IB: Demonstrate critical thinking

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In the last few months, I and other “patrons” of the CdA school district have researched and studied the International Baccalaureate Program. We as a non-political group are just parents and taxpayers that have demonstrated that the effectiveness to date, of the I.B. program, is vastly outweighed by the cost and its limited success.

We have used the information and data from the founders, IBO websites and proponents of the I.B. program at our recent informative” meeting at the CdA Library to paint a picture of concern.  We planned to have Q & A at the end of the event but even my financial presentation was cut short for lack of time. 

I admit that we are rookies. Ask Newby, he videotaped it. No one from the school district or those in support of the I.B. curriculum has yet to refute our analysis. Instead they have resorted to platitudes, lies and publicly deriding opponents. Our target is the unaccountable elected School Board and administrative policies that we believe are in conflict with financial prudence and our values.  

Parents as well as taxpayers cannot even ask questions of our school board trustees in a public format. Is this the kind of democratic process that they are teaching and demonstrating to our kids?  Can proponents even discuss the I.B. program without becoming emotional about it and attacking anyone who disagrees?

Our school board, some administrators and the I.B. format stress that our kids must become “critical thinkers.” At the same time, by their actions, they’re incapable of demonstrating “critical thinking” skills themselves. That’s understandable. It is easier to demonize the other side than to admit that something that you are so socially, politically and emotionally vested in could possibly be questioned.  Obama is a master of this technique. Group think is a powerful tool when you get likeminded people emotionally “buying in” to an idea that is clearly in line with their belief system.  Their leaders reinforce those attitudes despite any information to the contrary.

Our children are listening. They can see the intolerance and posturing that our school leaders are engaged in. As “critical thinkers” our kids would suggest that we meet and civilly debate the issue. That is what we want. Why won’t our School board allow an open discussion on the merits, facts, and results of the I.B. program? 

I, with my high school diploma, am prepared to debate the I.B. program in a neutral forum. If proponents can present to the public that their interpretation of the facts, costs and outcomes are in line with their rhetoric, then I for one will shut up. I will not hold my breath, however. The lack of oxygen will affect my “critical thinking” skills. The longwinded rants of the proponents has obviously affected theirs. 

Stop the chatter and demonization and step up . . . for the children.

S.W. REID

Coeur d’Alene

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