Welcome to Truth About IB. Before you travel any further into our site, we want to be totally upfront with our readers. Time and time again, supporters of IB have accused us of having a "hidden agenda" and an "axe to grind". We prefer to think of it as a hatchet used to cut wasteful spending and yes, ours is sharpened, but our agenda is far from hidden. So to be perfectly clear and to put these accusations to rest, we're going to spell it out.
First, let's establish the fact that TAIB is not a newspaper which supposedly requires non-opinionated reporting of news. Although we happen to believe journalism died in 2008, we do know the difference between a website championing a "cause" and the straight reporting of news. Therefore, any allegations of "bias" which are also frequently lobbed our way are also unfounded as we are not beholden to maintaining a neutral position. We find next to nothing favorable about the programme and make no bones about it. That's not bias, that's honesty.
Our "cause" or agenda is also quite clear - to inform educators, parents and taxpayers of the many different problems associated with the expensive IB program based on years of asking questions, tracking IB results, observing controversy in various communities and direct interaction with leading IB advocates and to:
1. To inform parents, educators and taxpayers of facts about IB
2. To advocate for a return to the "traditional" American system of high schools with Standard, Honors and AP levels and to invest in American (AP) courses and examinations which have a longer record of acceptance, quality and greater national and global recognition. (Globally - 23,000 AP to 1,863 IB, Nationally 16,000 AP to 670 IB as of 06/09/09)
3. To advocate for the retention of local educational control and U.S. sovereignty
We really don't care what IBO does in Dubai or India, so far our U.S. taxdollars haven't gone to fund those schools. Also, if a private school chooses the IB curriculum, we don't have a problem with that, after all it's a private school. But if IB is so wonderful, shouldn't you ask yourself why the top private schools in the country haven't "bought it"?
So there you have it. No hidden agenda. Plain as day. The agenda developed as a result of the answers we have obtained and the results we have witnessed. It is not our intent to demean or attack IB students as we feel the students are the victims of this program. What educators and parents have to keep in mind is that IB is a product, just as AP and the A-Levels are products. Beginning in 1998 under former Director General George Walker, IBO began an "expansion push" in the U.S. This blossomed when Goals 2000 was adopted and from 2000-2004, IBO made significant gains in this country. Now with a new DG, IBO is turning its expansion efforts towards takeover in the UK and through the Aga Khan, with less attention being paid to the U.S. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is fact. It is the observation of a global business model that follows the age old saying "follow the money". IBO is the educational mouse that roared. Its marketing strategy is impressive for an organization with only 350 employees worldwide. IBO even issues a "playbook" for administrators to "overcome common objections" to the program. AP doesn't do that. The A-Levels don't do that. Doesn't it make you wonder why there are so many "common objections" that a company has to print up a playbook just to address them?
One last disclosure: None of the contributors to Truth About IB are in any way affiliated with or employed by The College Board, ETS or IBO.
The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization, is a non profit institution which provides educational products to the international community. Founded in 1968 in Switzerland, IB's original mission was to provide curriculum to schools catering to children of Western diplomats who traveled frequently. The idea was to keep the curriculum consistent between schools in order to serve the needs of these students as they moved from one country to another. Today, the organization administers three programs for elementary, middle, and high schools which are available for purchase by interested schools. The curriculum is intended to be acceptable around the world. All over the United States controversy surrounds this program. Most protests have been met with radical objection, community disruption, and/or reprehensible behavior toward those who would speak negatively about this program. One needs to ask: "Why is an education program causing such volatile disruption and community unrest?"
Critics have argued that IB promotes values that conflict with traditional Christian values. Some have said it promotes Marxist ideology because the Deputy Director Generalof the InternationalBaccalaureate Organization, Ian Hill ( see Appendix 1 of Synthesis document under the Earth Charter tab) was a signatory to the Earth Charter, a collection of Marxist global principles created in France in 2000. Others object to the cost, which runs into the hundreds of thousandsof dollars annually.And the forfeiture of local control of school curriculum and culture has given many parents and school directors pause. On the other hand, IB endorsers claim that college admissions officers view IB as the "gold standard," even more preferred than the American born AP program. They claim that IB curriculum is inquiry-based, that it teaches critical thinking skills, global awareness, and "interculturalism". They have even made claims that the IB classroom is superior to any other. However, a recent review in Upper St. Clair, Pa. ( conducted by the school district which had populated the committee with a majority of radically pro IB persons) found that virtually NO colleges prefer IB over the more universally accepted AP curriculum. In this survey of more than 100 colleges and universities, only Reed College in Oregon expressed preference for the FULL IB DIPLOMA. All others surveyed viewed both programs equally including ALL members of the IVY LEAGUE, MIT, and STANFORD.
The IB elementary and middle school programs (PYP and MYP) offer no added value to a student's transcript whatsoever and are not recognized by any institutes of higher education. Additionally, all but a tiny handful (less than 1%) of U.S. universities give credit for IB SL exams, unless a FULL IB DIPLOMA is earned. Since most students in IB schools do NOT earn the full IB Diploma, they are usually unable to obtain credit for these SL exams. The few colleges and universities that are giving credit--Example: George Mason University--usually require at least a 6 or a 7 on the SL exam to merit any college credit.
As an aside, following an ACLU lawsuit ( see Upper St. Clair tab for details) filled with mistruths and fantastic allegations against elected public officials that was forcibly settled due to fiscal concerns, some of the radical pro IB members of the Upper St. Clair review committee mentoned above reportedly intimidated other members who found limited or no value in the program. Such was the intimidation that those members so treated felt genuine concern for their physical well being. As well, a member of the pro-IB majority actually threatened a new ACLU lawsuitif the District allowed the release of anALTERNATIVE OPINION REPORTeven though District policy allows such and TWO of the members who submitted the Alternative Report are teachers of IB students. Check the Upper St. Clair tab for more and make up your own mind. What is the truth about IB? Is it possible that this Geneva based company has proprietary claim to education superiority? Is IB using their curriculum to indoctrinate our children in values and philosophies that may not be our own? How costly is the program? How much control does the IB gain once a school applies for membership? Why would IB supporters try to supress an alternative report written by teachers of IB students and critical of the program? Why did they fear more information rather than less? Why did some of them intimidate fellow committee members to the point of emotional distress?
In an attempt to give the public an opportunity to answer these and other questions about IB for themselves, we have gathered documentation from sources throughout the IB world, some even obtained directly from the International Baccalaureate. This web site is intended to serve as a resource to parents, community leaders, educators and students who are considering IB.
It should be required reading before anyone makes a decision to purchase this curriculum.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this website is to question the design, agenda, implementation and results of IB programs. It is in no way meant to offend, insult, attack or demean the students who have participated in IB classes or earned an IB Diploma.