Taxpayers and parents in public school districts where there is talk of bringing in IB, need to pay close attention to the application process. It is within the application that all of the Swiss legal jargon is buried. Once a school is authorized by IBO, there is no other contract between a school district and IBO. The application process represents all binding agreements in their totality.
Although every press release you read celebrating a school that "anxiously" awaited to hear if it was approved makes the process sound very intense and rigorous, there is very little rigor involved. There is, however, a lot of up front money which must be paid to IBO, years before a single class can be taught. Parents and taxpayers should also be aware that if they feel that the IB program is not a proper fit for their school, the time to stop it is during the application process. Once the authorization is given, students will be stuck with the program for a minimum of 5 years, the amount of time before an IB "review" is scheduled to occur. Even at that point in time, there is no evidence of any authorized IB school having its authorization pulled.
So what hoops do schools have to jump through? The Diploma Programme is the most popular and requires the most amount of juggling to implement so that is the program we will focus on. Click HERE for application
There are basically three phases: A. Pay the application fee, buy the curriculum course guides from the IB Store, plan for administrative and teacher training B. Pay for teacher and administrative training C. Allow IBO committee to come visit the school
Tada! You are now an IB World School!
Pay close attention to Application A and Application B in the above link. These forms document the approval and participation that is SUPPOSED to be obtained by the school from its governing Board of Directors/Board of Education. As truthaboutib.com has discovered in case after case (currently occuring in the Glen Cove, NY school district) school administrators who are hellbent on getting IB into their district will go to extreme measures to hide information from their governing Boards. School Board Trustees are generally trusting folk. They don't expect their chief executive to blindside them. Parents are generally trusting folk. If the head of a school district tells them that an educational program is the best thing since sliced bread, they want their children to have it and don't question it. As long as nobody makes any inquiries about this inquiry based program, everything is honkey dorey. But the second anyone raises perfectly legitimate questions about the cost or philosophy of the program, administrators immediately accuse the questioner of being "negative, misleading, a troublemaker" or "disruptive" at best, "subversive" or an "attacker of children", at worst.
Truthaboutib.com urges you to be prepared when you ask your questions. Stick to the facts. Have printed documentation in hand. Avoid getting emotional. Repeat your questions till you get answers. Don't accept empty platitudes, hearsay and anecdotal feel good stories as adequate responses. Your children and their education are too precious for that. They deserve your involvement and you deserve the right to public information. If the district won't provide it willingly, FOIL it. The district has the right to charge you $.25 a page for any FOILed information. It's worth it. It's your duty as responsible American parents to make sure that your taxdollars are buying the best education possible for your children.
This recently released document from IB reveals that in 2007, of the 72 schools that applied to become authorized by IB, 72 were granted authorization, or 100%. Of the two schools that applied but did not receive authorization in 2006, we cannot discern whether those schools dropped the application process of their own accord or whether they were denied authorization because they failed to meet IB's "standards". You must navigate through the IB blogs to find the pertinent graph, please click on the following link: http://www.ibnaconference.org/node/518 then go to "recent presenter blogs", then Presenter 1 - Diploma Programme Update (See page 28)
(Editor's note: a May 9, 2009, check of the above link finds that IB has removed the information from its site. Readers are now met with: Page Not Found)