A tale of two programs - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

A tale of two programs

Cd'A school board members consider fate of IB, AP

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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - The International Baccalaureate program is back in the cross-hairs in the Coeur d'Alene School District.

School board members met Monday for a workshop focused on the performance of students enrolled in the district's two advanced learning courses offered to high school students: IB at Lake City and Advanced Placement at Coeur d'Alene High.

Educators from each of the schools - Lake City IB coordinator and English teacher Andrea Partington and CHS Principal Warren Olson and AP Chemistry teacher Erik Karns - were present to answer trustees' questions about the programs. Many of the board members' queries and comments pointed to dissatisfaction with the IB program's results, primarily that just 54 students were enrolled in at least one IB class at Lake City during the last school year.

"My concern is, is it worth having the program?" said Trustee Jim Purtee.

There were 110 students enrolled in the 15 AP classes offered at CHS in 2011-12. Three of those classes showed improved test results, and four had decreased results.

Eight of the 16 IB classes offered at Lake City saw improved results, and two saw a drop in scores.

Board chair Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour, the only trustees remaining on the board since last year, went through a similar exercise nearly a year ago. Academic scores were found to be lackluster in both programs, and trustees directed Superintendent Hazel Bauman to allow AP and IB to both continue for a year.

"We needed to take a look at whether having both programs was a good idea or whether we should pick one and focus and spend more resources on professional development in helping our teachers be prepared to help these students see better success," Hamilton said.

He said one of the criteria the board set last year for determining the value of the programs is the number of college credits students taking IB and AP exams can earn.

Ann Seddon, a former teacher and the newest board member, shared some personal research she did which revealed that many more AP students were eligible for college credit than those taking IB classes.

Using that criteria, Hamilton said the AP program stands out.

Trustees were given documentation about the programs prepared by the educators.

"One of the most telling statements in Mr. Karns' summation is worth repeating and it says that we must work to ensure that any program is fully funded and supported in community," Hamilton said. "I do think both of those are key, and we're talking about the elephant in the room if we don't mention that one of these programs is divisive and one is not. I would say that that has certainly contributed to the competitive nature of this, and I would say also to the detriment of both programs."

From 2006 to 2009, the IB program, which is available to just juniors and seniors, was the only advanced learning option at each of the high schools. In the face of budget cuts in 2008, the district scaled the IB program back to one school, Lake City. IB was discontinued at CHS in the fall of 2009, and the AP program was reinstituted at that school.

In 2010, the IB program gained attention in Coeur d'Alene when a group of citizens began attending school board meetings to complain about the program, claiming it promotes global citizenship and is a threat to the nation's sovereignty and the rights of its citizens.

Trustee Purtee echoed some of those concerns with some of the questions he directed to Lake City's Andrea Partington.

"The IB program is not an American program, is it?" Purtee asked.

Partington said it is, that it was initiated by Americans for the children of United States diplomats living overseas.

The IB and AP programs will likely be on the agenda for consideration when the board meets for its next regular meeting on Aug. 6.

"I think the board has to decide if we're committed to continuing to support this program," Hamilton said, following the meeting.

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  • bratny822 posted at 3:10 am on Tue, Sep 4, 2012.

    bratny822 Posts: 11

    Very nice, all I said is that I don't demand to accept my accouchement force fed a advanced adaptation of tolerance. killtest 70-642 You again affected that because I don't demand that, "You anticipate instead that bodies should be accomplished to be aflutter and disbelief anyone that is altered from them?...that explains a lot." No, I don't anticipate that at all. In fact, if you listen, 70-642 pratice tests you will apprehend that I anticipate that bodies can disagree. But, if we disagree, I don't feel it all-important to abhorrence you or back-bite you or accomplish up things about you. We aloof disagree period. 70-642 exam

  • Almost an IB Parent posted at 6:21 pm on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    Almost an IB Parent Posts: 46

    To learn a lot more about IB read this,

  • Truth About IB posted at 3:18 pm on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74

    Heh! Well said, jimmyjayrocks!

  • Truth About IB posted at 3:16 pm on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74


    I said Lola "basically characterized" Mr. Purtee as an ignorant Southern transplant, which she did. Your further ad hominems such as "dangerous bed fellow" and "breakfast club with an agenda" certainly don't help your argument.

    "Elections have consequences." ~Barack Obama

  • Adamsfly posted at 9:13 am on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    Adamsfly Posts: 46

    Lola did not call purtee ignorant. She said he was a transplant from the south. Which he is and a very recent one. He does have a very different view on education that I don't agree with. So before you start putting words in peoples mouth please get your facts straight.
    It is well known purtee and his breakfast club have an agenda to take over city hall (which failed), county government (which hopefully will change at the next election) and now the school board which as succeded through law suits and appointments.
    Keep up the good work Tom because Purtee is dangerous bed fellow.

  • Truth About IB posted at 8:41 am on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74


    Oh yes, I'm sure Mr. Purtee (who you basically characterized as an ignorant Southern transplant) just made that singular comment/question throughout the course of the IB/AP comparison.

    No, lola123, that's a quote the CDA Press chose to feature in order to give IB supporters like you fodder to spew on.

    A big part of determining the "merit" of a program depends on the cost and origin. To blindly accept a product as having alleged superior "merit" merely because it costs more and has an "international" label on it is not open-minded, it is called Euro-envy and yes, anti-American. So WHAT if Purtee asked that question? The IB Coordinator LIED about IB's origins. (see my posts below)

  • lola123 posted at 6:25 am on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    lola123 Posts: 329

    " Purtee is the one they don't trust and they feel he is not trustworthy and speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He says one thing to them, but is listening to the tea party right he represents. I saw some of that in the article in the Press where he was more concerned about whether the IB program was American than it's merits."
    This is what happens when people are appointed not elected. He is a transplant from the south who has a very different opinion on education. This is exactly why he did NOT get elected by the people in the last election. DO NOT re-elect this narrow minded individual when his time is due.

  • jimmyjayrocks posted at 6:50 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    jimmyjayrocks Posts: 9

    Wow, all I said is that I don't want to have my children force fed a liberal version of tolerance. You then assumed that because I don't want that, "You think instead that people should be taught to be fearful and distrust anyone that is different from them?...that explains a lot." No, I don't think that at all. In fact, if you listen, you will hear that I think that people can disagree. But, if we disagree, I don't feel it necessary to hate you or bash you or make up things about you. We just disagree period.

    And there is the difference between a lot of conservatives and liberals. I don't support IB because the whole concept of "understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right." Whereas, I see my liberal counterparts wanting this concept taught - as it is a central theme of liberal politics. And while they want it "taught" they don't seem to want to put it into practice. In other words, I see them very accepting of anything as long as it is not conservative or Christian.

    Does anyone else see the irony here?

  • Truth About IB posted at 6:05 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74


    Don't be ridiculous. IB doesn't teach "tolerance of people that are different". IB doesn't actually TEACH anything! IB is an empty shell. Go ahead and ask to see the IB syllabus for any IB course. Go ahead, I dare you. CDA teachers have to write the curriculum for IB courses - IB is nothing but a "framework". You're paying tons of money to a Swiss NGO of UNESCO for a designer label. Anyone who supports wasting public tax dollars on IB is a fool.

    If CDA residents think IB is so great, open your own private school and indoctrinate your children there.

  • Truth About IB posted at 6:01 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74


    You doubt my facts? Please refer to this plenary speech by former IBO Director General George Walker:


    > If Alec Peterson was the father of the IB then Marie-Therese Maurette was its mother
    and twenty years before the IBO was conceived she was writing about and rehearsing
    many of its challenges

    > Maurette had strong left-wing political views. As post-war Geneva developed into an
    important centre of the international business community, the International School
    lost contact with its Francophone origins and she became isolated in an increasingly Anglo-Saxon and alien environment. The crisis came in 1950 when she resigned in
    protest against what she saw as the United States’ manipulation of the United Nations
    in its involvement against the communist forces in Korea. She returned to her home
    in Hendaye in South West France and was not heard of again.

    >How can we widen their horizons beyond their familiar surroundings which they
    don’t realise depend upon a global economy?
    Not bad for 1948. It was written by a remarkable lady, Marie-Therèse Maurette, who
    was at the time the head of the International School of Geneva (Ecolint), in a
    pamphlet prepared for UNESCO entitled, “Ways of teaching education for peace. Do
    they exist?

    IBO's mission statement is a farce, as are its program(mes) which are nothing more than social justice with a fancy logo plastered on its face.

  • Truth About IB posted at 5:52 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74


    I'm sure it comforts you to believe that you are in some sort of vast majority of globally minded elite, but I have to inform you, there is a nationwide movement to remove IB from public schools in the U.S.A. It seems to me that the people of CDA elected members to your BoE who can clearly weigh out the cost and value benefits of IB vs. AP.

    It is not a "conspiracy" when FACTS back up everything that opponents of IB have been pointing out for over two years.

    1. IB is outrageously expensive
    2. IB is proprietary and non-transparent
    3. IB earns less college credit than AP
    4. IB is less popular than AP

    IB supporters lack all common sense. Why wouldn't you want to provide the best academic courses to the most students, for the most reasonable cost? How do you do that? AP.

  • CHSdad posted at 2:36 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    CHSdad Posts: 363

    When was the last time IB tarred and feathered someone? Just curious.

  • cdanative33 posted at 2:34 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 354

    Interesting...so the fundamental problem you guys have with IB is that it teaches tolerance of people that are different from you? You think instead that people should be taught to be fearful and distrust anyone that is different from them?...that explains a lot.

  • apathoid posted at 1:53 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    apathoid Posts: 211

    IB teaches that you should be tolerant of other people's values and beliefs...UNLESS, of course, your values and beliefs don't support IB. Then IB requires that you be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    It's typical liberal thinking: "I am tolerant of the beliefs of others until I find out that others don't believe the same as me...then my head explodes!"

    IB is a joke and it's time at CDA 271 has long since expired....

  • jimmyjayrocks posted at 12:59 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    jimmyjayrocks Posts: 9

    I understand if you are liberal minded, you might not see that IB as a form of liberal indoctrination – because your priorities are the same. Likewise, if IB taught students about the negative financial, emotional and social fallout from raising generations of children that are ultra-reliant on government aide to survive – conservative minded folks might not see it as an “agenda” either. A major focus of IB is a liberal view of the word “tolerance.” (These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right"). I don’t have to be paranoid or some wack job to point out that the focus is on tolerance. As a conservative minded individual, I don’t think that everyone, with the differences can also be right. Sometimes people and things are wrong. Therefore, I disagree with IB fundamentally. EVERYONE on chat should agree with me, because either a) you don’t support IB or b) you do support IB and you need to understand that other people (in this case, me), with their differences, can also be right.

  • Adamsfly posted at 12:13 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Adamsfly Posts: 46

    I am familar with both programs and if I was to choose 1 it would be the AP program. Not because the IB program is bad, but IMO the AP program does a little better job preparing kids for college.
    That being said, Hamilton was right on when he said the choice should be made on merits. I agree, but the reason that the IB program is devisive is because of people like Purtee and his breakfast club and their narrow vision how our children should be taught.

  • cdanative33 posted at 11:40 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 354

    And the vast majority of teachers in this school district do not trust this board and it's motives at all...and neither does this parent. I really hope that they don't turn this district into a lab experiment for extreme right wing evangelical control. I hope each of them spend some time in the local schools seeing what is the actual reality before making decisions based on their vague perception and opinion...especially since only two of them were actually voted in by the public.

  • cdanative33 posted at 11:32 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 354

    The only people that think this program is divisive the very small, but organized and vocal, minority of conspiracy minded members of this community. The majority of people are happy to have a variety of advanced learning opportunities for our students. With that being said, if the community decides it can no longer afford both, then I hope that decisions are made based on objective observations of the effectiveness of both programs, not ideology.

  • Adamsfly posted at 9:55 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Adamsfly Posts: 46

    Mister d,
    This is exactly what I'm hearing. I will add that most are pleasantly suprised with Mr. Hamilton. They feel he listens well and makes his decisions after considering facts and input from the education professionals. Purtee is the one they don't trust and they feel he is not trustworthy and speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He says one thing to them, but is listening to the tea party right he represents. I saw some of that in the article in the Press where he was more concerned about whether the IB program was American than it's merits.

  • mister d posted at 8:04 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    It's funny cda271 because I hear just the opposite when I talk to teachers I know about the CDA School Board. I think the comments usually revolve around OMG. Each member might be contributing toward discussion but i don't think they have the majority of teachers behind them yet. The boards actions will speak loud as to whether they are supporting the students or personal agendas and then teachers will probably take a more vocal stand of support if changes are made that benefit the kids and learning environment. .

  • searcher posted at 8:02 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    Wow...chill dude. I don't think you read vox's intent the same way I did. The key part of his/her post is absolutely 100% correct:
    That's pretty much what you are saying, isn't it??

  • searcher posted at 7:57 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    searcher Posts: 365

    Sorry truth... you are wrong too. IB was started in 1968, and calling the program "left wing radical" is absolutely brown stuff. You must be one of those that sees conspiracy behind every rock and would rather promote global understanding with bombs instead of books. Just exactly which part of their mission statement do you think is so evil?

    "The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

    To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

    These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right"


  • cda271 posted at 6:26 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    cda271 Posts: 45

    Objective is much more right than she is wrong. Though I missed sitting in on the meeting, I think the board members are doing fine. Having a board where EVERY member actually contributes is refreshing. I am hearing from more and more teachers and administrators that the board as a whole is gaining real respect. FINALLY some support for those volunteering to help our community! The community has actually gotten it right this time..with the elections/appointments. I will support the board's work; as we all should, and say to Ms Seymour, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Purtee and Ms Seddon...thank you for taking the time to actually doing research and for bringing new ideas to the table. Thank you for working with and supporting our great School Superintendent Ms Bauman. We know tough decisions will cross your desks and not everyone will be pleased with some decisions...but at least you seem to be dealing with them in proper manner.

  • objective posted at 6:16 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    objective Posts: 70

    Vox...your comment about board members should not do research deserves comment, so here it is: "Your ignorant statement doesn't deserve comment."
    You obviously are against students getting computers for research/studies...you don't want teachers to use the internet for research..you don't think the internet has value..you for some reason continually deride CDA's board members as agenda driven..you as well as others consistently want to "politicize" the board selling them short of being concerned parents/citizens wanting to better the system... You are incapable of being objective and you fail to realize that the type comments you make (and others like you) simply perpetuate the divisive climate that has surrounded the board for so long.
    I was sitting in the room at last nights meeting for most of the meeting. I can share with you the totally objective nature of all the questioning during that meeting. The civility of the questioning, the framing of the questions and the cordiality of the questions. Though I was there to support the IB, I can tell you that the meeting was exactly what it was advertised to be...and information gathering session. At the end I even overheard IB's director thanking several board members for their approach...Mr Purtee and Ms Bauman. I think board members, Mr. Hamilton, Ms Seddon and Mr Purtee did a great job. (I did not catch a comment by Ms Seymour). It is clear that we finally have a board which is comprised of capable, concerned and independant thinkers...not a group which simply follows the lead of the chairman/chairwoman. I'm for supporting them and though in the past I may have gone too far in "labling" the board as far right...I no longer feel that way. I have now sat in on enough meetings to know they are working hard at doing what is right. Thank you board members. To the naysayers: cool you jets and be a bit more objective and work "with" the board verses standing on the curb tossing rocks while wearing a mask.

  • voxpop posted at 4:59 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    What to do with IB should be bases solely on results vs cost. Politics and perception should play no part. Personally, I find IB superfluous given AP and dual enrollment but any decision can have nothing to do with internet gleaned logic - particularly by board members. To me, it appears the board is taking a direction away from being child focused toward political whack-ism.

  • Truth About IB posted at 4:29 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74

    Congratulations to the CDA BoE for FINALLY gathering hard data on IB/AP. The results demonstrate what we at Truth About IB have been saying for years:

    * AP earns more college credit than IB
    * AP is more popular than IB
    * AP costs a fraction of IB

    What is absolutely stunning is the Lake City IB Coordinator's insistence that IB was "initiated by Americans". This is absolutely false. The "Mother of IB", Marie Therese-Maurette, a left-wing radical, developed what would be the basis of the IB philosophy in 1948 for UNESCO. The primary founders of IB were Alec Peterson (Director of the Department of Education at Oxford University), Desmond Cole (Director of United Nations International School in New York) and Desmond Cole-Baker (Head of the International School of Geneva). Seeing as how Partington is receiving a salary for her position as IBC, one would think she could respond honestly in light of the district's investigation.

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