May 28, 2011 - On Wednesday, May 25th, TAIB had the privilege of being invited to attend an "IB presentation" to parents in the Island Park School District. This district is so tiny that it has only one elementary school and one middle school. Its students then have the choice of attending the City of Long Beach High School which recently obtained IB with a $1.3M Federal grant as it is a Title I school, or West Hempstead HS. The plan for Island Park, however, is to make its only two schools IB, schoolwide.
The parents who invited me to the meeting escorted me into the small room opposite the office for the presentation which was given by the district Superintendent, Dr. Bovino and the Assistant Superintendent in charge of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Pecora. It should be noted that this meeting was only held because the parents, who had been assured in January that IB was "dead in the water", got wind that it was not dead but very much alive and were insisting on information.
There were approximately 20 parents in attendance. The meeting was held at 1:30 in the afternoon on a workday, hardly convenient for most. I am used to the typical IB propaganda and dog and pony shows IB lovers present, but this one really took the cake! Please review the Power Point presentation that was shown (below). It is important to note that no print copies of the presentation were distributed to attendees and it only appeared on the district website after one of the parents at the meeting insisted that the district share the information:
Notice anything strange? Why the emphasis on private Catholic schools and the D.O.D.? None of the Long Island public schools listed offer the IB PYP and only one, Commack, is currently authorized for the MYP. Furthermore, the Rogers International School in Stamford, CT, is a magnet program and there are many other elementary schools from which parents can choose.
In the Power Point, you will notice that it states: "Right now we are in between to [SIC] different application processes". Great. Let's not use proper English and obfuscate the matter with IB's ever changing and increasing fee schedule. Dr. Bovino referred to having a $46,000 grant which she claimed is covering the money spent so far. But how much has Island Park really spent so far on IB without ANY parental input?
There are 33 teachers (including 2 Librarians) in Island Park, grades K-8. IB requires that all of the teachers, plus the 2 Principals, 2 IB Coordinators receive IB training. That comes to 37 individuals to be trained. There are three (3) Levels of IB training. Each one consists of a 3 day workshop, rarely held in state. The average cost per teacher, per workshop, is $1,500. Dr. Bovino would not elaborate as to how many teachers have already been trained or how much money has been spent on "site visits", but we can safely claim that a bare minimum of $166,500 will be spent on IB teacher training. Some of the training will be held over the summer, but some is held during the school year so that figure does not include the cost of substitutes or allow for teachers out on maternity leave or teacher turnover and new teachers who must be trained.
The application cost for two schools to IBO is $23,000 each, or $46,000. For IBO to authorize the schools, a site visit from IBO officials is required. The average cost for this is $3,500. Not included in the application fee is the cost of an IB Consultant. Island Park brought in an IB Consultant from S. Carolina and while administrators will never willingly admit the cost of such consultation, we can presume it is in the area of $3,500.
Once authorized, (and they always are as long as the checks are good), Island Park schools will pay $15,400 annually for the use of the IB logo and teacher only access to the OCC (Online Curriculum Centre). Said fee is only valid until September, 2011, at which time we can expect another increase.
If the Island Park Middle School opts for IBO "moderation" of its personal project and courses, there is an additional $640 fee per subject, $5,120, and a $60 per student moderation fee for their "personal project". With approximately 40 8th Grade students in any given year, this comes to an additional $2,400 annually.
We must also include the .5 salaries of the two IB Coordinators, which for argument's sake, we will estimate at $40,000 each or $80,000.
Let's tally that up, shall we?
TAIB comes up with $322,420!
While a goodly portion of the above figure represents start-up costs, the MINIMUM annual cost to Island Park taxpayers (not including substitutes and any new teachers to be trained) to run the IB PYP and MYP will be:
$102,920 per year.
That's a far cry from the $7,500 Dr. Bovino kept repeating.
STOP IB IN IP!
Your local representatives are Tommy & Maria Asher. Please friend them on Facebook to find out how you can help!