The PYP predicament - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

The PYP predicament

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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2012 12:00 am

The Coeur d'Alene school board is about to take a credibility test.

The board recently relegated the district's International Baccalaureate program to death row. Despite some strong support for IB in the community, including this newspaper's editorial board, the IB program was sentenced to death because participation was low and cost was high. At least, those are the reasons the board gave in rendering its unanimous verdict.

Now the feeder program for IB is on trial. Called Primary Years Programme, it's offered at just one school in all of Kootenai County, Hayden Meadows Elementary. Like its big sister, PYP's approach relies more on critical thinking and analysis than it does rote memory or some of the other more traditional American instructional methods - traditional methods which, we might add, are being rejected and reformed from sea to shining sea.

Alas, unlike IB's final days, the executioner's mask has come off with PYP and the real motives have been exposed. School board Chairman Tom Hamilton is on the record as saying that one of the chief reasons he disapproves of PYP is because he believes it does not reflect the values he and his family hold dear. While we certainly respect that viewpoint and would understand if Tom sent his children elsewhere, we believe such a pronouncement from the head of the school board ensures that he will not give the matter fair consideration. We also wonder if his judgment has colored the objectivity of other board members, only one of whom has been on the board for more than a few months.

Before another lynch mob assembles, further study of PYP at Hayden Meadows is essential. It should start with the hundreds of parents who are happy with the product. Perhaps it should even end there.

But it won't. Critics who tie PYP and IB to international conspiracies are grasping for anything. Some are weakly pointing to Hayden Meadows' 3-star rating as one reason to shut 'er down. More data about that rating and what it really means will be forthcoming. From our preliminary research, it's possible that the comprehensive data will show Hayden Meadows is not deficient, but in fact is one of the state's most accomplished elementary schools.

Hard evidence supporting continuation of the program exists. Where IB enrollment was sparse and shrinking, Hayden Meadows' enrollment is strong, and growing. Where IB was expensive for taxpayers, PYP is not - in large part because the school's parents and other supporters voluntarily foot most of the program's bills. Unfortunately, the PYP debate is now focused almost exclusively on adults' political and religious ideologies, rather than the academic and intellectual growth of students.

Public school districts have learned a painful but important lesson, that they must offer an array of educational choices if they are to survive in an increasingly competitive learning environment. PYP at Hayden Meadows is just one choice; magnet and charter schools are rapidly filling important voids with excellent programs and instruction.

This is no time for pitchforks and paranoia. There is no wisdom in rushing to any conclusion. Intensive, objective study is the order of the day, and those who can't or won't do that should hand the reins to someone who will.

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  • Bryan Thompson posted at 1:16 pm on Mon, Oct 1, 2012.

    Bryan Thompson Posts: 2

    We are new to Hayden Meadows this year and cannot believe the environment of animosity that exists at this school!

    I have to imagine that we are among the majority of parents who need a lot more information about PYP; why we have this program vs. traditional curriculum, where does it come from, what are its objectives, does it produce effective outcomes etc.

    I can honestly say that there is a very real level of "intimidation" coming from both sides. The name calling, accusations, and implications coming from parents are degrading and have more long-lasting ramifications for our children than any system of education could ever have. To be honest, unless this environment is changed, I would rather send my children to ANY other school than this.

    I may be late to the game, but I would suggest a forum, where both sides would have an equal amount of time to present their case to the school board and parents, with a set (short) amount of time for rebuttal, followed by a two-week waiting period where parents could digest all the information. This would be followed by an anonymous vote, for/against, to be presented to the school board (with transparent results). This would certainly eliminate the majority of name-calling and we could then truly call Hayden Meadows, a school of choice (whatever the majority chooses).

  • inclined posted at 6:15 pm on Sun, Sep 30, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    1inidaho. It's a wonder, to me, how Americans can hold such fear of "other-ness."

    This statement is obvious in a low informed lack of history framework.
    Did this nation fear Britain's ‘otherness” doctrine entangling America?
    Did the North, among ourselves, fear the South’s “otherness” in our war?
    Did the US fear Japan’s “otherness” to incite a World War?
    Did we fear Hitler’s “otherness” as Nazi Germany romped in Europe?
    Did we fear China’s communism’s move on Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia?
    Did we fear Socialist “otherness” in Russia, Cuba, Poland, Ethiopia or Mongolia?
    Do we still fear the “otherness” of the Planned Economy? The primary goal of of Socialism has been the desire to replace private property and a market economy with state ownership and a centrally planned economy. Obama"care" is Social Welfare, yo. Hello, Philadelphia!

    Earlier this year, the Utah Legislature passed a bill authorizing the state government to seize federally-managed lands through eminent domain. Utah legislators, frustrated with what they feel to be mismanagement of public lands, approved legislation on the belief that the state could care for the lands in a much better manner than the feds. Do we in Idaho have the strength to do this?

    A state lawmaker in Idaho, Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, is eying what’s happening in Utah and may look to pass a similar bill in Idaho in 2011. According to Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo’s website, 63 percent of Idaho’s land is owned and managed by the federal government in one form or another. Private entities – citizens and business interests – control 30.7 percent of lands in the state, while the Idaho state government owns 5.1 percent. Where are we with this?

    Out in the open, glaring at low informed minds is evidence that cannot be seen by most of the bourgeois. State and Federally owned property in Idaho is 68.1 percent. And then, on top of that, is the desire of Land Use Code intention of a 90 to 10 percent ratio of even private land use. 90% of the populace living in the planned communities, with allowable 10% living in more rural areas. But, even then, what you did with your rural land is controlled by ratios and formulas.

    As far as replacing the market economy, as well as market driven education--for the advocate of socialism, the idea of individual rights has been a bourgeois prejudice and deception. For socialists, human relationships in society are defined and determined by class relationships and antagonisms. The idea of individual liberty has been considered a smoke screen to blind those who are exploited and oppressed from understanding the "true" nature of the social order. It was for this reason that Martyn Latsis, a senior officer in the newly founded Soviet secret police, said in 1918 that, in judging the guilt or innocence of an accused, "the first questions that you ought to put are: To what class does he belongs? What is its origin? What is his education or profession? And it is these questions that ought to determine the fate of the accused."

    Brent Regan has, over a period of months, given us a wide angle picture of IB and PYP. It relates to issues like land ownership controls and Union labor law situations of which the Teachers Unions have been a very large benefactor in the nation, because it is about control, it is about manipulation, of teachers as well as students. It’s about commodities. Teachers themselves are taken in, pawns, but students are the articles of trade. Teachers think they are distinguished from all this as a service, but they are used. And like the Stock Exchange, it is the students that are the unprocessed and partially processed goods, only useful to move them on to IB schools, PYP schools, to ship them off to “higher learning” where they pulverize their minds bombarded in Leftist, Socialist religion. Go ahead. Research the tendencies of our Universities. Find out that they shut down any "out of the box thinking" if it is not Left, and quickly. Find out that you fight to get an education because they want to kill your mind, and rape your soul. If you refuse to dance, you will be strong, and pay a very dear price, beyond a price.

    For the advocate of socialism, the idea of individual rights has been a bourgeois prejudice and deception. For socialists, human relationships in society are defined and determined by class relationships and antagonisms. Who cannot connect the dots with what is marketed by IBO? IB is only a slick materialist, profit-motive Capitalist business model disguised only because they are under the skirts of UNESCO. This arm, the Education arm, is attached to mother: The UN. And what religion does mother hold? Here is what she tells the world: IB is a classless, multicultural-education-philosophy, unique, special, a step up. IB is not about class distinction, class manipulation and envy. And the joke goes that the Germans backed into Poland and told them they were leaving.

  • inclined posted at 4:47 pm on Sun, Sep 30, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    RW. We understand how people become embarrassed, discombobulated and confused--the best to you. If Hamilton thinks, is a Chairman of a board, has his senses: he has an agenda, as do most cognizant among us.
    Truthaboutrr. “NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR CLASSROOM TEACHER PAY: $54,220… Highest teacher pay in ID: $84,121. Blaine County”…Superintendent Tom Luna said his ongoing education reforms, in particular the pay-for-performance plan, will increase teacher salaries. The plan, which rewards educators for student success and filling hard-to-fill positions, will increase the average teacher salary by $2,000 in the coming school year. About 85 percent of teachers will earn a performance bonus, and top performing teachers could eventually make about $8,000 extra a year, he said. “I think we will find that Idaho will lead the nation in the increase in teacher pay,” Luna said.” ID Press Tribune Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012 12:00 am

  • Brent Regan posted at 6:47 pm on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 618

    It is a wonder, to me, how you can present an easily verifiable fact that an ignorant person will then label as a “bogus conspiracy” because they disagree with reality. Examples of such facts include; the PYP is a subset of IB and IB is a non-governmental organization (NGO) of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the United Nations (UN). IB and UNESCO work out of the same building in Switzerland. But that is just “crazy talk”.

    I was wondering why 1inIdaho would live in such an “out of the way” community populated by ignorant, gullible and generally defective inhabitants. Perhaps he doesn’t get out of the house much.

  • 1inIdaho posted at 1:17 pm on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    1inIdaho Posts: 251

    It's a wonder, to me, how Americans can hold such fear of "other-ness."
    WE are a society, that is the culmination of the combination of HUGELY diverse nationalities, cultures, and religious backgrounds.
    Yet (especially in communities like ours), we allow ourselves to be moved by fear of that which we don't fully understand, or that which we simply cannot grasp.
    FEAR is the underlying basis of the opposition to PYP and IB.

    Joseph McCarthy would be proud of the folks who espouse the "anti-American-ness" of these education systems. So many people, especially in small out-of-the-way communities still believe that if you see it in print; it must be true; and that the internet (emails, blogs, and stories of any kind) all MUST be true. Opponents of IB couldn't argue against the program on its educational merits; so they had to resort to creating boogeymen, and reviving the bogus UN conspiracy theories.

    Alas, the kids of these parents don't stand much of a chance... no matter what education they receive.

  • Brent Regan posted at 8:57 pm on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 618

    No and yes.

  • Brent Regan posted at 8:39 pm on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 618

    Comming for us? No Randy, just you.

  • CHSdad posted at 6:34 pm on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    CHSdad Posts: 369

    Brent, do you believe that the standard US education system is the best in the world? If not, do you care?

  • Brent Regan posted at 4:04 pm on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 618

    Applying the critical thinking PYP espouses, consider the example where you have a room with a group of 200 people inside. One of those people is clearly the leader and that leader controls one fifth of the raw resources in the room but produces one third of the useful materials. Most members of the group feel that they would be able to do a better job than the leader. In a democratic fashion, the group arrives at a set of rules governing the behavior or the entire group. Given these facts, a reasonable person would draw which of the following conclusions:
    a) The rules would favor the leader and put more power under their control.
    b) The rules would preserve the status quo.
    c) The rules would tend to transfer power and control from the leader to the other members of the group.

    If you answered anything but “C” you need to do further research on the nature of humans.
    PYP is a subset of IB and IB was designed by the UN. The UN is composed mostly of not-Americans and many of the not-Americans are openly hostile to America. It defies logic to propose that the UN would design a program that would be of benefit to America’s standing in the world.

    Given the liberty, advancement, prosperity, health and wealth America has generated for the world, it is the UN that should be learning how to be more like America, not the other way around.
    See how the USA has pulled the world forward

  • truthaboutrr posted at 3:20 pm on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    truthaboutrr Posts: 3

    Come on Truth about IB - "IB coordinator's salary and benefits (est. $68,000)". LIE. We all now what kind of money educators make in Idaho and this position is part time. You lose complete credability with nonsense like this.

  • Almost an IB Parent posted at 11:36 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Almost an IB Parent Posts: 46

    "IB school in Greenwich, CT continues its sharp decline in statewide rankings"

  • Almost an IB Parent posted at 11:33 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Almost an IB Parent Posts: 46

    1) PYP is IB

    2) IB itself tells us IB will not improve student performance, in the conclusion of this IB article it is stated:
    "On the whole, the researchers of this evaluation study concluded that IB schools score as well as their non‐IB counterparts on standardized assessments of cognitive knowledge and skills..."

    3) Other studies agree IB will not improve student performance,

    4) IB tells the most Essential Elements of IB are to,
    "Develop Attitudes" and
    "Get the Students to Take Action"


    Quit wasting money on this ridiculous programme

  • Truth About IB posted at 10:44 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74

    So true! I've always held that the final phrase of the IB Mission Statement should include an addendum:

    "........................others, with their differences can be right" *

    * except for anyone who dares to question IB. They shall be labeled heretics, mocked and shunned.


  • SufferingPYPinTX posted at 9:59 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    SufferingPYPinTX Posts: 2

    Very nice to see some facts on here!!

  • SufferingPYPinTX posted at 9:57 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    SufferingPYPinTX Posts: 2

    Please show me some evidence that PYP has any increased academic and intellectual growth- this is the biggest dumbing down program I have ever seen- Our school has replaced history and science fairs with public service annoucments on how to stop global warming and homelessness- Number one- I want more for my child than the pledge to become a global citizen- PYP's whole mission- I want my child to know factual information- and not just then ten learner profiles of PYP- Obviously the author does not have a child in PYP and is not aware of the lack of academic content- I work 10 hours a day and do not have time to fill in where the school leaves off- As far as costs go- PYP is just as costly as MYP DP- Annual dues, ongoing training, and of course the design of the school must cater to IB- I do not see the benefit of this program and if I had a spare 1 grand a month I would have both my kids out of this program and in private school- regardless of the Earth Charter and Unesco connections- I would still loathe this program- It amazes me how program that forces attitudes of tolerance and the push for students to question everything- has no tolerance for those who question it?

  • parent posted at 8:43 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    parent Posts: 347

    We shouldn't rush to a conclusion BUT the Press editorial Board has already come to a supporting conclusion. Where is the wisdom in that?

  • Truth About IB posted at 7:48 am on Sun, Sep 23, 2012.

    Truth About IB Posts: 74

    A brief analysis of how the Progressive mind works. The following are the NEGATIVE descriptors used for the CDA BoE and IB opponents:

    "death row"
    "sentenced to death"
    "executioner's mask"
    "rote memory"
    "traditional American instructional methods"
    "lynch mob"
    "weakly pointing to Hayden Meadows' 3-star rating as one reason to shut 'er down"
    "international conspiracies"

    Now let's see how the CDA Press' Editorial Board and IB supporters perceive reality:

    "strong support"........................ (yeah, we noticed CDA Press's extreme Liberal bias and attempt to influence public school politics)

    "critical thinking and analysis"......................... (of what, if FACTS are such boogeymen?)

    "traditional methods ... being rejected and reformed from sea to shining sea."............ (rejected by whom?)

    "ensures that he [Hamilton] will not give the matter fair consideration".......... (such open-mindedness)

    " It should start with the hundreds of parents who are happy with the product" .............. (keep dreaming)

    "Hard evidence supporting continuation of the program exists" ........................ (really? where?)

    But this ............ this next line.............. CANNOT go un-responded to:

    >>>>>>>>"Where IB was expensive for taxpayers, PYP is not - in large part because the school's parents and other supporters voluntarily foot most of the program's bills.

    LIE! BOLD FACED LIE! ALL of the TAXPAYERS foot the bill in the General Budget for the:

    1. $8,000 IB Membership fee
    2. IB Coordinator's salary and benefits (est. $68,000)
    3. Ongoing IB teacher training (est. $20,000 per yr.)
    4. IB materials - $5,000
    5. IB Conferences and consultants - $10,000

    Now, I come up with approx. $111,000 per year right there and I am sure there are more IB expenses buried somewhere in the budget.

    When you base your opinion on lies, you are only lying to yourself. Do some real research, CDA Press and stop with your bullying, fear-mongering and dividing the community with your hateful and incendiary flaming. It is unattractive, unprofessional and a sad representation of what passes for "journalism" in 2012.

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