There is an enormous amount of information on the International Baccalaureate®program(mes). If you are interested in what IBO says about its programs, you can access information on the official web site:IBO On this page, we provide news and opinion which you will not find on the IBO web site, in addition to official IBO links buried within its website. We invite you to peruse this section and form your own opinion.
11/9/12 - Over the past three years, TAIB has made great progress in creating awareness in communities across the United States with regards to IB, its hidden curriculum, its cost and its agenda. Many have shared this information and have been successful in stopping the spread of IB in their districts. To those who worked so hard to make sure that ALL of the children in a district receive the best education possible, many thanks. You have literally moved mountains.
It is important to remember that education is, and should remain, a local issue. Unfortunately, many states, both red and blue, have signed on to the Race to the Top and the national Common Core Standards. Only 5 states have had the good sense not to adopt Common Core: Texas, Alaska, Virginia, Minnesota and Nebraska. It is in those 5 states that you stand the best chance of getting rid of IB.
TAIB has been criticized for not providing positive alternatives. We accept that criticism and will endeavor to provide more information on Core Knowledge, homeschooling and online learning opportunities, going forward.
TAIB will continue to be online until September, 2013, at which time we will evaluate whether our presence on the web is time and money well spent.
The student in the letter below challenges TAIB to "create an opposition" to his/her letter. That is not our purpose. TAIB is not here to "sell" anything. IB is a product. All the "pro" comments you can ever want to read can be found at www.ibo.org. TAIB's fundamental purpose is to provide parents and taxpayers with the details of the organization, cost of its programmes and stories and opinions about IB that you will never find featured on the IBO website. It is up to YOU to use your critical thinking skills to figure out who is telling the truth, and who is selling snakeoil to make a buck.
First Name: Seeing as I am a student Last Name: I think you'd rather I'd not. Address Line 1: City: State: Zip Code: Country: E-mail Address: Comments: Dear Truth About IB, As background information, I am a current IB programme sophomore who is an American, Presbyterian, Non-Partisan female with successful parents and extended family members. I have a steady weekend and summer job at a local business (for safety reasons I will not disclose). I was disappointed to see that in all of your implications that the IB programme only pushes a single view, you only show the bad of this programme. There are pros and cons and for me, the pros outweigh the cons. I love the programme and I would not have had a pleasant high school experience in my public school because the people who chose not to go into this programme ostracized me for not having their beliefs. To accurately portray an argument you have to show both sides with fact and prove with fact yours is right. A helpful diagram showing comparison and contrast would be helpful, but seeing as you only want to promote your agenda, I cannot trust I will see this soon. I acknowledge that the IB programme is not for everyone but I think it is radical to say that no one should participate in it for rejoice in the failure of this programme to prosper. My sister is now a successful IB graduate and attends the Honor College of one of our state universities (unnamed for safety purposes as we are both students) and received her full IB Diploma. She has the same affiliations as I stated above and has described her days and assignments of college to be Â“similar if not easierÂ” than the courses she completed at our school. She was a valedictorian at IB and maintains a 4.0 GPA at her current place of study. During my sisterÂ’s studies at IB, she maintained a weekend and summer job at my current workplace for two years without great struggle. IB clearly does not set students up for failure. I do not under any account understand your premise that IB creates fascists or socialists. At my school, we are given opportunities to teach each other under the supervision and direction of our teacher as training for real jobs in which we will have to rely on ourselves and our peers for support and learning not spoon-fed and carefully guided by superiors. We are taught to be tolerant of other views and religions so that we wonÂ’t be unable to work with those from other countries of even other areas of the United States. It should be no secret that no matter where you live, people will have opposing viewpoints to yours and if we practice intolerance and argumentation, we will clearly have difficulty in a working environment. We in fact have discussed the weak points that people have found during our classes and reinforced such weak points with websites such as yours. We then reflected on these truths and made efforts to change our community and make them better. I would greatly encourage you to create an opposition to my letter because I am interested in your point of view on my beliefs and lifestyle. I look forward to seeing your contradictions Sincerely, Current IB Sophomore
NH & MN Republicans Officially Oppose IB
September 30, 2012 - Sharia Law, Agenda 21 and International Baccalaureate, three anti-American "programs" that New Hampshire Republicans are pledging to vote against any laws supporting the aforementioned, in their newly approved 2012-2013 Platform.
Recently, TAIB came across the following link to a group calledEducating For Eternitywhich claims to integrate Biblical worldview into the IB curriculum. This group does not appear to be an actual authorized IB World School, but rather people who educated their own children in the IB system and who are now adapting IB for their own agenda.
TAIB found the "Risk-Taking" poster featured at right to be particularly disturbing. We turned to our good friend Ronnie White of Ozark, MO for his interpretation of the scripture applied to this poster which in our opinion, looks more like one of the old anti-LSD scare films of the 70's.
This picture reminds me of Christ's temptation and the correct response to this picture. Luke 4: 9-11 "The devil brought Jesus to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thys
elf down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." In other words the devil was asking Jesus to be a risk taker because the devil knew he had a safety net and wanted him to call on God for his safety. But Jesus knew better and responded "It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." So what makes IB supporters think that our children should temp God as demonstrated in this photo? You jump off a roof top, the laws of God take over and seeing how man was not created for independent flight, the consequences will be dramatic when your falling body comes to that sudden halt
This poster represents classic misuse of scripture taken out of context. Angels were talking with Mary about her conception of Jesus and Elisabeth's conception of John the Baptist, and even though Mary was a virgin she would conceive for as the Angel told her "Fo
r with God nothing shall be impossible." This statement was about God's power not an individual's power as misrepresented in this advertisement. Can't people see the depravity of IB and their supporters?
IB Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
July 17, 2012 - Because any negative articles with the words "IB" or "International Baccalaureate" have a way of disappearing
July 10, 2012 - Last year, TAIB noticed that IBO's Chair of the IB North American Board was a lady named Delia Pompa. Ms. Pompa is also listed as a VP for the National Council of LaRaza. After a recent rather incendiary comment issued by LaRaza, TAIB wrote to IB Answers requesting a "position statement" from IB. I was ignored at first, sent surveys by IB to ask how helpful I thought IB Answers was in answering my question (not helpful at all) until I finally got a reply. You're going to love it!
Sent:Thursday, May 10, 2012 3:22 PM Subject:Delia Pompa
Dear Miss McLoughlin,
I apologize for the delay in getting a response to your inquiry via IB Answers. Delia Pompa is no longer affiliated with the board. We do not know, nor could not comment on the National Council of La Raza’s position about the youtube video in question and suggest you contact the National Council of La Raza directly (http://www.nclr.org/).
President, Say Yes to Education, Inc., New York, New York, USA
So! We have a new IB "Founcil"! How exciting! But something is very strange at www.ibo.org. Because the link to Ms. Pompa's page is still live and no correction has been made. TAIB was able to locate an Americas Council page which lists the same members as noted in the e-mail above, but no mention of the IB ever disbanding the IB North American Council!
"Delia is the chair of IB North America Board and a member of the IB compensation committee and governance committee." 07/10/12 ibo website
Sound like pretty important committees. Where's Delia?
The names and areas highlighted in red indicate key "change-agents" for IB in the U.S.
International Baccalaureate - New World Order and American Education
The New York Times reports that now is the time of year when the "Best High Schools Lists" are published by various national and local magazines. As the article notes, appearance on these lists is coveted by high schools and their communities. "Property values rise near best high schools. Parents will fight to the death for best high schools. Best teachers and best principals want to work in best high schools."http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/education/in-best-high-sch...
Now note the following variables used by Newsweek for a school to make their list: "Newsweek uses six variables: On-time graduation rate (weighted 25 percent); percent of graduates accepted to college (25 percent); A.P. and International Baccalaureate tests per student (25 percent); average SAT/ACT score (10 percent); Average A.P./International Baccalaureate score (10 percent); and A.P./International Baccalaureate courses per student (5 percent)."
THREE of SIX variables depend on "International Baccalaureate" coursework. Sounds like a darned good incentive for schools to get on board! So what is IB curriculum? I'll make a comparison to Agenda 21 and ICLEI.
The United Nations' Agenda 21 is a global environmental, economic, and social agenda; it calls for global government to enforce the same. ICLEI (the International Council for Environmental Initiative, a.k.a. Local Governments for Sustainability) is one means by which Agenda 21's goals are being executed at the state, county, and town level, via local boards and environmental committees. "ICLEI...is an association of over 1220 local government Members who are committed to sustainable development. Our Members come from 70 different countries and represent more than 569,885,000 people."http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=about
Similarly, the International Baccalaureate Organization is connected to UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization: "The IB has been recognized as a NGO of UNESCO since 1970 and currently has the status of "formal consultative relations as a network" with UNESCO. IB representatives participate regularly in UNESCO meetings and comment on UNESCO proposals in education. Some projects have received UNESCO funding..."http://www.ibo.org/partnerships/governments/index.cfm
How the IB describes itself: "The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. Our three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, we currently work with 3,408 schools in 141 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 1,021,000 students aged 3 to 19 years."http://www.ibo.org/general/who.cfm
In other words, what ICLEI is to the environment (better stated, "in the name of" the environment), IB is to education - elitist global dogma executed at the local level through schools: American education brought to you by the New World Order. Talk about a propaganda coup!
I only learned of IB last year, when an acquaintance took issue with her daughter's Social Studies curriculum, namely, the "textbook" - The People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, who was an anti-American communist sympathizer. I own many books, and they reflect different points of view. But as I mentioned on some other DP thread, while I have rarely stuffed a book in the garbage, I made an exception for that one. I found it repulsive.
The poor parents. They'd previously registered a complaint as to a book required in AP Economics in which the author describes Jesus Christ as a "wine guzzling vagrant." Prior to that, it had been English class required reading - cult trash published by MTV that, aside from vulgarity throughout or, say, the depiction of guidance counselors as dope peddlers, vividly explores a variety of sexual practices, including bestiality (known as "dumbing deviance down"). These parents - finding themselves pitted against an enormous block of liberal school board members, teachers, parents, and students - had given up the fight by the time the Social Studies issue surfaced. Well, that's New York for you, protecting bodies (from sugar and fats) while poisoning souls and minds.
By the way, I found a 2008 DP post related to this issue. At the time, IB claimed 596,000 students. In four years, it's almost doubled. P.S. The U.S. accounts for the lion's share of participating schools - public & private.
I urge you to check out IB, including the following site, an investigation of the program: "Truth About IB."http://truthaboutib.com/Here you will find much information re the negatives, including a power-point presentation on the issue of its unconstitutionality, the names of cities in the midst of protest and those that have succeeded in expunging it from their schools, parents' testimonials, and more.
Pass the info on to family, friends, tea party groups, etc. And urge people to KNOW what books their children are reading. While parents can't be expected to read all that students are assigned, parents can flip through textbooks; plus children DO know their family's values. My friend who was chagrined to learn of curriculum in her school district found a "litmus test" of sorts. She simply asked her daughter, "Would I like this book?"
We need to WAKE UP, America!
This all represents just ONE MORE reason to support RON PAUL, the ONLY CANDIDATE who has taken a stand against the United Nations, with global policies and associations that jeopardize our sovereignty. These policies have been supported by both Democrat and Republican administrations. He also supports alternatives to sending children to the propaganda institutions our schools have become. He supports homeschooling and education freedom.http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/homeschooling/
It's also a good reason to cancel a subscription to Newsweek, promoting the global agenda.
"How to Survive a Zombie Attack"
Hats off to the boys who presented this "research project" as their "Personal Project" for their International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP). Not only have they brilliantly made a complete mockery of IB, they got press coverage for it!
According to the article, "How to Survive a Zombie Attack" falls under the "community service" category.
TAIB is guessing that this is what IB means when it says "IB prepares students for jobs that haven't even been invented yet".
"Fault not the tool"
Whenever someone in the family complained about not being able to get a job done because of "such and such crappy tool", a wise Irish mother of 11 children would always say, "Fault not the tool. Look to the user."
These wise words came to mind when TAIB stumbled across the following articleabout parental complaints coming from Florida regarding a recent "upgrade" to the state's FCAT exam. Of particular note was the following quote from the mother of an International Baccalaureate student who failed his FCAT:
"Sandy Stenoff said she thinks the FCAT is a "broken tool." She said her son failed the FCAT after being enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program."
Oh Sandy! Silly lady! Your son was learning how to survive a zombie attack, not spelling and grammar!
5/24/12 NY Post
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You!
May 24, 2012 - The Freedom Towers are not complete. The Ground Zero mosque issue has not been resolved. Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) has yet to be tried. But here, in the Bloomberg land of zero common sense, a NYC public school has decided that the "smart" thing to do is to mandate Arabic for 2nd to 5th Graders. Why? The reason given is so completely inane the Principal Nicky Kram Rosen who uttered it, should be embarrassed.
"because it will help the school obtain the prestigious
International Baccalaureate standing"
Principal Rosen. Do you really think by forcing uptown NYC Liberal's children (many of whom are probably Jewish like yourself) to speak Arabic is going to solve the Mid-East crisis? No Hebrew option? How about teaching them proper grammar and essay composition in English first? And surely someone has told you that the only thing that matters when in comes to receiving IB authorization is to make $ure the hundred$ of thou$and$ of dollar$ in check$ don't bounce. There is absolutely no evidence of a single school in the U.S. ever being denied IB authorization, even if it was a Florida public school with an 'F' rating.
IB HS has 25 Valedictorians
May 18, 2012 - Everyone gets a trophy, everyone gets an IB Diploma and everyone is the class Valedictorian! Does anyone need any further proof that IB seeks to completely abolish American exceptionalism, competition and excellence?
"A committee will decide who will be the valedictorian after choosing one speech from those submitted by the students.
Preston says their hard work has already paid off. “We weren’t competing against each other. We weren’t trying to get a leg up on each other. But it’s like, you get towards the end and look at all these people who have succeeded just as well as you have. So I think it’s really great we can be rewarded in this way.”
Even though one student will be chosen to give the valedictorian’s speech, all of the valedictorians will be recognized and receive a silver plate once they walk across the stage."
Gross Over-reporting of IB Diplomas in Richmond, VA
May 3, 2012 - It comes as no surprise to TAIB that IB schools in Richmond, VA, grossly over-reported the number of actual IB Diplomas awarded to students for three years running. It wasn't untilChris Dovi of Richmond Magazinebegan filing FOIA requests to attain the true data, thatCBS6 picked upon the story as well.
The district reported that 53 students had earned the IB Diploma when in fact, only five (5) had actually done so. Based on TAIB's knowledge of IB, it can be presumed that over the course of three years, there were 53 IB Diploma Candidates. However, a pass rate of five means a 94% FAILURE rate in the Diploma Programme. That is truly horrendous and grounds for immediate elimination.
As a rule, American public schools which unwise purchase the IB programme, also fail to publicly report the results of this expensive educational investment. Every year, TAIB files a FOIA request in the Locust Valley, NY district, in order to obtain the results. One would think after seven years of this nonsense, the district would be forthcoming with the IB results without being badgered by a concerned citizen.
TAIB is pleased to accept and feature the Power Point at right, created by a Patriot Mom from Ohio. Her attention to detail, accuracy and citing of sources, is impeccable. Please feel free to share this information with your school boards and community to provide a clear and excellent understanding of Governance of the International Baccalaureate. After all, shouldn't you know who is pulling the strings?
March 29, 2012 - In a dramatic first step to ensure parents have a choice of public education which is not controlled by a foreign entity, the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed HB 1403 by a vote of 209 - 102.
Lawmakers approved a bill, 209-201, allowing parents to pull their children from any school using the International Baccalaureate program, prompted by concerned parents in the Merrimack Valley School District. The House Education Committee amendment, however, changed it so no school can be approved by the state unless it "promotes state and national sovereignty and is not subject to the governance of a foreign body or organization."The bill also establishes a committee to study the International Baccalaureate program. Rep. Ralph Boehm, a Litchfield Republican, asked the House, "Do we want our students indoctrinated to be world citizens or citizens of the United States?"In the opposition, Mary Stuart Gile, a Concord Democrat, said "this is the 21st century and our children, whether you like it or not, are the next generation of global and American citizens."
DNHPE Comment: This isn't so much anti-public education as an expression of a small minded suspicion and fear about things foreign to our "American" way. It is also another way to chip away at compulsory attendance - seeing the "government-run" schools as a source of beliefs alien to those with certain political beliefs.
Special thanks to our intrepid anti-IB advocate Ann Marie Banfield for spending her entire day at the NH House in order to record the videos featured below. Additional thanks to NH (R) Reps Gregory Hill, Seth Cohn, Laurie Pettingill, Kathleen Lauer-Rago and Rick Ladd for their tenacious efforts to defend parental liberty and school choice.
A battle still looms in order for this bill to pass the NH Senate. TAIB expects IB to dispatch its lobbyists to oppose this important legislation which could set a precedent nationwide. We will keep readers updated as this legislation moves forward.
March 24, 2012 - One of the major complaints of those who question the credibility and value of International Baccalaureate programs has been the lack of independent, quantitative research which demonstrates IB actually improves student academic achievement. Last week, the news broke that the University of Chicago released a study which allegedly conclusively proves that full IB Diploma students attend more prestigious universities and fare better than other advanced study students.
On March 23rd, four announcements were published regarding the study:
It is important to note that none of the articles bothered to mention that the study was "supported" by the International Baccalaureate Organization (photo right). When a company pays researchers to produce a report which "vindicates" the product it sells, Caveat Emptor must be the phrase of the day.
The day after IB shared the news of this study, the media eagerly published the following stories:
In the articles, you may notice a reference to the lone Chicago IB school of the late 1990's. At the time, the Woods Foundation and The Annenberg Challenge provided funding to help launch that IB school. Two of the members of the Board of the Annenberg Challenge were Barack Obama and Bill Ayers. For the next ten years, Arne Duncan, the current U.S. Director of the Department of Education, would run the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Under Duncan's watch, the number of Chicago IB schools increased from one to 37 IB programs in the CPS system. These include five PYP, 20 MYP and 12 IBDP high schools. HERE is the official IBO list of all IB authorized schools in the state of Illinois.
In 2007, Arne Duncan spoke at the IB World Conference to help plot how IB could takeover our nation's public schools:
world conference for heads of IB World schools
International Baccalaureate in cooperation with
California International Baccalaureate Organization (CIBO)
1. Using the IB for Systemic Reform in North America
ARNE DUNCAN, DENNIS COCHRANE
Arne Duncan, Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, and
Dennis Cochrane, Deputy Minister of Education for the
Province of Nova Scotia, will expand on their panel discussion
of the introduction of the IB throughout each of their school
This leaves us with the question: Where are the INTERNATIONAL, independent studies which validate and "vindicate" the alleged success of International Baccalaureate? The answer is: THERE AREN'T ANY! The expansion of IB in American public schools is nothing but socialist cronyism. Billions of dollars in Obama's ARRA for "innovative programs" in Title I schools have been thrown at IB. OUR Federal tax dollars. This is not just a Chicago problem, this is an American problem and can be fought at the local level by informed parents and taxpayers who understand how the Obama regime has worked for 15 years to replace academics with social justice in our public schools.
It may be too late for Chicago to stop the IB takeover, it's not too late for the rest of the country.
February 29, 2012 - IB loves "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson.HERE we see IB gloat:
"After a failed attempt to climb K2, Pakistan’s notoriously gruelling peak, he wandered disoriented into the mountain village of Korphe."
"The accidental humanitarian". How quaint. How much does IBO love Greg Mortenson? Lots.
In 2010, IBO not only featured Greg Mortenson in its January issue of IB World. But that was not enough. In March of 2010, Mortenson was a speaker at the IBO Asia-Pacific Conference in Singapore and again at the IBO North American conference held at The Fountainbleu in Miamiin July.
That was 2010. In April,2011, CBS' 60 Minutes broke a story that should make every non-profit, Liberal do-gooder cringe. Please watch the informative video below:
"Mortenson imagined that an army of supporters would form behind him. That didn’t happen, and there are two main reasons why. One is simple: people are terrified of lawyers. Without a doubt, as I know from multiple interviews, Mortenson has sympathetic friends out there who are hiding in the weeds precisely because they’re afraid of getting dragged into the lawsuit."
But clearly, Mortenson's legal problems aren't giving IBO any doubts about sharing his questionable "documentation" with IB students. Nor has IBO given any thought to the potential illegality of having children fundraise for Mortenson's Pennies for Peace. Under IBO's Global Engageofferings, Pennies for Peace is still being actively promoted. While as Americans, our laws provide for "innocent until proven guilty", wouldn't it be responsible for an educational organization to resist using children to promote a cause sponsored by an individual under criminal investigation?
IB Continuum at any Cost in Upper St. Clair
February 29, 2012 - TAIB is disappointed to report the predictable outcome of the IB controversy over IBO's requirement for schoolwide implementation of its Primary Years Programme (PYP) at the Streams Elementary school in Upper St. Clair, PA. This community, which has been divided because of IB since 2005, took the totalitarian step to insure that the district retains its coveted status as a district which offers the IB Continuum - K-12.
It is astounding that over 100 parents turned out for a BoE meeting, MANY of whom voiced objections to the schoolwide mandate, objections which were ignored. The Superintendent had promised a survey, which never went out. The Board sat there and voted 7-1 to approve the PYP schoolwide. After all, that's what the Superintendent recommended.
Ever since TAIB was first exposed to IB, we have noted IB's adjective of choice to describe its programs - RIGOROUS. It is almost impossible to locate a press release or IB information session which does not include the words rigorous or rigor. Recently, one concerned citizen asked her Curriculum Director to provide her with IB's definition of "rigorous". What she received is the .pdf document at right.
TAIB would like readers to compare the IB definition of rigor with an independent analysis. Which one makes sense and which one sounds like a load of rhetoric? You be the judge.
The document featured at right is intended only for the eyes of teachers and administrators. TAIB located it posted on the web byhttp://www.itari.in/categories/PYP/IBOPYP.pdfand is reposting it here for educational purposes which now makes this document FAIR USE.
WHAT IS IB?
"Given the complexity and variety of PYP schools and the abstract nature of the concept itself it would be naive to propose any simple definition and expect it to stand up to rigorous examination. Rather, the PYP would suggest that any definition is likely to be compound, reflecting a range of interrelated factors. What these factors might be is suggested later in this perspective. However, in examining these factors during the years since the inception of the PYP, one aspect of PYP schools emerges, not only as the most significant, but also as the common ground on which PYP schools stand, the essence of what they are about: this is the kind of student who we hope will graduate from PYP schools, the kind of person we would proudly call an internationalist."
INTERNATIONALIST - Noun 1. internationalist - an advocate of internationalism advocate, advocator, exponent, proponent - a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea 2. internationalist - a member of a socialist or communist international International - any of several international socialist organizations socialist - a political advocate of socialism
South Side High School inRockville Centrepushed inclusion a step further this school year, requiring all 11th-graders to take the toughest literature course offered -- no matter what their academic standing.
Principal Carol Burris said school officials want to elevate standards for everyone, so they're offering only one English class: International Baccalaureate Language and Literature, Higher Level.
"The best curriculum you have should be the curriculum for everyone," she said.
The idea for juniors' mandatory participation came after the district surveyed graduates to see how many had completed college in four years, Burris said. Responses in both 2004 and 2006 showed that taking the rigorous IB courses was key, particularly in the areas of English and math.
And it wasn't students' scores on IB subject assessments that mattered, the study found. What counted was their participation.
At the timeRockville Centrewas querying its graduates, federal and state academic standards were rising. The district's previous practice of stratifying its curriculum by "tracking" students into varying levels would not help meet the new requirements and would keep struggling kids from the most challenging courses, Burris said.
Rockville Centrebegan offering the IB program in 1981, with the district selecting only about 20 students to participate. Thirty years later, 86 percent of roughly 270 graduates in South Side's Class of 2011 had completed at least one IB course and exam. Students can earn college credits in IB classes.
Used in 141 countriesIB, founded in 1968, is an international program meant to set the same high standards for students around the world. The program currently is in 3,302 schools in 141 countries, reaching nearly a million students.
Marcus Williams, 16, a junior at South Side, said the mix of students in the IB Language and Literature class is beneficial to all.
"The kids who struggle a little bit help you improve," said Williams, a straight-A student. "The mistakes they make help us learn."
Although some instructors had worried that struggling students wouldn't keep up and the course would lose its heft, IB English teacher Christine Brown said she hasn't had to lower her expectations.
"The objective is the same for every student in the room," she said.
The teacher said she differentiates instruction depending on students' needs, adding that the school offers extra help multiple times a week. Student performance has remained high, Burris said.
IB teacher Michael Musilli, 32, knelt down to eye level at the desks of a dozen students as he walked the room one afternoon last month, urging his class to dig deep into a particular female character inJames Joyce's "Dubliners." Reading over the shoulder of one student, Musilli said he agreed with her answer, but that she needed more detail.
"What is her literary significance in the story?" Musilli asked.
Eric Gennari, 16, a junior at South Side, isn't shooting for an IB diploma, but said he's glad the IB class is the only English course the school offers. He wouldn't want to "take the easy way out" with a lower-level class, he said.
Brendan Alles, 16, a junior, said the class' slightly slower pace allows instructors to pore over material ever more closely, helping star students realize they don't know it all.
At least two otherLong IslandIB schools are eyeing Burris' move, with mixed feelings.
Anna Hunderfund, superintendent of theLocust Valleyschools, said she has no plans to make any IB class mandatory because she worries that some courses might be too tough for some students.
Locust Valleyhas had the IB program for seven years; more than 70 percent of its juniors and seniors take at least one IB course.
"The question is what the children can handle at any one time," Hunderfund said. "I think it's better for the kids to enroll in and be exposed to the most rigorous curriculum as long as they can handle it. But it is an individual decision for the student and their families. Kids mature at different speeds and excel at different things. What may come easily to one child might not to another."
Hopes to follow leadLong BeachHigh School principal Gaurav Passi said he admires Burris' decision and hopes to do the same, though his school is several years away from that possibility.
The high school started offering the IB program in 2010 and currently has 60 students -- 20 seniors and 40 juniors -- shooting for an IB diploma. There are about 300 kids in the school's senior class; about 40 percent are taking one college-level course, either IB or Advanced Placement.
"I really like that model. But I think we have some work to do before we could ever do that," Passi said of the new requirement for juniors inRockville Centre.
TAIB COMMENTARY - The above move by Long Island's oldest public IB high school is not only anti-American, it is very likely illegal. Our public schools must provide an APPROPRIATE education for ALL students. Requiring taxpayers to fund student "membership" with a foreign organization and forcing ALL students to not only join, but enroll in a course that may be far beyond their capabilities is about as INAPPROPRIATE as a public school can get.
The term "inclusion" is used most often when referring to "mainstreaming" special education students into general heterogeneous classrooms. In order to prove that IB HL English is APPROPRIATE for a special needs student with an 8th Grade reading level, SouthSide administrators will have to abandon the claim that IB is the most "rigorous" course available. There is absolutely no educational basis for "modifying" IB curriculum in order for it to be APPROPRIATE for special education students or evidence of success in IB if such modification were to take place. Furthermore, what about the students who simply want to attain good grades in Regents level English in Grades 11 & 12? Newsday fails to mention that this outrageous move affects not only juniors, but seniors as well, since IB HL courses run for two years.