IB: Information lacking with some

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The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is the current hot button among those who both support IB and those who oppose it. Based on conversations with friends I strongly suspect that most citizens living in School District 271 donít know and donít care about this issue. To many it seems to be like the book choices flap of recent years.

Hereís why you should care enough to educate yourself about this issue: This program is where some of your property taxes are being spent.

Our school district, which has fiscal challenges and which we support with levies, is spending funds on this IB program. This is a UN-based program that costs multi-millions of U.S. Federal, State, and Local taxes. IBís #1 cash cow is U.S. public education.

Please understand that this is not simply an arcane education issue. IB has three parts: The Diploma Program (DP) for ages 16 Ė 19, The Middle Years Program (MYP) for ages 11 Ė 15, and the Primary Years Program (PYP) for ages 3 Ė 12. (A fourth program is in the pilot phase.)

Questions we need to ask are: Does this benefit our young people? Does this benefit some and not others? What is in the curriculum? Who is developing the curriculum?

Again, based on conversations with persons who feel strongly about both sides of the IB issue, I find that most are not fully informed. So hereís my offering. Go online to this web address and read information that addresses the question: What is International Baccalaureate?

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/images/pdf/IB%20Unraveled%203.28.10_Niwa.pdf

My question for the school district leadership and board is this: Why are we paying for IB programs when we have achieved nationally-recognized success with the Coeur díAlene Charter Academy? We know this successful program has a proven track record and the curriculum is developed in the United States, not in Geneva, Switzerland or in Cardiff, Wales, U.K.

If you are a parent who wants your child to get the best education available, why is your child not in Charter School? (Or heading that way from Middle or Elementary school?)

(Disclosure: I do write and edit for www.freedomadvocates.org. But not on the IB issue.)

VERN WESTGATE

Coeur d'Alene

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