘American values’ and ‘American society’ exactly?

        By the way, my son is American by birth and on an IB course here in the UK. He is taking history on a higher level and it just happens to be American history!

  • acriticalthinker

    Why should nationalism come before a good education? If we equip our children with critical thinking skills then we give them all the tools they need to learn about America and beyond.

    • Bob E E

      The answer is obvious ac thinker. The denial is just so damn entrenched with some “folks” that the thought of providing people the ability to think instead of just follow without asking questions is somehow a disgrace and a slap in the face to some kind of Constitutional mandate. Fact is, that if those so called Patriots would actually read something they would discover and alas, learn, that Thomas Jefferson was perhaps the leading IB practitioner of his time and set the tone for IB learning. His personal library was used to establsih the Library of Congress (our national brain trust). His collection was vast and evident of his worldly views that helped to shape our initial diplomatic policies and provided him the ability to pen the many documents that helped shape our nation. Yep, the irony is so think its almost unpatriotic :)

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        Please don’t insult the great Thomas Jefferson by attempting to attach IB’s socialist, one world philosophy to him when he is unable to speak for himself in 2012.

        “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” ~Thomas Jefferson

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Why should national history and patriotism be diminished and demonized by a Swiss NGO of UNESCO?

      • nikiti

        Because IB is the only way to get a good education, not get pregnant in high school, and to be able to think critically (lol). Don’t you get it? ( haha) And, all those kids who are not in IB have no chance!

    • nikiti

      And the only way to develop critical thinking is through IB? Seriously???

  • Anonymous

    Have a child in IB program. Her assignments do not differ much at all from what we did as regular curriculum in the 60′s and 70′s, yet people believe it is a difficult, more advanced education. I do not believe learning about other cultures is un-American, just practical. After 7 years of IB classes I wouldn’t really say it’s a better way to go but my daughter has motivation and great time management skills she didn’t inherit from her mother.

  • Cherylbaden

    My son took many of these classes they were mostly rote memorization, He was black balled by one of his teachers for disagreeing with her political beliefs. Another one of his teachers made the statement that he really didn’t care for the music of any country but his own. Like any educational program it all depends on the teachers,

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

      Surely it wasn’t your child that was the problem right? It must have been the teachers and the curriculum. People wonder why teachers are having such a difficult time with classroom management when all these kids have to say is that the teacher is a liberal or a communist etc… And the parent isn’t intelligent enough to figure out the manipulation.

      • Adorism

        That’s a pretty unfair assumption to make. Sometimes the teacher is the problem.

      • laurel parker

        I teach through a progam that caters to schools, so I see an average of 6 different classes a day, from various schools. I am dead serious, when I say I have never had a problem with an ill behaved student. the closest was an autistic child who flushed my toilet until it overflowed, and I understand autism well enough to not put that in the same category as what we’re discussing here. What I have seen – to my great dismay, is some truly horrible teachers. Most frequent are those who do everything they can to impede learning. They tell the kids to sit down and shut up ( their terminology) in direct defiance of my request that they not. They can be physically thratening, and they frequently disrupt MY classroom to reprimand a child who has done something like raise theri hand, or simply put their hand in their lap ( some make the kids sit on their hands). The worst one blurted out all the answers, robbing her students of that last chance to think. I finally had to stop the class and asked her leave the room ( she refused – a great thing to model to young children)I see a VAST difference between children in preschool and first grade, and the difference is this: first graders have learned to stop being curious. It breaks my heart.

        The kinder the teacher, the better behaved the students are and the more engaged. It has convinced me that 99% of poor behavior is staration fo the mind. BTW, my grandfather turned a violent reform school over with this same philosopher. For doing so, he was sent to Europe after WW2 as director of a Displaced Person’s camp. Yup – he was one of those horrible UN workers ( he was with UNRRA) people are ranting about.

        Thankfully, this bad behavior by teachers does not happen in it all classes, but at least 1/3 have the mindset that creates these kinds of behavioral problems.

        Next time you try to hook something on a child, think again – kids learn it somewhere, and it’s pretty obvious where when you see the parents and teachers they spend their days with.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        Or maybe the teacher really is a communist or left-wing union thug and their only defense is to insult the child and parent.

    • Kerrycorkmd

      Apparently, your son has such a vast experience in the world of music he is aware of all types. Wow, he is a great kid. I wish ours were like that. Then again, maybe they are; sometimes they just say stupid ass things all because they think that they’re funny and that pretty much sounds what your brat did.

    • Dockao

      Is your son still black? Or did they ruin that, too?

  • teacher

    Your “truthaboutib.com” link is a perfect example of paranoia. The IB program is an outstanding example of offering our youth an alternative, since not everyone learns in the same way, and broadens their world view. truthaboutib.com would have us believe that Obama, Duncan, and other proponents of IB are “domestic terrorists”. Sorry.

  • robey

    very poorly for a story about higher education. “then” they’ve ever been? (second answer transcription) c’mon, really?

  • AlsoARealAmerican

    My son is in an IB school and if it is “anti-American” in a way as interpreted by Conservatives or other Right-Wing Americans, then that makes me even happier about the program. They must be doing something correctly if they have raised the ire of this class of backwards-thinking Nationalist anti-tax Christians. I think I’ll make another donation.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Please do. Last I heard, IBO is $100M in the red (hahaha, pun intended) for its expansion of its “global centres” to Bethesda and Amsterdam.

  • AP7

    MOLLY BLOOM (the author of the article) needs to learn the difference between “then” and “than” because if NPR can’t get it right, what hope does Joe-Shmo has?

    • Eric Scoles

      I are Joe Schmo and I can haz lots of hopes. So theres.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

    Having taught (my student practicum this year) in an IB classroom I can tell you that the students, and the program in general, are both incredible and exciting especially for a student teacher. The right wing nut jobs on here remind me of the people in Orwell’s 1984 that would change history to fit what the Nation wanted the population to think and believe. Sorry but sometimes history isn’t flattering and to change it to fit your own nationalistic beliefs is downright evil. I am always amazed at the right wing’s hatred of education and defense of stupidity.

    • laurel parker

      Not to critique a teacher, especially one who is passionate enough to spend leisure time discussing education, but might I suggest a shorter way to say “right wing’s hatred of education and defense of stupidity” might be “right wing’s paranoia and greed”

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      What a sad analysis, but absolute proof that IB is a tool of the extreme left-wing and anti-American fundamental values if a “teacher” can arrive at the above conclusion.

  • Passerby

    Never heard of IB School before today, but I can say (based on the comments) that it certainly doesn’t give people very good debating skills OR class (name calling just isn’t classy). At the end of the day you can have your 4.0 GPA and your Ivy League education, but if you make no positive contributions to society, then what is the point? Now that you are out of school are you producing goods and services? How are you creating a better world for us all to live? I see a lot of bragging, but I’m still not impressed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Anzalone/1203292141 Tony Anzalone

      LOL seriously? SO educated intelligent people do not contribute to society? What has become of the right wing?

    • laurel parker

      I suggest you do some research into alumni of IB programs, before you jump to the conclusions you just stated. I know the United World College (which is the riginal IB school) has a list on their website. Also, look over that school – you can view dozens of you-tube videos made by students) before deciding what sort of people come out of IB programs.

      I can’t vouch for how well individual schools teach the IB program, (public schools tend to water tall programs down), but if you want to see a true program and the results that come out of it the UWC would be the place to look.

      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        Oh yes! Do refer to UWC!

        UWC-USA was founded in 1982 by the late Dr. Armand Hammer, member of the revolutionary Communist Labor Party:


        Thank you for reminding me of old Armand, Laurel! ;-)

        • laurel parker

          Nice job of making up lies and passing it off as fact. Anyone who’s ever heard of Armand Hammer knows he was a capitalist of the first stripe. He did indeed have ties with Russia, and may have been a member of the Communist Party. Lots, if not most people who join groups of any kind, do so to find out more about them. This was especially true before the internet gve us access to more outside information than we had before. So, he agreed with some aspects of Communism. I defy you to read about it and admit you don’t too. But this man walked the walk of a capitalist, not a communst. As you now doubt know, but neglectd to mention, his other political scandal involved illegal donations to Richard Nixon. He was also friends with Ronald Reagan and other conservatives.

          He did not found UWC-US. He donated most of the money to start it, on the condition that they name it after him, a decision that those who were involved in the decision have said they later regretted.

          Your objection to him seems to be that he wasn’t a follower of one ideology (yours), but that he voted according to the issue at hand. Don’t you realise that the founders of the US did this as well? They drew from many different governments when they wrote our Constitution. That is what made it brilliant – the fact that they werent afraid to learn from the best, including those they didn’t agree with.

          In some ways Armand Hammer embraced the mission statement of the UWC, but
          in other ways he didn’t at all. While he promoted good international
          relations, donated a lot of art, and fought hard for funding for cancer
          research, he was also a corrupt greedy mogul of the worst kind. He abused
          his employs had financial scandals, and his oil company was a notorious
          polluter. If he was a communist, so what? Any harm he did came from the
          unethical way he practised capitalism.

          An honest, ethical person tells both sides to a story, Why don’t you want
          the truth known?

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            An honest ethical person, especially one who calls herself a teacher, would not call someone a liar when the FACTS are clear as day on the UWC website:


            “UWC-USA was founded in 1982 by the late Dr. Armand Hammer at the urging of HRH Prince Charles, the first President of UWC. Since its founding, UWC-USA has extended its transformational experience to over 2,500 students from over 100 countries.”

            I expect an apology, although I know I won’t receive one.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Thank you, Passerby. You are not alone. MOST people, even educators and many admissions officers say, “What’s IB?”

  • Kaylee Olney

    I believe CWebb14 was being facetious. At least that’s how I read it.

    • Anonymous

      Indeed. Thank you. I shouldn’t be feeding this fire; I’m mad at NPR for legitimizing this story at all, and I’m venting it here.

  • Mike

    My daughter got an IB diploma and all it did was make her better prepared for college-level work. IB is the Arts/Humanities version of what AP is for science and math — just a more rigorous program for smart kids. My daughter’s in a very good college now and doing exceptionally well, and I credit IB for a portion of her academic success. I certainly haven’t noticed any anti-Americanism creeping into her conversation, nor any sudden fondness for the U.N. Paranoid isolationists always think the youth of America are being corrupted by sinister forces, and that any influences from outside the U.S. are automatically suspect.

  • Ablasko

    Hmm. I don’t know much about the IB program, but if it was designed for the children of diplomats, it was designed to educate, at least in part, American children of American diplomats as well – and those diplomats are serving this country in ways I’m pretty sure most of the outspoken voices against IB here have never done. They stand up for American ideals around the globe, weather changing administrations, political environments and challenging posts, and their children come through it, in my experience, fiercely American. And that’s while living abroad. What harm could the curriculum possibly do to kids who are still on American soil?

    • global_thinker


    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1676245702 Chris Pumphrey

      And by what criteria do you use to Assume that those of us against IB have never served our Country? And for those that have not “served”, what logical condition is that to be use as justification for validating their opposition to IB or not? They are American Citizens that pay the Taxes that are used to fund the IB program. a program that many of them are not asked if they want in their schools, are not even told that it is being placed in their local school until after it has begun to happen. A program where 90% of the expense of goes straight into the IBO’s bank account.

      And per BO’s own agreements IBO offers no tangibles in return. They do not claim to improve student performance in writing but their Coordinators will tell parents that such improvement is the purpose of the program. In fact IBO states that this program IS NOT for those seeking an advanced and specialized education but is instead best for those that are considered all-rounders. Yet there are many “claims” that IB is equivalent to AP, which it is not, not in content nor in the total number of possible College Credits awarded. Yet it costs more per year to run IB in a handful of High schools than it does per year to run AP in each High school.

      And again, according to UNESCO’s own Document Teaching for Sustainable Development, the IBO is one of the organizations test-bedding and providing feed back to UNESCO on the UN Agenda 21 education material and teaching format. With the stated purpose to improve delivery and acceptance of Agenda 21 among students 3yrs to 21 yrs of age.

      Agenda 21, is a Specific Political Agenda that contains a specific Ideology and specific goals, that many American Citizens both Conservative and Liberal disagree with for various reasons.

      Our Public schools have no reason teaching this to very young children , especially without parental consent … that is what happened in Nazi Germany Soviet Russia, Red China, North Korea and any number of Tyrannical Regimes . IF Parents want this program taught in a private school where they have the choice to send their children, then that’s fine, its their choice to do so. I might disagree but it;s still their choice. When this is placed in a Public Elementary school, there is not choice and not way to opt out. Unlike High schools Elementary school IB is a whole school approach, its not optional nor selective, nor is a parent or student at that school allowed to choose a traditional education.

      This is part of an Agenda, and meant to indoctrinate youth not educate them. IB targets low-income schools, if it is such a wonderful education then why not place it in the high performing schools as well? And if it’s really “international” then why are 3/4 of the IB schools in the world located in the US, yet legally IB is Governed by Swiss Law. And from its creation up until 2006 IB was Funded directly by UNESCO,

      • Stodini

        1. Most Americans are not “asked” what they want in their public schools, they elect school boards to make those decisions. We live in a democratic republic.

        2. The vast majority of high schools in the USA do not, and never have, offered an “advanced, specialized” education. Neither does AP.

        3. Coordinators claim THEIR programs improve student writing because they do. The program itself does not specifically teach writing skills, but the school MUST if its students are to succeed.

        4. The content is a bit different from AP, but AP content is a bit different from most state standards.

        5. Universities determine how much credit to grant for IB tests. The program can’t help it if universities have been slow in understanding outcomes. My son, an AP student, liked the fact that he got more credit than IB students who, in his opinion, worked harder in high school than he did. On the other hand, he didn’t like it when he got to Linear Algebra and the AP Calculus students struggled to grasp concepts that the IB Mathematics students were already familiar with.

        6. The expense is an issue, no doubt. But a framework for excellence can be difficult to create, so it could be worth it.

        7. I can’t speak to the elementary program, and I just now attempted to educate my self on Agenda 21. However, your reaction seems overwrought. Nazi Germany? North Korea? I don’t think either would be interested in Agenda 21, or IB.

        8. Generally, as you imply, low-income schools tend to be low-performing. I believe the agenda could be to use the IB program to improve the outcomes in those schools. A school or district that achieves excellent results doesn’t necessarily need ANY additional program.

        9. IB is governed by Swiss law because that is where it is headquartered. In the US, IB schools are governed by US laws. Another example of this is Nestlé, a Swiss corporation that does HUGE business in the US. Your argument here just doesn’t work.

        In my city, the high school with the best test scores has had the IB program for 20+ years. Parents line up to transfer their children there. I personally know STRONGLY conservative graduates who are grateful for the IB education they received. (BTW, this is NOT to denigrate AP!)

  • Gma

    My grandson is in an IB program in a public school. It is AWESOME! Where this “anti-American” stuff came from puzzles me. They read American lit, study American history, and in concordance w/Indiana requirements, they have American govt. and economics. What could be more American than economics?

  • Jc

    If you believe in capitalism and markets, the data speak for themselves. IB programs are growing because parents believe they have value and will drive their kids to schools across the city to participate. Like every program, it isn’t for everyone, but it is also about the opportunity to have choices. IB programs also tend to attract good students and involved parents that add a dimension to the campus that hopefully has a positive impact on all students. In our school IB students account for only about 20% of the student body and there are many other choices, including honors, AP, and other courses for students or parents that don’t think IB is a good fit for their child.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1216004397 Stacey Krepcio Olivieri

    So liberals and leftists are anti-american? Only conservatives can be patriotic? For the record- my daughter is in a non-IB program and her AP Gov teacher was fairly left. Her AP US History teacher last year was extremely right. Thankfully, my daughter’s intelligent enough to know that she can’t take one imperfect and agenda driven person’s view or one author’s commentary as the truth. IB or not, she’s ahead of you in this world already.

    • laurel parker

      My dad who was a Republican and a flag waving American, was blacklisted during th McCarthy era because he was (one of the very few who) refused to sign the oath because it was UnAmerican. That was the experience that turned him into a liberal – the fact that the conservatives in government were ( and are) so eager to throw out the rights that we have laid out in the Constitution.

      FWIW, what turned my son into a liberal was reading the constitution. He was abot 10 then, and we’d encouraged him to listen to all sides of an issue. That crazy anti-American Constitution sealed it for him, though, and darned if he hasn’t been a leftie ever since.

  • JPRajao

    I was a Student overseas from 7th grade to 10th grade and when I came back to the United States I was a Junior in high school. I can tell you from personal experience that I was very disappointed in the educational system in one of the best high schools in all of Washington State. I was denied several credits such as Anthropology and Calculus since those courses where not offered in high school I was forced to loose the credits since they were considered college level courses. I was however forced to take Pacific Northwest History and United States History. I vividly remember being able to identify ALL of the States and their Capitals as well as ALL of the major Rivers and Mountains on the first day of class while my class who were mostly freshman had absolutely no clue and many could not even identify the Capital of the state they were born in and lived all of their lives. The IB program is very well structured and teaches more than just memorization like most American curriculum but more importantly it teaches you how to learn, critical thinking and gives a student a much broader learning experience than most American curriculum. The real argument that I don’t understand is the small minded approach that Americans have in a GLOBAL SOCIETY. How about we stop being isolationists and accept the fact that we live on Planet Earth not just the United States!

    • laurel parker

      My daughter, who is in her first year of public school in the US this year, has had a similar experience, though she was homeschooled, here in the States. Initially they refused ( against the law) to enroll her. Then they required her to take a bunch of tests to prove she’d learned what they deemed important. One of the teachers who loaned the study guides for these tests told me flat out she’d never pass – homeschoolers know nothing. I said “She’s getting all ‘A’s.” “Where?” she asked, voice scornful. “Here” I replied. “Where is ‘here’?” she asked again, voice now dripping with scorn. “Here in this school” I told her.

      My dd shrugged off both the comments and the study guides, and focused on getting through the stupid tests, while adjusting to disruptive classes, constant testing so the school ( not her) can be graded, and mind numbing amounts of written work that requires little thought.

      She hasn’t finished these extra tests yet, but here’s how environmental science went: she came home and announced that the only thing that was unfamiliar was nuclear energy, something she knows mostly through news accounts of recent events in Japan. Head smack. We were so busy learning about SUSTAINABLE energy that we plum forgot to go back to the dark ages and cover the wonders of nuclear power. Sustainablity is not taught in public school here. I guess it’s not important.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Do you possess a “global passport”? Or do you have a passport issued by the U.S.A.? Are you registered to vote with some international body? Or will you vote in U.S. elections? Does our U.S. Constitution give rights to “Planet Earth”? Or are your unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as an American citizen, protected by the Constitution and bestowed by our Creator?

      • Stodini

        ObserverNY, you are clearly an intelligent and educated person. However, your post is a non sequitur. It is a regular outcome that students go through IB and come out with a full appreciation of the history, values and institutions of the United States.

  • cshoe

    I have been on both sides of this coin. I went to an AP school then transferred to an IB program school. And having grown up my entire life in the American school system, how much American history do we really freaking need in our lives? I’m sorry, but at some point you sort of know everything that is worth knowing about American history. Considering the fact that you study it from the first moments you step into school until you graduate high school. I thought IB did a great job of giving me a different perspective on everything, be it history, English, or science. It forces you to consider that there are OTHER view points in the world then the American one. I’m sorry if this offends people who are so patriotic they can’t accept that maybe we aren’t the most perfect country in the world. I think half the problem we have here is people who think the sun shines out of America’s every state and crevice and we are just too good to fail.

    I think that IB gives students another way to think. That doesn’t mean they are going to walk out on the streets and say that America is a horrible nation and living in Europe and total, 100% support of the U.N. is better. That kind of logic is absolutely flawed. I love my country, but I am not so blind that I can’t see there are better ways of doing things. Being in the IB program is probably one of the only things that kept me sane during my last high school years, it got me to think critically and be able to take other views of the world than the standard “America is perfect and great and everyone should live like we do” stance. We get that all the time, purely American history from American stand-points all through school, especially as a freshman and sophomore in high school.

    The IB program is challenging, it’s diverse and provides opportunities to work with other students to come up with ideas and plans for the future. I think it better provides a foundation for the rest of your life than any other program because of it’s international values and forcing you to think outside of your comfort zone and outside of your own countries view. I know people who took IB in other countries and found it just as good and helpful for them to think about the world from another point of view then the one they had always known and grown up with. In this world of international communication, trade and business it’s unrealistic to assume that you will only ever work within the confines of the American continent. It just isn’t feasible. People need to see the world from an international view instead of their own narrow-minded view. That goes for every country in every part of the world. If you plan on working in business, and many, many people do, then you need the IB program to keep an open mind.

    If you have never, personally, been involved in the IB program then no amount of research you do on the subject is ever going to really and truly open your eyes to how wonderful this program really is for the world, and for America. I think it’s time that American’s stop being so fearful of a global world and accept that we are already IN a global world with connections. There is nothing wrong with having pride in your country, I’m all for that, but it is an entirely other situation to be so blinded by your own pride you can’t accept that there are faults within the system. We need a healthy dose of realistic ideas.

  • atheist_thinker

    I’m laughing at all the people being trolled in these comments.

  • Sarahbarlowstevens

    I am 34 and I participated heavily in an IB program whie in high school in Lee’s Summit, Mo. It was wonderful. The program was challenging and it does teach you to think. Being able to read and understand and extrapolate, to reason and guess and document, to see cause and effect and connection – these abilities were awakened and strengthened and have made me successful in many situations. I went to college and to be frank, it was easy. When many of my peers were floundering as they tried to meet new expectations for independent work and heavy workload, I was their tutor, breaking it down into steps. I believe in IB and I would love to have my children participate when they are older.

  • Shopshopy

    Whats anti American about setting your children up for success. This is the reality of life. Survival of the fittest. Thank God for Evolution!

  • Eric Scoles

    This is a pretty poor summary. I know you’re trying to drive people to the audio, but don’t pretend to summarize the content if you’re not going to actually do it.

  • Eric Scoles

    Actually, avoiding the metric system has probably cost us a lot of money and productivity as a country, while creating niche opportunities for companies that create products accommodating our failure to adopt metrics, and affording military-industrial contractors lots of new opportunities for billing for their efforts to accommodate the fact that we feel compelled to use a different system of measures from everyone else in the world.

    but hey, don’t let anyone here talk you into thinking about actual productivity or saving some money when there’s an opportunity to make some weird logical leap of faith to connect patriotism to English measures. (Really? Seriously? The Metric System is un-American?! Are you sure you’re not a living parody?)

    [this was supposed to be a reply to this: http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/2012/01/18/is-the-international-baccalaureate-program-anti-american/#comment-416814753
    ... but it seems to be floating to the top of the comment queue.]

  • Eric Scoles

    yeah, but it’s kind of a bogus teaser.

    [this is supposed to be a reply in-thread, but it doesn't seem to be sorting that way...i'd delete it if I could because out here on its own it's kind of pointless...]

  • one_guy’s_testimony

    Wow! This ranks up there with one of the most absurd things that I have ever read on the internet. That’s quite a feat; there is some pretty crazy stuff on the internet. ;)

    For full disclosure, no, I did not listen to the whole broadcast. It would have been a waste of my time in the same manner that listening to a broadcast headlined “Is the US secretly being controlled by alien bees from Vega?” would be a waste of my time.

    I was not in IB. I was just a plain old, same old, public high school student. However, I went to an IB high school and clicked the best with other students who were thoughtful and valued the persuit of truth and life as I did. It probably seems obvious to the people who ACTUALLY know what IB is about that a vast majority of these students I clicked with were IB students. I knew these kids in public junior high as well and knew them as the type who were curious, thoughtful, and ready to work hard for a positive impact on society. I watched 4 years of IB accelerate them intellectually into some of the most productive and balanced members of society that I have ever seen to date. I have watched them become doctors and engineers, and several of them politicians. And I’m taking good politicians, the kind that truly and earnestly value representation of the life, liberty, and happiness of our nation.

    As far as this silly web page goes, I noticed a clear pattern in both the synopsis itself as well as the comments made with respect to it. Many of the stated anti-IB ideas were rather slanderous and hardly held a candle to anything that I could personally consider a sound justification, whereas a lot of the pro-IB responses were concise, justified, and successfully debunked the slander of the statements they were rebutting.

    I rarely comment on the things I read on the internet, but the ideas represented on this page are so ludicrous that I felt obliged to represent my experiences with regard to them. If you don’t know much about IB, then PLEASE, I IMPLORE YOU to disregard this “IB is Anti-American” idea. It is a disease and needs to be smothered.

    • letjusticerolldown

      100% truthful here????

      If you took your plain old school and offered two programs: “Plain Old School” and “International Program for Thoughtful Curious Students”–and placed special hurdles and requirements for the “Thoughtful” program–ending up with a select group; and then you delivered the plain old program to the select group and the IB program to the “left behind” group—–which group do you think would excel at life in 20 years?

      • one_guy’s_testimony

        You’re going to have to repeat the question because I didn’t understand much of what you said with the way you worded it…

        What do you mean by “delivered the plain old program to the select group and the IB program to the “left behind” group”?

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Actually, your comment that the mere “idea” that IB is anti-American is a “disease that needs to be smothered” is a statement worthy of Lenin or Mao. Our First Amendment guarantees free speech and freedom of the press. Attempts by IB supporters to silence, censor and “smother” the expression of opposition to a PRODUCT, just shows how communist IB is in its design.

      I don’t advocate the “smothering” of pro-IB opinions. I would think a programme which claims to produce open-minded critical thinkers would be able to defend itself more qualitatively than with insults and demanding censorship of opposing opinions.

      • one_guy’s_testimony

        Let’s get one thing straight here. I expressed the OPINION that the idea of IB being anti-American is a disease, and I said so because it is how I feel regarding this topic. I am in no way forcing this opinion upon anybody. Please don’t put words like “silence” or “censor” in my mouth and use the “First Amendment” card to label me as some sort of a bigoted wannabe dictator.

        I have no desire to silence or censor any of the anti-IB remarks on this site. I am in fact very glad that such a large amount of debate regarding this topic is being brought forth (it is currently at some 200+ comments). I strongly value the idea that through the agrument of individuals with opposing ideals, all parties involved become wiser and more informed…as long as we listen to each others ideas and refrain from closing off our minds to the “opposition” as it were.

        Plain and simply, I have had a lot of exposure to the IB program and it is utterly clear to me that IB being an anti-American institution is a very silly idea, and what’s more, through perusing the comments on this page my opinion as such has been greatly enforced. Because this topic interests me, I have read just about all of the comments on this page and even as of yet a consistent pattern has seemed to hold true to me; the pro-IB remarks seem to be based on exposure, experience and rational justification, and the anti-IB remarks seem to be built on cliche ideals solely for the sake that they’re ideals and an attempt to pedal those ideals by reminding everyone of how “American” they are.

        As I read these comments, I AM INDEED entertaining the anti-IB idea, but have found myself unsurprised that it has been to no avail because it is simply a very incorrect idea. If you were to try to prove to me that the sky is orange, you will have to provide me with A TON of supporting arguments, because when I look up, I see a blue sky. If you are to prove to me that IB is anti-American, you will have to provide me with A TON of supporting arguments, because my exposure to IB has proven to me that it is a strong and healthy institution and that it is in our nation’s best interest to support it. I have not as of yet been presented with said plethora of anti-IB supporting arguments, but more with a bunch of cliche malarkey.

        I am sorry for the novel here, but there you go and thanks for reading if you made it this far…

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          And …. I see my lengthy reply to One Guy has also been deleted. The NPR censors are trigger happy tonight. I guess they got a call from Mr. Campbell to shut me down.

          • one_guy’s_testimony

            …well then LEM, I suggest you repost and try being a bit more concise this time.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Apparently you were able to read my reply since you responded with “One Guy” which is how I addressed you in my post.

            I quit taking violin lessons in elementary school as the violin teacher, (I’ll never forget that nasty, evil woman) used to whop us in the head with her violin bow if we got the notes wrong. Spare me your tuning, please. ;-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025105562 Lisa McLoughlin

            You saw my reply,
            penned to you, “One Guy”,
            my words I shall not repeat.
            Lest you think me evasive,
            I cannot be persuasive,
            with Statists hellbent to delete.

          • one_guy’s_testimony

            Haha. I like the lyricism! :)

            So, I’m not deleting posts or advocating such things in any way. Are replies to my posts really getting deleted? That makes me very sad.

            I’m going to go out on a limb and figure that LEM and Lisa are the same person, please correct me if I’m wrong. Regardless, I haven’t seen any posts other than what is on the page currently. If that really isn’t consistent with what has actually been posted, I’m very sorry. I honestly figured that the second response from LEM was allegedly “deleted” because it was too long and the computer kicked it out or something like that as opposed to something potentially more ‘shady’ (SOPA didn’t pass behind my back, did it?) ;)

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Hi One Guy,

            The very nice moderator Molly took the time to investigate and found that my posts had been flagged as spam by the system. She has since restored them and as you can see, my reply below this one was from 16 hours ago. I would like to thank Molly for her response and journalistic integrity.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            And yes, you made a safe assumption that LEM is Lisa McLoughlin. One is my Twitter account and the other, Facebook.

  • http://twitter.com/bostonoski Ceci xo

    I teach American visiting students at one of the top universities in the world. Last term I had a student who wrote so well that the student far FAR outpaced other fellow students. When I mentioned that the student’s writing skills were far superior to his/her peers, and prodded around for potential reasons, it turned out the student had done an IB in the U.S. As a teacher, I’m sold on the IB. It was not talent alone, it was how the student was taught to think and to analyze (other American students seem to never be able to properly analyze).

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      No chance that this ONE student could have been a brilliant, charming, talented, outstanding student who could have been equally brilliant, charming, talented and outstanding if they had taken AP, eh? ONE student who took IB and you’re sold!

      I’ve got some nice swamp land in Florida for sale. Interested? ;-)

  • laurel parker

    American Patriot, you are neither American nor patriotic. Being an American means believing in freedom of choice. Being a patriot means you have read the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and understand what they say.

    What you are is one of those little old men who sit in assisted living facilities, marinating in bitterness and huffing on Fox news because your life is drawing to a close, and you’re losing your sense of control over your life. Own up, becuse for all the talk conservatives give about taking responsibility, I’m sure not seeing any of it. I see greed, paranoia, and entitlement, and either arrogance or bitterness, depending on how well the greed and entitlement are going for you.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Please surrender your teaching license and stay far away from our students.

  • FormerIBer

    As a former IB student I cannot say enough good things about this program. It requires objective thinking, hard work, and community service and I see nothing wrong with that. It works on a more socratic method, which requires students to take an active part in their own education rather than sitting in the back of a classroom. I can easily and without any reservations say I learned more about American history and world history than many of my non-IB peers and I was required to think critically about the events rather than regurgitate dates and facts. I would rather my children be in a program that teaches thinking critically about the world and yes, even their own country.

    It scares me that these opponents seem to be against of thoughtfulness, open mindedness, and a well rounded education and when did those things become anti-American? Perhaps if the opponents had gone through IB they’d have a clearer understanding of what a good education truly is.

  • DimestoreLiam

    Reading these comments just strengthens my belief that we need to teach more History, and teach it better, to all students. Many, if not most, of those who commented here seem to be missing the point, which is that nowadays with charter schools (IB or otherwise), etc. public schools are simply getting worse every year- and they were bad enough in the 1970s & 1980s when I was a student! We are simply re-creating the old British system, with one academic track for the sons & daughters of the ruling class and pedagogically deficient warehouses for all the children who don’t fall into that category. We already have a nation which is dominated by ignoramuses, and this aspect of our national life is only going to get worse if we don’t save and improve our public schools. No matter where you send your children to school, they will still have to live here in the U.S. unless they are extremely lucky (not to mention wealthy), and have the option of moving somewhere else.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1054951424 Harsha Kuchampudi

      How narrow-minded. Honestly, think about a global scale. Although many of these people will remain in the US, many of them will go into fields such as politics, medicine, and engineering all of which affects the global community. I don’t know what you are basing your “public schools are simply getting worse every year” argument on, but you are making a generalization. You fail to show that you are only accounting for schools with a sole IB curriculum. You have to realize that many schools adopt a system in which the school adopts a separate curriculum to an already existent system which teaches the “traditional American curriculum”. In addition, by saying “We are simply re-creating the old British system, with one academic track for the sons & daughters of the ruling class and pedagogically deficient warehouses for all the children who don’t fall into that category” you have just show how little you know about the IB Program. I am not rich, nor are many of my classmates; however we all share the same drive to excel academically. As far as your argument that we have become “a nation which is dominated by ignoramuses, and this aspect of our national life is only going to get worse if we don’t save and improve our public schools”, You are absolutely right, but the only solution to this is to fully embrace the IB methodology and concepts that will cause our students to think on a global scale, even if they are/will be living in the US.

    • laurel parker

      I think you don’t understand the IB program. The idea is to bring people together, not to create more of a class system. At the United World College, which created the IB program, if you get accepted, you get a full scholarship. The reason for this is to even the playing board. Yes, they get the children of world leaders ( president Queen Noor and Honorary President Nelson Mandela both sent their children there, and Kim Joon Il’s grandson goes there now) but they also get the children of war – kids who missed out on all kinds of advantages. And they get ‘average’ kids who have a strong interest in a humanitarian career.

      I don’t know where you get the idea that people are stuck in the US. My daughter has been talking about international travel, and studying abroad since she was six years old. We’re not wealthy, but that certainly hasn’t made us curtail her dreams. She has a friend who has worked on every continent except Antartica, and he is only 22. He’s not welathy either. He’s a Boy Scout. He simply applies to a different country eveyr season. My dd has applied to United World College in part because of her desire to study abroad. If she is accepted, she will be sent to one of 13 campuses, each in a different country. Each campus has only a few students from each country, so she will study with people from as many as 80 different countries. Imagine the life long connections a person can make by doing that.

      I’m sad, that you’re scope is so narrow. I can’t imagine all the things you’ve missed out on life because you believe things can’t happen unless you’re one of a chosen few. And if you have children, what kind of messsages ae you givng them, about what they can’t do with their lives? Don’t be afraid to dream bigger.

      I am afraid I do agree about the schools. It’s a tragedy. My grandfather was an educator ( school superintendent) who wrote about his high school days around 1900. Those kids could get PHD’s in today’s world. Rote memorization was not the norm, and there was a spirit of competition and a pride in excelling, and in learning. All you have to do is look at old yearbooks. You can clearly see the progression downhill. It was not my intent to home school my children, but I could not be happier that I did. My dd’s school counselor this year ( she just entered public school as a junior). said “You really want to be here!” to her when he met her. “I never see an enthusiastic student! This is refreshing.” And then he proceeded to tell her she has no chance of graduating – because she was home schooled. It’s madness.

  • Sdhsdvne

    No matter what education you get here in america it is going to be biased. All our books are made by the same people and all have the same views the people being the global elite that run this country. In school we are not taught true history or an unbiased view of history and current events are never on the agenda. The main goal of u.s education is to mold children into stupid passive slaves who cant think for themselves but are really good at math and language.

  • Sandy

    My daughters just started 6th grade at an IB middle school here in NC. Though initially unfamiliar to the program, I have quickly come to love the way it exposes kids to other perspectives, traditions, and languages. Having lived abroad myself, I can tell you that this kind of exposure not only makes appreciate America in a new way, but also teaches you the the American Way is not the ONLY way. I also love IB’s focus on critical thinking, composition, and community service. These are lessons that will significantly benefit them and the community as well.

  • Rodgers Jt

    My daughter went to an IB school and was exceptionally well-prepared for college, where she received 21 credits for her IB scores. Small class sizes, ample writing assignments, strong preparation in Spanish, biology, and humanities paid off for her and her colleagues. As they approach age 30, most of them are now called “Dr.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1054951424 Harsha Kuchampudi

    Hmmm… anti-American? Well I guess we better re-visit the American nature: a melting pot of cultures. If this age-old philosophy is true, how is the IB Program being anti-American? If anything it is promoting the very ideals of the United States. As far as all this propaganda nonsense, let’s think about this logically. The more culturally diverse and encompassing a curriculum is, the more it forces students to become independent thinkers. And overall, this alludes to more people who are able to distinguish between truths and logical fallacies. Even if we were to ignore this aspect, it is especially important that Americans follow the ideology of PROGRESS. We cannot fear change, especially in the 21st-century. For America to succeed in the future, it is imperative that we adopt a program such as the IB Program to transform our students into global thinkers. We must teach them things much more applicable in a global society than merely arguing the framework of an “American education”. Education is far more important than nationalism. It is only through this higher level of education can we, as a nation, move forward and truly make decisions that are both in our students’ and nation’s best interest.

  • Proud IB U.S. Citizen

    As usual, I’m appalled at any journalistic endeavor that implies the IB Programme is “anti-American.” I realize that controversy attracts readers, viewers, listeners, etc. but lending credence to this argument does nothing more than fuel the beliefs of a paranoid subculture that they are gaining traction. I’ve been (unfortunately) aware that “The Truth About IB” website exists for a couple of years now, but never bothered delving into until today. I will give my two cents about why their beliefs are misguided – to put it mildly – and then go about my business, since I think it’s generally best not to feed the trolls.
    First, a note about my credibility to address this subject. I spent three and a half years in pre-IB and the full IB program, and MY SINGLE GREATEST REGRET IN LIFE IS THAT I DID NOT COMPLETE MY TIME AND RECEIVE THE IB DIPLOMA. I had to switch schools in the middle of my senior year, and I wish to this day that I had found a way to make it work. I say this as an ACTIVE DUTY U.S. ARMY CAPTAIN. I have been serving in the Army since I first enlisted after high school in 2000. I spent three years as a soldier, and was then selected to attend West Point. Of the approximately 100 enlisted soldiers selected to join my class there, I was one of three allowed to skip the USMA Preparatory School. The other two had both done a year of college before enlisting, but I was allowed in because I had nearly completed the full IB Programme. I can tell you that despite being out of school for three years, in comparison to most of my classmates just out of high school, I was much better prepared BECAUSE OF my IB education. Furthermore, even though West Point is one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, AND it is focused on teaching as opposed to research, the education I received in the IB Programme was SUPERIOR in every aspect to the broad liberal arts core taught there. I hope that my example can help quell some of the charges that IB is “anti-American.” In fact, though the IB Programme gave me an excellent appreciation for other cultures, and helped my understand what it means to be a “citizen of the World,” it did nothing but reinforce my patriotism and love for the United States. I have expressed that patriotism and love through twelve years of service, including four overseas deployments. Enough said.
    The TAIB website is extremely disjointed, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to delve into what appears to be the accumulation of years of anti-IB propaganda. So I will limit myself to addressing some the charges presented on its main page. TAIB starts by saying that IB promotes values contrary to traditional Judeo-Christian values. It does not give any further explanation for exactly what that means, leaving the reader to interpret that as they may. This simply isn’t the case. In my IB World History course we covered the basics of every major world religion, to include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. My teacher didn’t give any emphasis to one over the other, we simply learned about each one, its basic beliefs, its history, its adherents, etc. You know, the same way they do in every other world history class. Meanwhile, several of my teachers were openly devout Christians, but they balanced that in their teaching, while one of my math professors led an after-school Bible study program that I participated in. Neither the IB Program in general, nor my individual school, has any sort of anti-Christian agenda.
    Next TAIB claims that the IB Programme has a Marxist agenda because one of its deputy directors, Dr. Ian Hill, was a signatory to the Earth Charter. After reading the basic tenets of the Charter, I don’t understand how they make that jump (Disclosure: I don’t have the time to read the full 2400-page document, because, well, I have a life that I can’t neglect). Yes, the Charter includes a statement about “equitable distribution of wealth.” I interpret that as the basics of government and taxation, not necessarily Socialism or Marxism. And even if Dr. Hill is a card-carrying communist doesn’t allow TAIB to make the jump to say that the entire IB Programme is too. First, that’s an ad hominem attack (I learned about logical fallacies in IB’s Theory of Knowledge, by the way). Next, one’s political beliefs don’t necessarily transfer into one’s work. Over the course of a semester you pretty much always learn, one way or another, where your high school teacher or college professor stands on politics, but a good teacher never advocates one view or another. Though I knew where they stood, my IB professors never taught that their beliefs were right or wrong, and certainly never graded based on compliance with their beliefs. Bottom line, this is a non-issue.
    TAIB also addresses the cost of the IB Programme and the loss of local control over educational standards. I’m not a professional educator, but some of the very same documents linked to on the TAIB website include statements that IB costs the same as traditional programs, or else a statistically insignificant difference. Regarding local control, while the IB Organization does set educational standards and guidelines, there is still plenty of room for students to complete the guidelines set by local school boards and states. I know because I had to use some of my precious electives to do so. And frankly, if you don’t care for what IB teaches, don’t join or allow your children to join. Nobody’s forcing anyone else to become an IB student (some misguided parents aside).
    Apparently TAIB also thinks IB considers itself, falsely, to be the “Gold Standard” of college admittance and credit. First off, there are thousands of colleges in this country and each one is going to have different beliefs about the ideal student. Many of them think it’s IB, others are going to think it’s AP or something else entirely. All I can say is that students from IB Programmes were one of several subsets of cadets that did particularly well at West Point, along with Eagle Scouts and All-Americans. Frankly, if I was the director of admissions at any college or university, IB Graduates would be my number one choice for prospective students I’d like to admit. TAIB also says something along the lines of “IB elementary and middle school programs don’t help you in college.” Um, duh? Do I even need to address that or is its incoherence apparent to everyone else?
    The next point from TAIB is that most colleges don’t award credit for IB Standard Level exams, unless you receive the IB Diploma. For those not in the know, you generally take three Standard Level and Three Higher Level courses in the IB program. In my mind, every student who is capable should be striving for the Diploma because I just don’t see the point otherwise. I understand that some schools allow students to take individual IB classes, and my point would be that if you’re doing so you should choose to only take Higher Levels. Regardless, in my Standard Level classes we still took the AP exams in addition to the IB exams, for multiple reasons, and almost everyone I knew eceived a 4 or 5. Frankly, this argument just doesn’t hold water.
    Lastly, TAIB has some rant about a particular lawsuit involving a body of parents who were trying to get rid of an IB Programme in Upper St. Clair, PA. TAIB claims the lawsuit was filled with “mistruths and fantastic allegations against elected public officials.” If you’ve made it this far through my response, you can probably guess which side I assume was utilizing mistruths and fantastic allegations. Next, I can’t actually check what TAIB means because there is a reference to a “St. Clair tab above” but no actual tab. Or if there is, I can’t find it on their poorly designed website. Meanwhile, the Alternative Opinion Report linked to, which was supposedly “repressed” actually indicates that the IB Diploma Programme should be expanded. Not sure what’s going on here, but there seems to be a fair amount of finger-pointing without actual evidence backing it up.
    Alright, this response has gone on way further than I ever intended. Bottom line – IB is a phenomenal education program, which I believe should be available to any student who is capable and interested. Next, it is without question NOT anti-American, and in fact helped convince me to love my country even more deeply. Lastly, the Truth About IB website is filled with mistruths and logical fallacies. Don’t listen to it, go find out for yourself what’s actually going on. Talk to IB students (current and former), educators, and parents, or anyone you trust who is familiar with it to gain a true understanding.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      I am the administrator of TAIB. Let’s make one thing perfectly clear. No one pays me to run the website. I am not anyone’s hired mouthpiece. I am also a Mom who is self-taught when it comes to html and web design, I’m sorry if my site is difficult for you to navigate. There is an internal search engine on the Home page which you can plug in any IB related phrase and it will bring you to the article(s) in which it appears.

      Let me share with you a critique written by Jay Mathews of The Washington Post of my website. Of course, Jay does not disclose in the beginning of this article that his book, Supertest; How the International Baccalaureate can Strengthen Our Schools was co-authored by IBO Deputy Director General Ian Hill and published by an IBNA Board member’s publishing company, Open Court. Nor does he reveal that he is a regular guest at IBO’s annual conferences, the last one being held at The Fountainbleu in Miami. The very Progressive Mr. Mathews and the Washington Post have been shamelessly and with bias, promoting IB since 2004. You can find me in Chapter 45 of Supertest.


      American public schools should be APOLITICAL, neither right, nor left.

      • Proud IB U.S. Citizen


        I agree with you that American public schools should be apolitical. The problem is not with my perspective, it’s with yours. Please, take a moment and peruse the honest comments made my IB students (current and past) who fall along all lines of the political spectrum. IB IS NOT POLITICAL. My best friend in high school was our IB valedictorian and he continues to watch Bill O’Reilly (and occasionally send me his books) to this day. I don’t understand how you can read comments like mine, and those of countless other IB students, and not understand that IB had no influence on our political beliefs. Really. Listen. And by listen I don’t mean, “wait for the other person to stop making mouth noises so I can get my point across.” I mean truly, honestly, listen to us for a second.

        Also, I completely disagree with your point that IB should only be reserved for private schools. Frankly, my parents never could have afforded to provide me with a private education, and I assure you that -based on my experience in AP classes AFTER leaving the IB program- the public education I would have received would NOT have been equal to what I learned in my three and a half years of IB.

        If you are willing to address my comments in a logical and rational manner I would be happy to continue this conversation. If, however, you intend to persist in keeping your blinders on and refusing to listen, this conversation simply won’t be productive for either of us.

        Again, former IB student, currently serving in the Army. I attribute more of my successes in life to the International Baccalaureate Programme and the advantages it gave me than ANYTHING else. I am living proof that IB does not produce left-wing America haters, AND I KNOW DOZENS MORE JUST LIKE ME.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          First of all, thank you for your service. With all due respect, you were fortunate to have experienced AP courses AFTER your IB MYP. You were not fully indoctrinated. Or so it seems to me. ;-)

      • laurel parker

        The IB schools are poly-political – meaning they promote greater understanding of ALL ideologies. They don’t favor one, because they are located all over the world. American diplomats have sent their children to IB schools from the beginning, because they are diplomats and believe in diplomatic relations – something you clearly do not believe in, but which is a necesity in every government. IN fact, the only places that don’t have them are places that are run by dictators. And that is exactly what you promote. Explain how that ideology is American?

        YOU are anti-American. You don’t support your own president. You want a government that is inflexible, unhearing and unseeing.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          IB schools promote a TRANS-NATIONAL ideology, that of UNESCO and the UNDHR. Those “diplomats” you refer to so lovingly, are UN diplomats. The “mother of IB”, Marie Therese Maurette, established the anti-national IB pedagogy back in 1948 in an address to …. UNESCO.

          I do NOT support President Obama or the Democrat party. We The People took back the House of Representatives in 2010 and God willing, we will reclaim the WH and Senate in 2012. That is how a Constitutional Republic works.

  • Khilmes93

    I Just graduated last year from a non-IB school and I’m at a great private school on scholarship. My best friend in middle school went to a different school through the IB program and she (as well as many other IB kids) partied all the way to their degree. I’m not opposed to the program but I’m not convinced it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

  • guest

    I graduated last year from a Non-IB school and now attend a great private school on scholarship. However, I knew several friends from middle school who attended IB and they partied their way to their degrees. In fact, those students ended up becoming an extremely exclusive elitist sort of group within the school.I’m not opposed to the program, but I’m not sure it’s as special as its cracked up to be.

  • guest

    I graduated last year from a Non-IB school and now attend a great private school on scholarship. However, I knew several friends from middle school who attended IB and they partied their way to their degrees. In fact, those students ended up becoming an extremely exclusive elitist sort of group within the school.I’m not opposed to the program, but I’m not sure it’s as special as its cracked up to be.

  • Kim

    I think that so many people hate it because it is generally reserved for gifted, high performing students. When your child is not gifted or high performing, it can seem inequitable and that some students are getting “special” treatment. After all, we live in a country that likes to think everyone is special and equal, and is capable of going to college, becoming what ever they put their mind to etc…. And, that simply isn’t true. People have different levels of intelligence, and we owe it to every child to meet them at their level.

    What a lot of these parents don’t get is that bright, high performing, and gifted students should have their needs met just as a special ed student might. Kids deserve to be challenged and educated at their level. Gifted kids are at a much higher risk of dropping out because they get bored, frustrated, and don’t see the point in school. When you broaden the scope of education the way IB does, you give these kids an opportunity to learn things they haven’t already exhaustively learned. It’s a challenge. And, it preps them to become leaders. We need to be giving this kind of knowledge to the kids who are most likely to become scientists, engineers, doctors, etc….

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM


      Interesting post. I like the fact that you are thinking about the learning ability of ALL students. You are quite correct that “gifted” students often have similar social needs as special needs students. They feel they don’t fit in, they’re called nerds, everyone else seems stupid to them, they casually use vocabulary that other kids don’t understand.

      The problem with IB though, in MOST cases in public schools, is that it is open enrollment and lacks any sort of pre-requisites for admission. Those outstandingly gifted students will naturally be steered into doing the full diploma, yet the classes are heterogeneous and must be taught to the lowest common denominator. Furthermore, IB’s regulations concerning accommodations for SE students are far more restrictive than AP’s.

      Because IB uses constructivism as its pedagogy, students are woefully unprepared for the typical lecture style courses offered at university level. Trained to seek out information on topics they are interested in, they lack the ability to sit through a 90 minute lecture and discern what information is worthy of committing to notes. Or so it seems to me.

  • Parkersucksfatone

    I was a part of the IB program and it is a promising program, but the problem is that we leave it to the teachers of each school to actually run the program. So with that in mind the program experience can be altered quite a bit from school to school based on how it was carried out in each school. Personally I did learn a lot from the program, and it has helped me somewhat in college thus far, but my program was run rather horribly and I dare say it was the worst ran program in all the years that my school had IB.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      IBO mandates the creation of an IB Coordinator position and that individual must attend IB training to supposedly ensure IB is implemented according to strict IB regulations.

  • UnivAdmissions

    I was an admissions counselor at one of the top 10 universities in the US and I cannot tell you how impressed I’ve been with IB students, both in person and on paper. One of the most amazing students I had the privilege of interviewing (and I mean privilege because it was such a treat to talk to her) was a student from a small public school in rural Wisconsin. We talked about many different topics (and she was so well-spoken on all of them) and I remember asking her, in the course of our very engaging conversation, a question about abstract art. I never in my wildest imagination thought that I would get such an intelligent, well-thought out, considerate & respectful answer from any high school student. She told me that up until 10th grade, she was quite an ordinary student with typical views on her studies, on her peers, on the world, etc. Her guidance counselor suggested that she take the IB and her life was completely transformed. She told me, for example, about how it opened up her eyes to other cultures, to Hmong refugees in her small town, and things that she noticed about them and about her own culture. When you interview hundreds of students, you get to know who is giving you something rehearsed and who can converse off the cuff about things they’re passionate about. Although I had seen equally impressive students from rich urban non-IB schools (where the parents are very accomplished too and are clearly having interesting dinnertime conversations with their kids), I’ve rarely seen suburban and rural students from backgrounds such as hers at such a sophisticated intellectual level. As for the controversy, there is absolutely none in my mind except for the biggest controversy of all – that people could even oppose it. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say.


    I am now a junior in college (and doing very well- actually on my way to graduate school), and I would not have been prepared for college if it were not for the IB program. It is not Anti-American in the least and those who say differently are probably talking about isolated cases.

    While the American public school system is in the state that it is, I believe the focus should be on improving our overall educational infrastructure instead of wasting time debating the morality of a functional and effective program that fully prepares students to go to college. It’s working for the students lucky enough to be a part of it, and that is what we should be focusing on.

  • clarity

    Ridiculous!!! It is not anti-American! Since when has becoming a more intelligent person ever been anti-American? Granted that the majority of our culture is still ground in rugged and ignoble peasant beliefs about our inalienable rights with respect to the rest of the world. If there is anything more anti-American, it is the incestuous belief that we are supreme to an extent where we can subsist in an intellectually and culturally isolated vacuum. As Americans, we value education. Period! We need to impose a multi-lingual and international program in our education system. It is the only way to drag the heavy-, lazy-minded simpletons out of the mud and into the light. The world has always been a lot more complicated that what these sleepy heads with a loud voice purport to proclaim. It is always interesting to note that the loudest voices against plurality, education, multiculturalism, multilingualism and internationalism are always the least courageous and the lowest IQs in our American states. Wake up and educate yourselves first before passing your vitriol and biased convictions on others.


    I graduated from an IB program at a public high school in 2005. I think it is ridiculous to say the program is anti-American. As part of our IB program we also sat for AP exams in all the same subjects and started AP exams in our freshman year of high school so we had a very very good jump start on most other high school students. People against IB seem to think AP is a better or “American” option, well we did both. Additionally we took US goverment a semester in freshman year and US History our junior year. We did European History in 10th and History of the Americas (including Latin and South America) in 12th. To be better Americans we need to understand how American politics influenced politics in other countries. Additionally we got to read international literature which I would have never done in AP or other English classes. I learned about Japanese, European, Indian, South American cultures. In our classes we had teachers who were both Democrats and Republicans. In theory of knowledge we had to write papers with facts to support our positions on creationism and evolution, the death penalty, etc. We were graded only on our ability to form an argument not on what our opinions were. Who ever is making these claims of anti-Americanism has no idea of what the content of IB classes actually is, and just because IBO has ties to the UN does not mean students are exclusively being taught a UN agenda.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM


      Yours is a very atypical case. First of all, despite the fact that AP allows students to sit its exams without taking the course, an AP student in a non-IB school does not have the same opportunity to take advantage of IB’s alleged “prestige”.

      Assuming your district paid the IB student registration fee, and assuming you took 6 IB and 6 AP exams, that means your parents laid out $1,098 for exam fees alone. Chances are they also paid $1,000 for an SAT prep course. You spent approx. 8 hrs. for EACH subject you double tested in. Seems a little “excessive” to me, not to mention financially out of reach for some students.

      I understand the pressure teens are under to get into a great college. You are obviously extremely bright, motivated and were seeking admission to the Ivies. I congratulate you on maximizing the opportunities which were available to you.

      Can you prove that you wouldn’t have been accepted to an Ivy League school if your HS experience was exclusively AP? Or let me rephrase that, do you think you would have been accepted to an Ivy League school SOLELY on your IB results?

      • laurel parker

        This response from LEM suggests that her real beef may well be that she’s jealous that either she or her kids didn’t get accepted into an IB program. Why else would she put all her energy into attacking everyone who did?

        LEM, in all your posts, and on your anti IB website, you’ve never said what you DO believe in or what you DO support. No surprise. You’re not FOR anything. You’re just a negative, bitter and pathetic person, plain and simple. You hate your country’s president and have admitted you don’t support our government system, yet you claim anyone associated with the IB is anti-American. The IB program was started by and its keystone school has always been led by our allies ( world leaders of countries the US supports, and which support the US)). What is your problem with our allies? Your arguements are patently absurd to anyone with any familiarity with the IB program. Our best universities fully support it, and have for 50 years. Our presidents have a history of supporting it. I get that you are an enemy of both universities and presidents, but what are you an ally of ?

        To borrow from your own paranoia; Who could possibly hate the US so much that they would lodge a campaign against our children becoming more globally conscious? You have refused to respond to anyone who asked what you are FOR, and that, combined with a number of comments you’ve made, suggests that maybe you aren’t American yourself, nor in any way associated with any of our allies.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          Laurel Parker,

          I believe I stated quite clearly I will not respond to personal attacks on myself or my children. Your post has been flagged.

          • laurel parker

            I’ll take your flag and wave it. You are full of excuses whenever anyone asks you to state your beliefs. What are you hiding? All this hate comes from somewhere. If you are so hell bent on everyone joining your fury, tell the truth about yourself. I’m betting you’re not even American. You hate the US and our allies too much.

  • MJL

    I am a Counselor in an IB School and we have a large volume of highly performing students and graduates thanks to the rigor and support of the program. If studying things other than America qualifies as anti-American then down with Geometry!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=787716583 Frederick Emrich

    My son is in an IB school in Kazakhstan. Overall I am very happy with it. This show has made me think we should be looking to continue with IB when (eventually) we return to North America.

  • Currently-IB

    I too am an IB student currently in my high school. To say that we do not receive a proper education in terms of US History is preposterous. Last year I took US History. The teacher of that class was the biggest patriot and conservative I have ever met. After taking that class, I was able to take the US History AP exam in year 10 (this exam is usually only offered to year 11 students). I did better than my regular, honors, college-prep, and AP diploma counterparts (most of whom are a year or more older than me) not because I was any smarter than them, but because IB had taught me how to study and critically think through problems that I was not sure of.
    I was never exposed to “leftist ideas” or whatever this “propaganda” of which you speak is. Instead I was taught not just facts about history, but how to analyze history and how the events that took place centuries ago affect us today.
    One last thing that I have not seen mentioned in this debate (if you will). CAS (Creativity, Action, and Service) Hours. I do not know if this is a requirement in all IB schools, but at my school I am required to get volunteer and service-type hours for IB. This is just one more way IB has helped me. Besides making me a better student and educating me past the regular high school level, I have become a more active member of my community through the volunteer work I have been required to do. It has also educated me on the impact of my actions and showed me that even as a teenager, I can make a difference.

  • vxbd

    My school is IB i only take 3 IB class but it actually helps. Sure its hard but it makes you think, and if your not getting the IB diploma you could get certificates for each of the classes you took. So to come to it i will get the advance diploma and IB Certificates if i pass the IB exams for those classes.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Point of information – an IB Certificate is nothing more than a grade report. IBO issues a Certificate to any student for whom the registration and exam fee have been paid ($237 for the first IB exam) – whether they score a ’1′ or a ’7′.

      • laurel parker

        Like American Patriot, you have a serious lying problem. IBO does not issue a certificate to any student who pays a fee. In fact on your own anti-IB website, you have a letter from a student who complains that he was denied a diploma because he didn’t finish a test.

        Your website is full of similar lies.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          FACT: All students who register for an IB exam and who physically sit for the exam will receive an IB Certificate. The IB Certificate is nothing more than a grade report. An IB Certificate is issued if the student writes their name on the exam and only earns a ’1′. A ’4′ is considered “passing” in IB’s 1-7 scale.

          The Polish student to whom you refer and who was the recipient of our first Scholarship was issued an ‘N’ for one of his maths papers because he left in the middle of the exam due to food poisoning. He fought with IB for a year and was finally awarded his IB diploma after hiring an attorney. His college education was delayed an entire year because of IB’s ridiculous regulations and refusal to cooperate.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, as a proud IB graduate, these comments are disturbing. What I find most amusing is that all the tin-foil hat-wearing folks bashing the program never even attended an IB school.

    First, some background. I attended an IB program in Alabama, one that has been in the top five public schools in the nation for years running, including first. Do you think people in such a conservative state as Alabama would send their children to a school if it was “indoctrinating” the students? No way. After graduating and receiving the IB diploma, I went on to attend a prestigious southern university and I am now entering medical school in the fall. None of this would have been possible without the wonderful teachers and challenging curriculum I had at my IB school. I felt completely prepared for my college and felt I knew more than many of the kids who had been sent to expensive private boarding schools. And not *once* did ANY teacher during my four years ever mention the UN or EU or any of this garbage these crackpots are spewing on here. You should be ashamed of yourselves and also please, for the rest of us, get a life.

    Pushing AP courses to the side? Are you kidding me? During my IB career, I took AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Macroeconomics, AP Literature, AP US History, and AP Psychology. The other courses were IB courses which were just as challenging, if not more so. I entered college with six courses complete.

    There was only one course even concerning Europe, and that was European History. I guess learning about the rest of the world (there is one, you know) makes you “anti-American.” I love my country and I fail to see ANY tangible connection between IB and tyranny. It is a great gifted program and a wonderful prep for college. Did someone seriously say that defending your school makes you a member of a cult? No, we actually WENT to one. Where are the studies and the hard evidence? This idiotic website you guys keep linking has zero verified proof. Maybe you just graduated Glenn Beck University and your kids weren’t able to get into an IB school. So sorry. Go take your frustrations out on something else.

    • H. Barnes

      Now how did all of those doctors become doctors without going through IB?? IS that your argument?? That’s laughable.
      Just because the public schools offer a lousy education, doesn’t make IB a wonderful choice.
      Step outside your box. Kids in private, parochial and home-schooling are getting a quality education without IB. Amazing, isn’t it?

      • Anonymous

        Did you read what I wrote? Where did I say that you had to go through IB to be a doctor? Please leave the straw man arguments out; they are logical fallacies. Never once did I make that claim. I said that I made it into a good university and into medical school and I owe at least some of that to the education I received at an evil IB school. I was vouching for the quality of education that I was fortunate to get there.

        Please actually do some research before you make a comment here. My IB school, as almost all IB schools are, was public. It shared the campus of a county school and I played sports, ate lunch, and rode buses with kids from the non-IB school. I never paid a cent for my education and my school was as good if not better than any local private school charging $20,000 a year.

        Home schooling leads to lack of social development and I would not have gone to a parochial school because I am not religious. I’m guessing you went to a private school based on your bashing of public curriculum. I got a great education for no cost. And I was never indoctrinated with any of the garbage these folks are talking about on here. It was a great college prep school. I am aware there are other avenues to a good education, but the difference is I didn’t have to shell out a fortune for mine. It’s great for those of us who aren’t loaded. So yes, for the non-rich it is a wonderful choice. Please do some research before you comment on something.

  • Anonymous

    I find it amusing to read that some think that IB students don’t get an adequate American history education. In non-IB schools in Florida, they barely teach ANY social studies at all because it’s not on the standardized test anyway. We have to stop being so ethnocentric and start realiIzing that thinking globally does not make one love the US any less.

  • 27

    IB is a great program, no denying it, but the American government should not spend more on students who attend an IB school. Though the article says this does not occur,this is simply not true. As an IB student you can see the technology your school has compared to others. Though all American schools should have an ample amount of technology, they do not. No school or student should be prioritized over another.

  • IB hater

    I go to an IB school and can’t stand the IB courses. If I want to take an AP course its set up as AP/IB. I’ve found that the IB curriculum involves much more work, but you don’t learn any more than you do in a regular honors class. In my IB math class last year, for example, I spent 22 hours one weekend on a “portfolio” that didn’t teach me a single thing I didn’t already know. I don’t think that the IB program is anti-American, but it is definitely anti kids with a life.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Thank you for your comment, IB hater. IB supporters try to laugh off the numerous stories of IB students addicted to anti-anxiety drugs, amphetamines and anti-depressants prescribed to deal with IB. No other “academic program” evokes this kind of hatred and cult-like response from its supporters. Does anyone see articles about parents protesting an Intel Science Research program? Math Olympiads? National Geographic Geography Bee? AP? Of course not! Why? Because none of those programs carry the political and ideological baggage that IB does.

      • laurel parker

        So now IB student are addicted to drugs. Just how many more crazy lies are you going to spread about this program?

        No, it’s not IB that has an evil political agenda, it’s you. You’re a crazy teabagger who trots around the country trying to sue schools that offer the IB. You spread nothing but lies, lies, lies. You omit truths, like the fact that the IB program costs about the same as the AP program and that much of the cost of it is borne by parents who raise the funds, and orgaizations like the Gates Foundation.

        Lying by omition is still LYING.

        • Cole

          Laurel, if you can’t see that IB has a political AND social agenda then you need to be re-educated in the basics, it’s so blooming obvious that someone who says they can’t see it is either not open-minded enough or plain lying. Many parents at our PYP see it clearly as the light of day, they send their chilldren to private tutoring.

          We had a letter from the PYP coordinator yesterday telling us not to worry, that IB is not a cult. Seems like a few parents caught on about this sick program and complained to the school. Does any other educational program evoke such responses from parents? I think not.

      • Cole

        Who are you Observer? Have you ever been into a PYP classroom for more than 10 minutes to experience the total and utter indoctrination of this pathetic program? Maybe you are one of the useful idiots who carry out this program on our young children passing on your personal world views, this is called indoctrination and it has no place in the educational system.

    • H. Barnes

      That’s because you are in an IB Constructivist class. It’s busy work but it does nothing to make you smarter. In fact, many articles have been written about Constructivism and how it slows down the learning process.
      It’s sold as rigorous but it’s simply busy work. Amazingly, parents just lap up what is sold if it’s packaged properly

      • laurel parker

        Constructivism is a time honored method that is attributed to Jean Piaget and has been promoted by other educational experts throughout history. Those articles you refer to are written by textbook publishers and lazy teachers. Constructionism takes effort. The claim is always that students who learn this way (by doing) can’t adjust to ‘real’ methods if they transfer to a school that teaches by a more common textbook method. There is no basis for this claim. And, I’ve tested it myself.

        I homeschooled my children using the constructivist method. About half their school history they spent doing volunteer work including teaching at local museums. The rest of the time we spent doing other activities and reading or writing ( my children are both avid readers who read widely) . My daughter decided to enter high school as a junior this year. Several members of the staff at her school were convinced she would fail, because they had the same prejudice as you have, but in fact she is a straight A student. The only thing she has found to be any challenge at all is the amount of writing – almost none if which has been productive. She’s half way through the year and has a stack of papers that is about 6″ high already. Even though she had never taken any kind of test in her life, let alone timed tests, she finds them extremely easy.

        For some students, the only time they engage in learning is on field trips to places like museums, which actively promote interactive learning.

        This student, who felt the IB was a waste of time indicated that what he was interested in was a social life, and the IB, being more intensive, impeded that. It’s a classic example of what one gets out of a program being equal to what they put in.

        • TheTides901fla

          Laurel, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize your kids represent the MANY who are stuck in private tutoring because the failures of Constructivism.
          HIGHLY self motivated students will succeed no matter where you put them. That is not always the case for the average to below average student.
          We are immersed in this fad in our state and the private tutoring companies are PACKED with students who need someone to TEACH them.

  • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

    Where to begin.

    Let’s start with NPR’s completely one-sided, shameless free advertisement for IB. For the uninformed, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1076 to de-fund NPR by a vote of 228 – 192. Approximately $420,000,000 of U.S. taxdollars are provided to NPR annually.


    While I am sure the Democrat controlled Senate and WH will kill the bill, H.R. 1076 stands as a testament to the awareness and dissatisfaction of We The People with the Progressive’s abuse of our taxdollars to shove their left-wing agenda down our throats.

    NPR cannot claim this “excerpt” from a broadcast which featured three paid IB representatives and a student as “balance”. Balance would have included representation from an opponent of IB in the initial broadcast. Mr. Paul Campbell, listed as IBNA’s “Head of Outreach” in its 2008 IRS 990, earned a respectable $138,359 for an average of 38 hours per week. Not bad. Dr. Gregg Good recently transferred from the Mesa, AZ public school system where he was paid with public money to the private St. Edwards school. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall, as I know there are many concerned citizens in the Mesa area who are advocating to eliminate wasteful IB spending in its public schools.

    I have no problem with IB selling its products to private schools. As Americans, if we choose to send our children to a “specialized” private school because its values better suit one’s individual religious or ideological tenets, we have that right. However, we don’t have the right to demand that Americans who do NOT choose such an affiliation must foot the bill. Pay the tuition and do what you will.

    Which leads us to why IB is anti-American and should not be implemented in American public schools. IB is a “philosophy”. IB requires schools which purchase its product to submit to Swiss Law if there is any sort of dispute. At the PYP level, IBO mandates schoolwide implementation, eliminating the “choice” of opting out of IB’s “programme”. IBO “strongly recommends” schoolwide implementation of the MYP. IB requires mandatory training of all staff including the Principal, 3 Levels to be exact. These 3-4 day junkets are rarely held in a school’s home state and cost on average $1,500-2,000, per teacher, per workshop. This adds up very quickly. In these dire economic times, where American homes are being foreclosed at a sickening rate, where property school taxes are through the roof making home-buying for young buyers nearly impossible, spending approximately $200,000 per year, per IB site, is simply irresponsible and unjustified.

    There are no scholarly reports which demonstrate that IB PYP or MYP students statistically, significantly academically outperform their non-IB peers. None.

    IB is proprietary. Unlike AP which provides a transparent syllabus online for free for each of its 30+ available courses, if a parent wants to know what is to be taught in an IB course at the DP level, they must purchase the course guide from the IB Store. Knowledge should be free, should it not? Paying for an exam is one thing. Paying to belong to some international “club”, being forced to pay student registration fees of $145 per student (another expense AP does not charge), eliminating choice and lack of transparency are ALL anti-American features.

    I will debate with anyone the cost, the design, the validity and the ideology of IB programmes at length. I WILL NOT respond to the predictable and tired ad hominem attacks from IB supporters on me personally.

    I do not need to have been immersed in an IB school in order to understand that IB is an expensive and superfluous program – any more than I need to drive a Chevy Volt to know that for many, the Chevy Volt is a poor investment and not a good fit for the American lifestyle.

    Forced, stealth implementation of IB in public school districts across the U.S. has caused tremendous controversy and divisiveness. IB supporters demand their IB, everyone else be damned. But I think what is probably the most hypocritical thing about IB is its Mission Statement which declares, “Others even with their differences, can be right”. This organization which makes the grandiose claim of creating “global citizens” who will “make the world a better place” is oh so tolerant of suicide bombers …… BUT….. if anyone should dare to critique the IB Organization and its products, ZERO TOLERANCE!

  • Easybreezy Musical

    It’s a matter of a person’s will to go and the drive they have. Doesn’t matter where your from, what program you are in, if you are in one with the better education.. none of it does. It’s all up to the person and in that is the greatest pleasure.

  • Anonymous

    This is scary — I’m a teacher and even without IB, schools are teaching kids to become little agents of change for Soros’ one world government Parents do not have any idea what their tax dollars are being used for and should wake the hell up! The recent vote in SC ought to tell you how we’re going down the tubes. They are taking us over from within!

    • anonymous

      the fact that you’re a teacher scares me. you might want to stop watching fox and start reading actual news.

  • Anonymous

    When a school, teachers, admin and parents and students have to pledge to teach the mission of world gov’t, which is IB’s ONLY GOAL, I’d say it’s political I refused!

    • laurel parker

      What a silly thing to say. Thre is NO truth in that. Why dont you google who invented the rigid hulled lifeboat. Why don’t you check out the United World College’s websites for each of their schools and look at the volunteer opportunites they offer? Because that is a major aspect of these schools. They promote kindness and being of service to others.. which, FYI, has been shown to be the greatest source of joy. It’s a marvelous thing for children to be introduced to community service, because it gives them an opportunity to give, and not just be greedy spoiled brats. I suggest you read the book “Teaching Your Children Joy” by Linda and Richard Ayres.

      Here is what happens at each:

      UWC Atlantic ( Wales) As with all the UWC schools and colleges, service is a key part of the ethos and students at UWC Atlantic College have some unique opportunities to help others and learn about themselves. On account of the college’s coastal location, students can train to become full members of rescue services such as beach Lifeguards and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and be a part of the Marine Environment Monitoring Service. There is an RNLI station on campus with students and staff providing 24 hour sea rescue for the local area. Also located on campus is an outdoor centre where students teach demanding outdoor activities and skills to some 3,000 disadvantaged or disabled visitors each year.

      UWC Pearson ( Canada) Every student rotates through kitchen service, house cleaning and village service duties and takes on a regular job (e.g. helping in the student store or being a campus fire-fighter.)
      All students take a basic first aid course and expedition training. Some students enhance these skills through First Aid and wilderness First Aid service programs.
      Additional activities include diving, social entrepreneurship and sustainable growth projects.
      In the community
      Students participate in programs to assist people who are disabled, visit the elderly, and work with disadvantaged people. Students also develop their own projects during the annual project week.
      Students stage One World, a performance of international music, stories and dance at a downtown theatre annually.

      UWC (Costa Rica) The programme includes two main components, project week and service projects. Some of the service projects include working with a local children’s shelter, visiting the elderly, re-cycling, Special Olympics, Spanish and English tutoring.
      Project week activities have included working in national parks, local communities, and SOS Villages among many others both in Costa Rica and other Central American countries.

      UWC Mahindra (India) – Akshara Programme – creating opportunities for children from rural communities in India to receive a vocational or professional education.

      UWC Waterford Kamhlaba (Swaziland) – Young Heroes- Supporting orphans of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland

      UWC-(USA) – Old Town Mission Community Center – Renovating a building to make a community centre for the people of Las Vegas, New Mexico

      UWC Mostar ( Bosnia) – In addition to its academic programme, UWC Mostar students take part in extensive community and social service program. The community service programme aims to contribute to the integration processes in Mostar focusing on working with underprivileged social groups such as Roma children, orphans, refugees and the elderly.

      UWC Adriatic ( Italy) UWC Adriatic runs a comprehensive social service programme which includes work with immigrants, the elderly, children, the disabled, and local schools. In addition, the college is the founding partner of Mondo 2000, a voluntary work association, which organizes cultural and other activities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also participate as cultural ambassadors in the region through multicultural presentations and shows.

      UWC SEA (Souteast Asia) All IB students join one of more than 30 Singapore-based social service projects, visiting every week for at least one academic year. Students visit residential homes and day care centres for the elderly or physically and intellectually disabled.

      UWC Red Cross Nordic ( Norway) The traditions of both the Nordic countries and of the Red Cross are reflected in the emphasis placed on humanitarian and environmental concerns. Cooperation with the Red Cross, for example, opens a variety of avenues for service opportunities in such areas as First Aid and Lifesaving and in the fields of youth training and humanitarian action. The service and activity programme at the college gives students opportunities to respond to needs, to gain leadership training, communication skills and conflict management techniques through working with a great variety of people. Almost all students work with the Leirskule, which is a residential camp school for Norwegian children held on campus every week in the spring, summer and ealy autumn. The school is directed and administered by professional staff but students act as leaders and instructors in almost every activity.

      UWC Li Po Chun (Hong Kong) Community service is an important part of the LI Po Chun UWC experience, and all students are engaged in service activities. All first year students travel to Mainland China for a week to perform service work, and other projects enable students to engage in activities beyond the classroom in various parts of east and South-east Asia.
      Perhaps what misled you is the lies on anti-IB websites you visit ( I’ve seen your comments there). This is more accurate:

      In addition to community service, students also enjoy a wide range of extracurricular activities, lectures and debates that help to develop lively, critical and informed minds. Weekly music concerts, national cultural evenings, visiting speakers, and student debates on international issues enrich the experience and reflect the diverse cultures represented at the college.

      “The world has so much meaning for me now. When there is something happening in a specific country, it is not a country to me, but a person, a face.” Samantha, South Africa

      Given your attitude, I’m guessing you’d take issue with Samantha’s comment. If so, you’d also take issue with the Olympics and the Special Olympics.

  • IB Alum 2009

    I’m astonished that this is even an issue. The beauty of IB is that it is a self-selecting program. Kids who WANT to work hard have the opportunity to do so and benefit from incredible teachers without the added cost of a private school education. The fact that this is possible within our troubled public school system without a large financial burden is unheard of. It’s students who have this kind of drive that will succeed in the long run, and return your taxpaying investment manifold. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    As to the content of IB courses, I can attest that they are designed to teach you to think for yourself. My teachers taught us how to form our own opinions and support them with evidence. Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson that said “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism?” Even if it was misattributed, (as modern scholars have said) would you dispute it?

    @WCPN, Maybe you should interview current and former IB students. You’d be surprised at how well they can back up what they want to say… even if they’re only 16.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      IB Alum 2009,

      You said:

      “The fact that this is possible within our troubled public school system without a large financial burden is unheard of.”

      Is that what you learned in IB? That it’s free? IB is THE most expensive educational “programme” on the market. It costs an average of $200,000 per year, per IB site, not including teacher salaries other than the IB Coordinator’s which is a superfluous position which is unnecessary without IB.

      Those Federal grants that IB promoters sell as “free money”? Look to the 2009 ARRA and Race to the Top. They have an expiration date and are nothing more than “social justice” as they specifically target Title I schools. Guess who picks up the IB bill when the grant money runs out? The local property owners in their school taxes, that’s who!

      • IB Alum 2009

        Hi LEM:

        I see you’ve posted quite a bit. I’m curious as to where you get your information. I’m aware that it’s not free, I said it wasn’t a “large” financial burden. I guess that’s where we can get into semantics. The $200,000 figure you cite, is that an overall cost, per school, or per student?

        What do you mean when you refer to “proprietary curriculum”?

        And please, I’m happy to engage you in conversation, but stop the hysterics and speak to me calmly.

        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          What happened to my reply to IB Alum 2009? Why was it deleted?

          • IB Alum 2009

            it’s still there… i replied to you…

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025105562 Lisa McLoughlin

            I cannot see your reply, I believe NPR has now blocked my posts. I would appreciate reading it. If you would be so kind as to e-mail it to me at info@truthaboutib.com, I will be more than happy to respond off board. Thank you,


          • Anonymous

            Hi Lisa: Molly Bloom from StateImpact Ohio here. We have not blocked your posts. (You can find our commenting policy here: http://stateimpact.npr.org/comments-policy/ )
            If there are specific comments you made that you don’t see, try using the drop-down box to change the sorting order.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Gone again!

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Is it possible your site is blocking the link to my website, Truth About IB? The site is a free, informational site without advertising and I do not believe using it as a tool to clearly demonstrate that my posts are vanishing into the cybersphere represents a violation of your terms of use. If that is the case, a technical block on specific websites such as mine and the College Board’s, I repsectfully request that you have your techies take a look at the and unblock those two sites.

            Thank you,

          • Anonymous

            Lisa: I just looked at our dashboard and I see our commenting system has categorized several of your posts as spam. It’s an automated filter–not sure what triggered it but it doesn’t seem to be just having the link to your site. I’m going to go through and manually approve the ones caught in the filter except for the ones about the deletions themselves.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Thank you Molly. Much appreciated. And I shall remove that “notice” from TAIB.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1676245702 Chris Pumphrey

    Why does this fuss about IB matter? Here is why.

    Take the IB TOK question: “when can it be right to disobey the law”

    Two examples of Individuals that Rightfully broke the law: Rosa Parks and Tank Man. For the sake of space please Google them if your not familiar with who they are.

    To answers the question; It depends.

    But that is not why the Fuss about IB really matters, but we will come back to that in a moment. First to fill this argument out.

    Rosa Parks, what she did was valid

    So were the actions of Tank Man.

    I think the bigger issue is context and consequence.

    In the USA Rosa Parks violated the law, was arrested several times, however she won her cause in the end. Why because the we are a Constitutional Republic, her rights superseded the “right” of the State.

    In China “Tank Man” was arrested and disappeared and to this day has not been heard from again. Why? Because China is a closed system where the Rights of the Citizen are subordinate to the Right of the State.

    How does this connect with IB, a program to educate children and prepare them to be Global Citizens ?

    This is how, With in the IB curriculem / Framework there is a requirement to instill “the Values that lead to International mindedness” and create Global Citizens”. Under a Global Citizenship model the UN is The State, whether in point of fact or in the taught preference for the desired future, the UN is taught to be the Highest Governing Body with affect over these students lives.
    Why does this matter to us? Why should this matter to us?

    The UN does not recognize the US Bill of Rights as part of its body of governing laws but instead it Recognizes the UN Declaration of Human Rights – UNDHR, these two documents are similar but vastly different in their affect when applied to Nations and Individuals alike.

    The US Bill of Rights that place the rights of the Citizen above the Right of the State; I.e. Rosa Parks is arrested, but has protected rights and in the end wins her Cause.

    However, within UNDHR Section 2, it clearly states that the rights and freedoms listed in this document (UNDHR) are not to be exercised contrary to the Needs and Purposes of the United Nations Organization. What does that mean to you?

    It means that your rights according to the UN are subordinate to The Right of the State. I.e. the same relationship that allowed “Tank man” to be arrested and to disappear, and for the Chinese government to slaughter its own people that same day because “their rights were not to be exercised contrary to the Needs and Purposes of the State.

    Remember, Under a Global Citizenship model the UN is The State.

    So your exercise of your rights under the UN through UNDGR are no more guaranteed than they would be under Red China.

    This is why the Fuss about IB matters.

    Once you allow this generation of 3 to 12 yr olds to be taught to look to the UN and its standards as the standard(s) for them to live by and strive to adhere to they will no longer grow up to be Free-men and Women. They will be just as captive as those in Red China are today …. perhaps to a more colorful and pleasant looking Master than the Red Chinese are, but a ruthless and oppressive Master non the less.

    • Proud IB U.S. Citizen


      Dude, you’re not going from A to B to C, you jumped straight from A to Q. Listen to me buddy. Speaking as someone who spent years in IB education, AT NO TIME WAS I EVER TOLD THAT I SHOULD FOLLOW THE DIRECTIVES OF THE UN RATHER THAN THOSE OF THE UNITED STATES. Nobody – and I mean nobody – is teaching our children that the UN is The State. The Global Citizenship model merely means that we should be more understanding of the vast cultural wealth found beyond our borders. This is a topic that I think is truly important for everyone to understand, especially considering how much more globalized the business world is becoming.

      For another thing, it’s the UNIVERSAL Declaration of Human Rights – not the [UN]DHR. Also, you’re taking Article 29 Section 3 out of context, as the purpose of Article 29 is to clarify that freedoms also come with duties and responsibilities to the community. Section 3 clearly states that, “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the PURPOSES and PRINCIPLES of the United Nations.” (Emphasis added to clarify your statement) In other words, this is the old premise that freedom of speech does not include the right to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. NOT that the entire UDHR is intended to enslave the world to the purposes of the United Nations.

      Teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum to our children DOES NOT LEAD TO A WORLD WHERE ANY RANDOM PERSON CAN BE “DISAPPEARED” BY THE STATE/UN. This is a complete and total non sequitur. Trust me, from someone who went to an IB High School and then made the conscious decision to spend my adult life serving my country, IB is not a threat to American Security.

      You know why I care about this? Because IB provides an education that is unparalleled by anything else found in public school curriculums. YES I AM SAYING THAT IB IS BETTER THAN AP BECAUSE I HAVE EXPERIENCED BOTH AND AP CLASSES ON THEIR OWN SIMPLY DO NOT EQUAL THOSE FOUND IN IB. (Also, the very same documents that LEM links to on the TAIB website include admissions that IB does not cost more than regular curriculums do.) Without IB I simply would not and could not have been as successful in my life as I have been. Like most Americans, my parents never could have afforded to send me to a private school. For some reason which I cannot comprehend, it appears that there are tons of you people who want to take that kind of advantage away from deserving children, because you disagree with some of its curriculum, or more accurately because you believe IB is part of a vast global conspiracy to indoctrinate people to worship the UN above all else. Look, I disagree with a lot of things the government does with my money, but education is probably the last thing I would ever want to see cut. Please, stop advocating for the removal of IB.

      There are much more important things you could and should be spending your time worrying about. You know, like the vast global conspiracy of climatologists who are trying to convince everybody that burning fossil fuels leads to global warming because they need to inflate their research budgets.

      • FocusPlease

        Thank you for your service to your country and your service to this topic. When I get exhausted and frustrated in trying to rebut the “logic” of the hopelessly small-minded, the confused, and the dangerously unstable, you step to the plate and give your rational, experienced views. Thank you, I mean that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1676245702 Chris Pumphrey

        Sir. Thank you for your service but …. You are wrong.

        Your High School IB program is not the same animal as that being used in Elementary schools. Because when using TOK with children that have not yet learned the fundamentals, it is no longer education but instead indoctrination. Becoming instead …. of teaching how to think, … teaching what to think.

        Consider this, the ideas and Global Prospective that was presented to you in IB was done so at the ages of/or around 16, 17 or 18. You had years to develop a sense of self, and personal point of view and a personal set of values. Then IB challenged those ideas and your personal prospective. And you could evaluate for yourself what value you allowed the Ideas presented you through IB to have to you. That is your right as a free man.

        Now take a 3 yr old….or even a 12yr old…. neither has a sense of self, or int eh 12 yr old’s case a complete sense of self. personal point of view, or a set, set of values against which to weigh the IB point of view. That student will take whatever the IB curriculum teaches as something short of gospel. I can say this because I have seen this happen in non-IB classrooms too its just how kids are. By doing so at a young age they teach which values to value and what is “correct thought” vs “incorrect thought”. As someone that values the “Critical thinking” you say IB helps with I would think you would be very objectionable to a program that teaches “what to think”, “What is Correct thought” and “what is incorrect thought”. Instead I would think you would be in favor of a program that taught facts and hard information like science and math and allowed the student to decide what was correct and incorrect when they were mature enough to do so for themselves.

        Before you tell me you learned science and math… I’m sure you did. But I’m also sure your class wasn’t taught from the IB PYP (Elementary school Program) math packet that states that we all know that 2+2=4, however 2+2 may equal 5, if the group consensus decides that 2+2 now =5, instead of =4.

        I’m not making this up …. its on IBO’s own website.

        I have a video that aired on the local news of a visit made just two months ago by the current IB Board of Directors to a local school, where it is clear by the statements they make directly to the Elementary students in their classrooms, that they are slanting learning done by these Elementary students, not high schoolers, Elementary students, toward a single point of view and way of thinking.

  • Lcp

    I received an IB diploma at a public high school. It’s a great program that helped me get into top tier universities. We need to have these programs to give all students the opportunity to be competitive while applying for college, not just students who can afford private school. It also paved the way for me to study abroad, because the program requires students to take 4 years of a second language. This program is not anti-American at all, we spent much time on American history and government. Personally, the IB American History course I took was my favorite high school class. This program needs to be available to all American students and people who don’t understand what the program is really about should not prevent this from happening.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Just for the record, there is no IB American History course. It is called IB History of the Americas (plural), most often taught at HL and according to the Fordham Foundation’s conclusion:

      “In short, this option is neither detailed nor rich enough to serve as the sole course in U.S. history for American high school students.”


      Furthermore, when this course was introduced to my district’s HS, the textbook chosen as the primary text for the course was Howard Zinn’s – “A People’s History of the United States”. Howard Zinn is a renowned international socialist. Using this book as the “primary text” and trying to claim it is unbiased is an insult to every right-minded American’s intelligence.



      • Proud IB U.S. Citizen


        Nice job of cherry-picking one of the few points of contention the Fordham Foundation had with any of the IB programs they reviewed! Yes, I will admit that statement is found in their report. However, the danger of linking to documents like these is that some of us are willing to read them. They gave IB Standard Level History the same grade they gave AP History. Furthermore, the concern of the quote you cherry-picked is easily addressed by the fact that most students who end up in IB in their 11th and 12th grades have already had a comprehensive American History class, generally at the honors level, prior to entrance into the two-year IB program. I know that was the case in my school. AND, while I understand the reservations of the Fordham Foundation about Higher Level History of the Americas not being sufficient enough in regard to specific U.S. History, when I took HL History we sat for the AP U.S. History exam in 11th grade (usually taken in 12th) and nearly everybody I knew scored a 5.

        I can’t address your local school’s selection of Zinn’s “A People’s History.” However, since this was the choice of the local district, doesn’t that destroy your argument about IB dictating every detail of IB education from their socialist haven in Geneva?

        Also, as a History major in college, at the United States Military Academy, I can assure you that I was required to read nearly all of Zinn’s book for one course or another. Frankly, I think it’s an outstanding work that SHOULD be required reading at the AP/IB/College level. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but then again I don’t agree with everything written in most texts, regardless of subject. Still, Zinn’s book provided a much-needed change of perspective in the course of how historians approach their subjects. There’s a reason it’s so well known even outside history circles. It’s a seminal work which will probably be studied for generations.



  • MomWithAWorkingBrain

    This discussion shows you one side. Now read up on the other side — the “No, No, No IB” side — as it takes place in Stow, Ohio.


    Compare the two and ask yourself: Who sounds more rational?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025105562 Lisa McLoughlin

      [snark alert]

      Now MomWithABrain, you should know that all IB supporters will claim THEY are far more rational and intelligent than those of us who oppose IB! They are the “elite”, the “gifted”, the “intellectually superior”, “the more open-minded and compassionate deeply critical global thinkers who will save humanity from George W. Bush!

      • Proud IB U.S. Citizen

        Argumentum ad hominem, which is precisely what you have accused many IB supporters of falling into. Also, a bit of argumentum ad populum.

        Lisa, please continue posting here. I’m really enjoying poking holes in your arguments using logic and reason. The best part is that I originally learned about logical fallacies in IB’s Theory of Knowledge, and I usually don’t have such wonderful opportunities to employ them. So thanks!


        • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

          Too bad you have attempted to apply them incorrectly.

          • Proud IB U.S. Citizen

            Tu quoque

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025105562 Lisa McLoughlin


    These authors all studied students in
    the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a challenging program for academically
    advanced high school students. Shaunessy et al. (2006) found that both self-reported
    perceptions of academic abilities and grade point averages (GPA) from students in the
    IB program were higher than those of peers in the general education curriculum,
    while levels of social-emotional functioning were the same for both groups.
    Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS; Huebner, Laughlin, Ash, & Gilman, 1998); Youth SelfReport of the Child Behavior Checklist (YSR; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001); and
    Negative Peer Affiliations (NPA; Heinze, Toro, & Urber, 2004; Roeser et al., 2000).
    The authors concluded that students in the IB program were able to manage higher
    academic demands without harmful consequences on their well-being. Furthermore,
    perceptions of school climate were more positive from students within the IB
    program than in the general education curriculum. They therefore concluded that
    participation in the rigorous curriculum was not harmful to school and psychosocial
    functioning. Student!Stress!in!College/Preparatory!Schools 33
    Suldo et al. (2008) followed this study by specifically investigating and
    comparing levels of perceived stress and coping styles both between IB and general
    curriculum students and within the IB student population. Students in the IB program
    reported significantly higher levels of perceived stress than students enrolled in the
    general curriculum program, as measured by the Perceived Stress Scale. This finding
    is explained by the authors as logically following the fact that the IB program allows
    highly motivated students to take on a higher and more challenging workload.
    However, this finding is different from the previous literature on adolescent stress,
    since the authors found that higher levels of perceived stress were not associated with
    lower academic achievement; instead, students in the IB program reported both
    higher GPAs and higher self-reported perceptions of academic abilities. Yet within
    the IB student population, higher levels of perceived stress did co-occur with
    compromised mental health and lower levels of life satisfaction. This finding is
    consistent with other literature about stress, which, as reported earlier, found that
    coping mechanisms accounted for a significant portion of the variance in both
    psychopathology and mental health outcomes such as global life satisfaction (i.e.,
    Jaser et al., 2005; Garton & Pratt, 1995). Family communication was found to be the
    most adaptive coping mechanism, while substance abuse was associated with lower
    levels of life satisfaction. While coping styles were associated with social-emotional
    functioning, coping styles were less associated with school functioning. No
    association with GPA and coping style was found (Suldo et al., 2008).
    Suldo et al. (2009) investigated the specific sources of stress reported by IB
    students, and how these stressors differed from general education students. The Student!Stress!in!College/Preparatory!Schools 34
    primary source of stress experienced by IB students was related to academic
    functioning, while the primary source of stress of general education students was
    associated with parent-child relations, academic struggles, conflict with family, and
    peer relations. Correlations between stressors and academic achievement revealed
    interesting differences between IB and GE students. Among IB students, lower grades
    were associated with more stress related to academic struggles, while with GE
    students higher levels of stress related to academic requirements were related to
    higher grades. The authors found that correlations between psychopathology and
    stressors were stronger in IB students than general education students. Stress
    associated with academic requirements, parent-child relationships, and stressful
    adolescent events predicted greater levels of externalizing and internalizing pathology
    among IB students.
    A mixed picture of the high achieving youth within the IB program has
    emerged. Both positive and negative factors appear to be related to the unique
    environments and lifestyles of high achievement programs. High achievement and
    academic success can correlate with success and well-being in many social, emotional
    and academic measurements. Indeed, confidence in academic abilities can be a strong
    protective force against difficult life circumstances; a study showed academic selfesteem was a major contributor to academic success for minority youth in an urban,
    high-risk neighborhood (Cunningham et al., 2002). However, there are also potential
    harms from prolonged stress that can arise from an increased workload and higher
    expectations. Thus, although these students are often thougKWRIDVD³ORZULVN´JURXS, Student!Stress!in!College/Preparatory!Schools 35
    the prevalence of academic stress indicates that researchers should reevaluate the risk
    factors that might exist in this population (Luthar & Latendresse, 2005).

    • Proud IB U.S. Citizen


      I honestly don’t know what your point is with the above selection. Included in the block of text you copied is the statement, “The authors concluded that students in the IB program were able to manage higher academic demands without harmful consequences on their well-being.” IB students are self-selecting. They are achievement oriented, and the ones who do well generally thrive on the POSITIVE stress of rigorous environments. Also, how else would you suggest that our best and brightest students prepare for the rigorous environments they will find at top-tier universities? Medical School? Law School? In my case, the Military Academy? Stress can be positive or negative, and the study you linked to indicates that these students are experiencing positive stress. Just because you can find a couple of random statements in any given source that supports your perspective DOES NOT MEAN that the source actually supports you.

      Cherry picking yet again. I could also argue for Fallacy of Composition.

      Might I suggest you read Wikipedia’s “List of Fallacies?” I know you and Wikipedia don’t have the best of histories, but I find it highly useful:


      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        I posted the entire scholarly dissertation. The fact that I chose to highlight the lengthy section which supports MY opinion that IB causes undue stress for students and can lead to substance abuse does not constitute “cherry picking”

        I offered my opinion on the matter elsewhere in this discussion and was met by Lulu’s repeated “liar liar pants on fire” retort.

        Rather than hang on an emotionally unbalanced individual’s coattails, I chose to post the dissertation written for Wesleyan, an excellent University, to substantiate my opinion.

        Again, I do not consider Wikipedia a scholarly or reliable source. Any idiot can edit Wikipedia and vandalize pages.

        • Proud IB U.S. Citizen

          You are certainly entitled to your “opinion,” but you are not entitled to your own facts. The scholarly article you cited contradicts your view, which is why your presentation of specific selections, as you have done repeatedly elsewhere, is cherry picking.

          And apparently not just anybody can vandalize a WIkipedia page, as you well know after your repeated attempts to do so to the IB page.

          Oh, just for your edification, throwing out the fact that Wesleyan is an excellent university is both a red herring, as it has no impact on the matter of discussion, and could probably be construed as an an argumentum ad vericundiam.

          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            For the record, I NEVER attempted to vandalize Wikipedia pages. I attempted to add sourced FACTS which were attacked by the IB zealots guarding the IBDP article.

          • Proud IB U.S. Citizen


            Actually, please allow me to apologize for that comment. It was a little snarkier than I intended. I was in a bit of a weird state of mind last night.

            On the other hand, while I can’t speak to the facts of your specific case, generally Wikipedia’s community of users and moderators is quite reasonable. I’ve rarely seen a controversial decision there which I disagreed with. Frankly, I think you should consider exactly what you were attempting to post. I think we’ve seen over the course of this prolonged discussion that we disagree on whether or not certain things are FACTS. Just my two cents. Cheers,


          • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

            Apology accepted. Just so you know, I did take Latin in HS. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1025105562 Lisa McLoughlin

    Are businesses and corporations individual citizens? No, they are not. Apples and oranges, my friend. We were discussing NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, the right of any country to enforce the laws of its nation, secure its boundaries, and provide for the safety and general welfare of its CITIZENS.

    • Proud IB U.S. Citizen


      I’m honestly curious here – why IB? Why is this your passion? What about IB makes you spend what I assume must be countless hours devoted to fighting it? What could possibly have spurred you to start your website?

      You see, I know why I’m passionate about IB. With my socioeconomic background, my parents couldn’t have afforded to send me to a private school. Luckily for me, I was able to attend three and a half years of pre-IB and IB education, which provided me an educational experience that is unparalleled by anything else available in the public school system. (And if you would like to argue that point, please refer to the the Fordham Institute study you linked to earlier, which gave higher grades to IB STANDARD LEVEL exams than it did to their AP counterparts.) Going through IB prepared me for life’s challenges in a way that nothing else would have. IB helped get me to where I am today. So I know why I’m passionate. I know why, when I see someone attacking IB, I rise to its defense.

      What about you? Why IB rather than, I don’t know, climate change, or intelligent design, or energy security, or the obesity epidemic, or any of the countless other perils facing our society? What about IB makes you devote your time to fighting it, rather than any of the other things you could be working to improve?


      • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

        Hi there,

        It’s a very fair question. Why have I allowed this Swiss organization to consume my life for the past 8 years?

        The Locust Valley, NY SD was authorized by IBO in February, 2004. In March, 2004. I, and a fair number of other, involved parents, were under the impression that IB was simply a nice “enrichment program” option, similar to say a science research program. My son had graduated from LVHS in 2001. My daughter was in 9th Grade at the time. I liked the Honors and AP offerings. But then I learned that ALL of the Honors and AP courses in 11th & 12th Grades had been replaced by IB, leaving students the choice of being in the most basic track (Regents) or IB. This made me very unhappy.

        I wrote an opinion piece for the local paper under a pen name after I had performed some perfunctory Google research on IB in April, 2004. I called it, “To Be or Not IB”, by Roberta Grant. The district went nuts. The Principal wrote a nasty rebuttal the following week. I didn’t want to go public because of fear of retribution against my daughter. But by the time the July BoE meeting rolled around, I had uncovered enough unsavory information about the program that I felt compelled to address the Board. I was told “EVERYBODY knew we were going to eliminate AP!” Well, I didn’t know and neither did any of my friends.

        IB officially was implemented in September, 2004. By then, I was already in contact with Jay Mathews of WAPO and Newsweek who I happened to catch in the editing stage of his book Supertest. Chapter 45 is about me and my district. I filed an appeal with the NYS Commissioner of Education to try and get IB put on the ballot in May as a proposition for the voters to decide. I was shot down. The Commish ruled that when it comes to curriculum, the BoE is autonomous. In 2005, I ran for the BoE against 3 male incumbents. I lost by 63 votes. I then went to work for the local paper as its education reporter.

        During all of this brew-ha-ha, I was demonized by the Board Trustees and the HS Principal. Everyone was told I was “spreading misinformation” and “attacking IB students”. The BoE President attempted to blackmail my editor to get me fired, by withholding the district’s legal advertisements. A Dad whose daughter had been hospitalized with a nervous breakdown from IB sent me an e-mail linking me to the IB controversy in Upper St. Clair, PA. I became friends with folks from USC and two of them are my co-administrators at TAIB.

        Since 2008, I have been contacted by parents from across the U.S. (and around the world) who have encountered similar stealth tactics to implement IB in their own public schools. What I experienced, the secrecy, the lack of research on the part of the district, the intimidation tactics used to try and silence opposition – is a pattern. It is a SYSTEM. And it is WRONG.

        I hope that answers your question.

  • one_guy’s_testimony

    So, let me first say thanks to Molly as well. I was highly skeptical of the idea that a site with high integrity such as npr.org would censor any posts, and strongly figured it was a computational error. LEM, I figure that since you are repeatedly mentioning a certain URL in a lot your posts (which will remain nameless in this post simply so it doesn’t get tagged as spam as well), the system began to start believing that your posts were spam. Obviously, this isn’t implying that you shouldn’t do as such, but more as a bit of comic relief regarding the idea that computers aren’t as smart as we are and don’t always have our best interests in mind. ;) Anyway, I’m glad for and appreciate the effort put into clearing it up! :)

    I honestly cannot take back the “persuasive” ending statement in my original post. It was how I felt at the time, and as I have continually been reading this gargantuan mass of posts, as well as said certain unnamed website mentioned above, my original stance has only been strengthened. I don’t think that ending the post with a solely persuasive statement is in any way tyrannical or uncivil. Also, I certainly don’t feel that the 1st Amendment is a card to be pulled, but rather just felt that you used it as one. I must be honest, I was a bit dumbfounded and slightly offended at the fact that you used the 1st Amendment as grounds for why I SHOULDN’T have said something.

    Let me reiterate that I was NOT an IB student. I was simply a regular public high school student, but I was heavily exposed to the IB program both socially and also because I was in a lot of the AP/IB classes my school offered. I don’t have to tell you this, I believe you mention it on your site, but these classes were pretty much split 50/50 between AP and IB students. Despite the fact that we were in the same classroom and heard the same lectures, the IB students were given more homework which more often than not simply comprised of a larger subset of the “end of chapter review” work out of our textbooks. I’m hearing a lot of people regard this as “busywork”, but I personally preferred to do the larger IB homework assignments because I simply found that I would learn more. Obviously my teachers didn’t have a problem with this behavior.

    You are correct that I don’t have any “actual stats” to support IB. I solely have my experiences with respect to what it was at my school at the time. While I don’t have stats regarding university acceptances or SAT/ACT scores, I wouldn’t have much trouble finding them if I were so inclined. The IB students DID have higher SAT/ACT scores. How do I know this, because they were all too happy and proud (as they damn well should have been) to tell me their scores and show me verification of said scores with their official test results. Also, of my friends in high school, many of them IB and many of them not, the IB students WERE far more likely to have proceeded on to higher education, a good lot of them going on to be my university colleagues, and now as I keep in touch with them into their adult careers and family lives, they have proven to be (as I have mentioned before) some of the most productive, effective and patriotic assets to our nation, our culture, and our economy. Now, I am a computer engineer and I deal with A LOT of statistics and metrics. My career has taught me one thing about them; stats can be twisted and misconstrued to make them “prove” just about anything one would like, but exposure and experience tend to speak for themselves fundamentally.

    I will not deny that your site is backed up with a lot of legitimate citings and sources, but you know what, so is Wikipedia, not that those citings and sources are necessarily so reputable. But, even in the event that sources are reputable, when personal analysis of the sources comes into play, bias is always introduced. When you are looking for the number 216, you will find it everywhere in nature (for those who get the reference).

    All in all, I have to say this…I am not a scholar regarding the nature of the IB program and the way that it works, nor was I ever actually inside it to be “fed the propaganda” as many people are saying that IB does. On top of that, I am no social scientist so I would never claim to be capable of a formally analytical juxtaposition of IB and the American condition. I am simply a guy who has been around IB for a long time, from the outside looking in. I have seen much of what it does both to schools and to students, or at least what it did to my school and my colleagues. I have learned a lot more as well about the IB program from this forum discussion and your site, LEM, and I must be honest, it has only strengthed my pro-IB stance. When you get down to it, if the thing that so positively affected my school and the people around me througout my young life and education was to go away, it would personally make me very sad. This is why I labeled myself as ‘one_guy’s_testimony’, because that is all that it is and all that it should be regarded as.

    Sorry again for my posts getting longer and longer as discussion has progressed, it is something that seems to happen to me a lot. For those who cared to read it, I appreciate it. I thank you, LEM, for the ongoing discussion. I wish ‘letjusticerolldown’ would reply with a more descriptive argument, maybe they will eventually.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      One Guy,

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply. As you say, yours is one guy’s testimony and whatever school you attended was apparently large enough to maintain both AP and IB course offerings.

      You said:

      “While I don’t have stats regarding university acceptances or SAT/ACT scores, I wouldn’t have much trouble finding them if I were so inclined.”

      I should have included in those stats: number of IB Candidates, actual number of IB Diplomas awarded and ‘mean’ Diploma scores. In the beginning (back in 2004), I, like you, thought such information would be easy to obtain. It’s not. The vast majority of the 751 IB DP HS’s in the U.S. do not report such stats. In fact, in my OWN district, I have had to file annual Freedom of Information requests to obtain this information. For the record, the stats used by Jay Mathews for his Best High Schools List – are all self-reported by schools who fill out a form and submit it to Mathews. He does not cross-check the numbers submitted, as there is no data source against which to check! One year, I happened to be at the BoE meeting where our IB Coordinator was reporting IB exam participation to the Board. As he rolled off outrageous numbers considering the size of our 650 pupil HS, I called him out on it. I said it sounded an awful lot to me as though he was “double counting”. Well guess what? He was! Since IB exams are generally sat over the course of two days, they felt “justified” in counting each subject twice! When I explained to them “it doesn’t work that way”, the BoE President who was the head cheerleader behind shoving IB into our district gave a loud “Harumph!” and said, “You tell that to my daughter who sat through those exams!” You know that violin you mentioned? I pulled mine out and played it for her.

      I work as a student and parental advocate, for free, with districts across the country. In case, after case, after case, I am confronted with Superintendents who have brought IB in through less than savory means. They fail to conduct a feasibility study. They submit applications to IB without Board approval. They religiously lie about the expense of IB. If it was an isolated event, I would chalk that up to one poorly run district. But it’s not. In fact, IBO even issues a Playbook for school administrators how to handle “common objections” to IB.

      I ask you, if there are so many “common objections” to this programme, shouldn’t that raise a red flag?

      I apologize for the length of my reply. I don’t mind reading lengthy, thoughtful posts. I think it adds to reasonable discussion of what I feel is a very important issue.

      If you are interested in viewing an actual IB Exam Report or the IB Playbook, I can post them in a separate post as I don’t want this one to disappear. ;-)

  • Florida IB and college alum

    Are arts magnet programs in public schools anti-American? Are any other focused program at any American school anti-American?

    This is a ridiculous accusation. From an IB and college alum from another state, this is the most uneducated, ignorant argument I have heard in a long time. But hey… If you want to deprive your motivated child to a well organized program dedicated to furthering their education in the best way, go for it. I personally would want to give my child the best possible education.

    • http://twitter.com/ObserverNY LEM

      Do arts magnet programs in public school require membership in an organization that is an NGO of UNESCO? Are any other focused programs at any American public school required to be compliant with Swiss law?

  • olga

    If you are doing the IB in america it may seem anti american as it is an eduction which does not focus on a country in particular and this is not what what you would expect since most countries like to focus on their own country. You can choose to select the subject which are about america but you don’t need to so you can have an american who has graduated from high school without american a detailed american history knowledge. I have taken the IB and as my parents were concerned about the knowledge of my own country, I made sure to learn a bit more outside of class and they encouraged me to read on history and often started discussions leading into the subject.

  • anon

    i’m in one. and i hate it.

  • IBgrad

    I graduated in 2010 and went through the IB program all my life. At the time, I did not realize how much of an impact it made on shaping me. I felt overwhelmed and jealous of my friend’s who had more free time while I had more study time. Today, I realize that it made me a more mature and well-rounded global citizen. I’m always impressed at the kind of students the IB program molds – each one an independent thinker because they’re critical thinkers.

    The IB program taught me more about American history than the average American knows about history! If that makes me socialist or Anti-American for knowing about the roots so be it!

  • http://twitter.com/EDactivistNH Ed Activist NH

    Of course IB has propaganda in the program from the U.N. It’s not like they hide it.
    Go to http://www.ibo.org and put Agenda 21 in the search engine. Then click on PYP at the bottom of the page and scroll down to SUSTAINABILITY. You will see that the UN Earth Charter and the UN Agenda 21 is part of the propaganda in the program.

    Agenda 21 seeks to eliminate private property ownership. This is fundamental to being a free society. It is through private property ownership that allows us the freedom and liberty others are denied.

    Through the propaganda you can see Agenda 21 carried out in many communities through the Regional Planning Commissions. First they have to indoctrinate the kids, then begin with the policies in the local communities.

    Democrats against Agenda 21 is an org. you plug into your search engine and read about the anti-American agenda.

    I suspect those who carry out the IB in their schools or Agenda 21 in their communities have NO idea what they are doing. I believe it was Stalin that called these people…USEFUL IDIOTS.

  • IBGuy

    I know many think, ‘Oh, what a great program!’, but as an actual student, I can say social life is either non-existent, or you are failing IB. That fact alone indicates non-American traditions are being broken. If you raise ‘internationally aware’ students who can’t even talk to people, then what good is it? What ever happened to the adults now who wish they were still in high school to have a good time again? If I continue in this program I will know two things; 1) I’ll probably regret doing this program for the rest of my life, and 2) I will know that if I didn’t do IB, I would only have the normal class option because my school and all most other IB schools prefer to only offer the dumb, expensive, European IB program instead of the cheap, AMERICAN AP program. Now, even from stupid IB training, it is only logical to conclude that every AMERICAN school should have AMERICAN ciriculum for their AMERICAN studets. I don’t know, but does the current generation who has control over deciding what type of education is instituted in school want the next generation to solve the international problems of the world like a socialist or communist, or would they like us to help our own AMERICAN brothers and sisters. Ah, that’s a rehtorical question. America was formed to accept all, so if America got more power and all it’s problems solved, then AMERICA would solve the worlds problems, not have students go around the world helping different countries thrive while America is failing. Just think about it…

  • Nobjockey69

    Nobs lol

  • Mikey

    This is what your children get to study in their final and crowning year of elementary PYP, which starts from 7 and ends at 12 years old. Lucky kids!

    Marriage Equality Issues
    Fair Trade
    Racism in Sport
    Animal Cruelty
    Issues with War Refugees
    Womens Rights
    Dangerous Diseases
    Body Image
    Racism and Refugees
    Border Patrol
    Extreme Poverty
    Mental Health issues
    Poverty and Homelessness
    Discrimination in Sports
    Human Rights

    • Laurel Fenenga Parker

      12th grade, not age 12. So, they’re 17 or 18 – a big difference.

      IB curriculum is heavily influenced by current events, which DO impact children. My daughter was 2 – an age when little girls are fascinated by princesses, when Diana, Princess of Wales died. She was very aware of the event and for her, it was a personal loss. She was 6 on 9/11, and spending the day with friends. one of whom ‘s aunt worked in the World Trade Center and was missing until late in the afternoon. When I was 4, my mother went to the hospital to have my little sister and I woke up from my nap to find myself in the care of two hostile and uptight old ladies – and the news that serial killer Charlie Starkweather had seized and was terrorizing my city. My mother also discovered she had cancer that year. I was 9 when my dad bought a locked trunk at auction and opened it in front of the family – revealing a bloody KKK robe and dagger. My dad said almost nothing, but that week he took us to a cross burning on a hillside and brilliantly let us experience the frenzy of racism first hand. Kennedy was assassinated the next year. Those are just the major events my children and I experienced during the first decade of our lives, There were many many subtle ones. We experienced or saw most of the subjects on this list, and so do most children.

      Children are human beings, not stuffed animals. They can be and should be aware of their surroundings, and they need opportunities to discuss them. I was either blessed or cursed with an excellent memory for events in my early childhood, and I vivdly remember the responses of both my self and and the adults around me. My family, took an honest, frank approach that empowered me, and that tact matched what the Red Cross advises. I contacted them after 9/11 for advice on talking to the group of children I spent that day with. I had a long conversation with an expert from their trauma department and his advice matched my experience driven knowledge. Discussion is vital as is getting them, regardless of age, in helping in some way. My group of kids decided to hold a garage sale benefit (selling only their own things) and to make cards for the families of firemen. It gave them some power over the situation and gave them tremendous peace.

      That is what the IB program does. These are not kids sitting passively at desks, being subjected to a parade of downer subjects that happen to someone outside their petris dish, but kids who have an opportunity to get involved in meaningful projects that affect them, and the world they live in.

      I appreciate that you understand and care about appropriate childhood development. I do too. I have argued your position when the subject is horror movies, etc. But this is real life – life children do see and do experience. There are appropriate ways to approach the many subjects no one wants their child to be exposed to, but which they ARE exposed to.

      My daughter, who was exposed to such adult problems at such a young age, chose to get involved in various forms of community service while she was growing up, and is now in college, majoring in world affairs with a goal of improving housing for people around the world. Considering that vs the lives of escapeism and hedonism that so many young witnesses of 9/11 now live, I think our approach was spot on. I am willing to bet that if graduates of average public schools were compared with those of IB programs, you’d find similar results. The reason is simple – all children are exposed to society’s ills and natural tragedies, but the IB students are also exposed to the concept of taking action and having a sense of purpose.

      • Carelle

        They’re using your children to make political and social change, this is indoctrination and brainwashing – very simple – it’s not education. Everything in PYP and I really mean everything, is framed around the evils of western capitalism, the downtrodden unfortunate masses in Africa (caused by the West), global mystic beliefs and earth worship through environmentalism – Agenda 21. IB is a kindof a religion rolled into a political framework for brainwash young minds – a cult of the environment so to speak.

        Some parents don’t mind their children being used as political puppets and growing up to feel guilt by association for being part of a developed, advanced, hard working nation and forced to recite the mantras of collectivism and socialist doctrines at every opportunity. The poor little kids end up feeling so shitty that they develop mental illnesses and depression.

        They carry the burden of the world on their little 12 year old shoulders while the puppeteers pull their strings. It’s a sad thing to see such young people put through in the name of global citizenship and collectivism. Rather than an academic science based education, these UNESCO kids are getting a humanities based indoctrination program which is not enough to help us develop the technologies to really help us in the future, the academic standard of IB, PYP an MYP is very poor indeed, unless you consider the quantity of work and essays over the quality.

        One of the more obviously socialist units of inquiry is called ‘sharing the planet’ where the children chant about sharing our wealth with the 3rd world and blaming us for the lack of innovation, education and development in those countries. It’s a skewed view of the world that disconnects your children from reality and their own country and really discourages them from achieving anything remotely academic, instead they’ll march in the streets and rally for any cause that’s presented to them.

  • Haley

    No, he’s right, PYP is 7 to 12 years old, not 12th grade as Laurel suggests, those topics look like a typical PYP curriculum to me, indoctrination of young minds.

  • Trudy

    My child spends each and every day at an IB school doing projects on sharing the planet and discussing how evil we are in the west for not sharing our wealth with Africa and having a comfortable lifestyle. They talk about human rights all day, gay marriage, refugess rights, but never about our sovereign rights or our great country. IB brainwashes children to feel bad about about themselves and drills UN morals into their young minds.

    They come out of it depressed with a considerable negative view of the world, instead of admiring the wonders of the sciences or mathematics. IB is evil. Momwithabrain is totally correct, the teachers commenting for IB obviously think it’s their god-given right to indoctrinate our children with their world views rather than educate them.

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