One of the many e-mails TAIB received after the July 2, 2010, NYT article, came from TOK teacher Jim Isen, of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Jim earned his MA in philosophy from the University of Illinois, but taught English Lit for 40 years all across Canada, in Ontario, Manitoba, (where he was born) and in BC. He was retired for a few years when a friend called to say she needed a TOK teacher at the Semiahmoo Secondary School, which has been an authorized IB school since 1980.
I teach the TOK course in an IB school in BC, Canada. I know you're having a lot of fun looking for a conspiracy to undermine American pride in everything American, but I hope you will take heart from the observation that IB is actually as American as... S.A.T. or A.P.
That's because virtually every course is dedicated to student responsibility for what is being learned. Also, the demand is from families who want to get into great programs, like medicine and law, at great universities.
You may know that a huge number of Asians dominate the application process in the IB program. And guess what? They all want to go to Harvard!! Those who soon realize that Harvard is out of the question focus on Stanford. Then on to Princeton, Yale, and so on. Very American!
Actually, the IB is better than AP because the AP system (which I taught before moving over to IB) is an exam system while IB is a rigorous content/curriculum system. Your worry that students are required to embrace internationalism is quite different to the need to understand the world we live in. How can you oppose an understanding of say, China, India, South America, or...yikes!...Canada?
Still, I guess you have a lot more time than the typical IB student to sense a menace in kids who get 99% in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Math. I find them fun to teach, and they stay in touch for years after leaving my classroom!
A suggestion... Offer an alternative that requires the same emphasis on responsibliity. AP is close... in some cases very close... but not quite at the IB standard. That's verifiable... a route to "truth" I recommend, to my TOK students, and, to you!!
Jim ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi Jim,
It's a pleasure to receive some non-hate e-mail from the pro-IB side.
Fun looking for conspiracy. Now there's a concept. Let's talk about that if you don't mind. But first, I have to tell you the kids just cleared out from a 4th of July bar-b-q we just had. My daughter is going into her senior year at NYU, her boyfriend will be a senior at Columbia University. We actually also had 3 IB students here, one from Australia, one from Romania and one from our home district here in NY. We had a great chat about the NYT article and the hate mail I've been receiving. I showed them my July Poll question which features the IB platitutde, "IB teaches students HOW to know, not WHAT to know." Shortly thereafter, Aussie IBer threw a beer can (badly) to Romanian IBer, who missed and spewed a string of expletives, to which Aussie IBer said, "IB teaches you how to throw, not what to throw!" We had a great laugh. And the truth is, the really bright kids can see through all of the bullshit that is IB. These boys would have gotten into Columbia and NYU without IB, but perhaps since two of them were from foreign countries, it helped them in that regard. But I digress.
When all the dots connect and facts can't be refuted, it is no longer conspiracy theory, it is history and strategic planning. IB's origins were with UNESCO, the first IB schools were UNIS, one of which was in Tehran. IBO didn't develop the PYP and the MYP until the early 90's. IBO's real expansion efforts in the U.S. began with former Director General George Walker, Goals 2000 and G.W. Bush's reinlistment of the U.S. with UNESCO. The Progressive movement in the U.S. (which has a strong hold on ALL U.S. schools due to the left-leaning NEA and AFT unions), led to the Dems holding the majority in Congress for the past four years and the election of Obama. All of this provides the "perfect storm" for IBO to relocate out of Cardiff and set up shop in Montgomery County, MD and Amsterdam. IBO's new Chair of the Board is Carol Bellamy, a NY Democrat who headed UNICEF and a company called Global Learning which was heavily funded by billionaire and Obama backer George Soros of the TIDES Foundation. IB now recommends videos from the TIDES Foundation (Story of Stuff) as part of its Sharing Our Humanity series. Over 1/3 of all IB schools in the world are in the U.S.
IBO claims it doesn't market or lobby, but its 990 returns to the IRS indicate otherwise. The 2009 U.S. Recovery Act contains over $5 Billion in funds (our taxdollars) which can be allocated to Title I school that implement "innovative programs". As you may guess, U.S. administrators are making grabs for this money for IB. They consider it "free" money (which it's not). But what happens when the "free" money runs out? Who gets stuck paying the IB bill here in the U.S? WE THE PEOPLE!
The Aussie IBer told me it cost his parents $10,000 for him to take IB in Australia. I have no problem with people sending their kids to private school for IB, just as I have no problem with people sending their kids to parochial schools. But public schools funded by U.S. taxpayers are supposed to be secular and apolitical. IB is a superfluous expense with a political agenda, a double no-no in my book.
IB supporters seem to think we are anti-intellectual and xenophobic. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of my co-administrators here at TAIB is an oncologist. The other is an AP History teacher with a Masters from Georgetown. We value our American liberties and the opportunities available for our children here in this country. We want them to inherit an America like the one we grew up in. With the current adminisitration in power, the chances of that happening are disappearing daily.
Back to "conspiracy theories". So I've already tied Obama & Soros to the IBO agenda, but let's go a step further with the UN, shall we? Have you ever read the UN's Agenda 21? Ten years ago, the John Birch Society were considered a bunch of nutters. I never really looked into them,I just took "society's word" for the "fact" that they were "nutjobs". The perception that society had given me was that they were racists more than anything else. A couple of month's ago, I went into NYC for a protest when Obama went to Wall St. I ended up chatting with the lad in this video with the dreads (and his friend, the handsome black lad) Turns out, they were both Birchers. We talked about Agenda 21 for a long time. They were fascinated to hear about IB and my "crusade" against it in American public schools. On my Breaking News page, scroll down to the pictures of the pretty villages with water under IB seige, and please read my accompanying article.
Fun looking for conspiracy. Fun and fear. I have fun debunking conspiracies. For example, the Loose Change video IBO shows students about 9/11 (documented in TIME) is full of false "facts". I'm not a 9/11 Truther. I am friends with a couple of 9/11 Truthers, I believe that there were people within our government who enabled that terrible day, but I don't believe that Bush orchestrated the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans. When I first started asking questions about IB and couldn't get straight answers, I got this bad gut feeling about the organization. Everything I have learned about IBO since has only sought to reinforce the feeling that ever since I was a little kid, I've been taught to trust. "If it feels really wrong, that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach is God telling you it is". That's what Mama used to say. I have used that internal gauge throughout the rearing of my children who have thankfully grown to be healthy, responsible, creative, hardworking adults (without a broken bone between them) and my 34 year marriage to their father.
I wish the UN would go the way of the League of Nations (falling into the East River after its skofflaw diplomats pay their millions in parking fines being the preferable means of its demise). Bush made a huge error rejoining UNESCO from which Reagan had rightly withdrawn. The UN's "standards" for the behavior of leaders of allegedly civilized countries are as vapid and empty as IBO's standards for authorizing schools and assessing exams, in short, they are not "normed" against any other standards except their own! IB is as "world class" as the UN. Frankly, when the UN allows Iran to sit on the Council for Women's Rights, any credibility it might have had goes right out the window. Perhaps you would be surprised at the number of Americans who deeply despise the UN. IBO seeks to distance itself from UNESCO and the Earth Charter, but its ties and endorsements are undeniable. Even the NYT, the pride of the Progressive movement, didn't refute the quotes from my supporters who were featured.
Think about it. Who is more open-minded? Someone like me, who dares to challenge the agenda of a global organization whilst under constant assault from IBelievers? Or those who swear allegiance to IB after being indoctrinated and brainwashed who parrot its propaganda and hate verbatim?
I will be posting many of the e-mail comments I have received these past few days to our Pro-IB Comment page and I will include yours (minus your e-mail address) for you were civil and respectful. I could have another entire discussion with you about the limitations some U.S. universities have on admitting Asian students, while accepting far less qualified Blacks and Hispanics. I am a proponent of excellent education, equal opportunity for equal talent, fiscal responsibility and restoration of our Constitutional Republic. What I can't stand is hypocrisy, lies and a globalist (international) agenda to rip off American taxpayers and to undermine the sovereignty of my great country.
In liberty, Lisa McLoughlin -------------------------------------------------------------------------
... a couple of things, Lisa... actually, three. No, four.
1. Selecting certain facts to support a point of view is called, in IB, "confirmation bias." We can all support an often untrue perspective with true facts. The example I use with my students is the geocentric theory of the universe. This theory, up to Galileo, was proven with mathematics, the purest of sciences, and facts taken from scripture. I hope it won't surprise you to know that the universe is heliocentric. At least our tiny corner of it is.....(sarcasm, not a persuasive device but cheap and available... mia culpa...) The context you ignore is the emotional and economic shape of the world after WW2 and the role that the UN played to restore order and a sense of unity. I was 5 when the war ended and I still remember lots more than a 5 year old is supposed to remember.... so I don't share your xenophobia. I am a global citizen, with cousins by the dozens in the good old U S of A., family in England, a son married to a black Muslim woman (Mike is redheaded!!) in Oman, where my one grandchild lives, a nephew in Japan married to the daughter of a Shinto priest, and so on. My namesake cousin Jim is a professor of medicine at Rochester University, to name one American cousin.
2. Your own history, taken selectively and out of context (as your UN connections to IB do) would show that America has never been a democracy but in form and is in fact an oligarchy, with rigged elections, bought and purchased senators, ... do you remember Al Capp and L'il Abner? What's good for General Motors is good for the country? Senator Fogbound? Great satire based on some ugly truths about America. I personally choose not to think of those facts only in my fond view of your great nation. You and I will, no doubt, hold that in common, along with the cherished and disappearing view that disagreement can de discussed reasonably.
3. Your article from London (VERY interesting... I've already put it on my Fall term curriculum) is dated, offering tantalizingly a 2006 government review but not giving the findings of that latest review. If you google "summerhill school" you'll see that British governmental reviews are VERY intrusive and thorough and powerful. From the debating point of view, giving severely dated information is worse than none at all.
4. Why am I not surprised to see references to Obama and to 9/11 in your letter? Your president is a secret agent of Islam, and a terrorist, right? And 9/11 served some kind of perverted secret home=grown agenda supported by Jews, (who stayed away from work on the fateful day) and involving perhaps thousands of secret workers who tied dynamite to steel girders on every floor (unseen agents and undetected dynamite, and Google "skeptoid" for evidence of engineers, etc., explaining the collapse of the buildings)of the two WT Towers in anticipation of the airplane strikes that were nothing but a... DIVERSION!! Done to put the blame on the Muslims! My questions are these: a. Obama: why was his preparation: his birth, his life... so easy to attack? What a poor terrorist he must be! Not to mention his entire dependence on an election to be placed in power. Or are there thousands of Obamas lurking, waiting to have a run at the presidency should his attempt fail? and b. Doesn't the detail and sheer volume of effort needed to accomplish the secret destruction of the twin towers simply beggar belief?
Lisa, I'm going to use our dialogue in my 'knowledge' course next year. This is actually great material and is the substance of our purpose in our IB school. I'll give my students all of it and let them decide independently. They ARE IB students, of course, and so problem (1) above will play a heavy part in the process, but that itself, if understood, will be useful.
By the way, the Texas mom and you and yours are not obliged to enroll your daughters in IB. The IB parents pay taxes, too, remember, please. (Another odd logic error called 'special pleading:' "MY TAXES SUPPORT THIS EVIL THING." Meanwhile, so do the taxes of the folks who do not think it's evil.) So it's a choice. So choose.
By the way#2: IB is definitely not for everyone. Our dropout rate after grade eleven is around 10%. We had 77 students (in a grade eleven class of about 300) enrolled in full IB September and 8 of them have decided to drop the full IB, for different reasons. And yes, you can get into a good university without IB and without AP and without SAT scores in every country but the USA, and perhaps there, too...and everyone knows that. It's about competition, I think, and challenge. Lisa, generally speaking high school curricula do NOT challenge the bright kids. Do NOT. Well. Enough for now.
Thanks for your reply. Have we both ignored the main and favourite points of our opponent? Probably.
Since you have chosen to deliberately distort and misrepresent what I just took the time to write to you, I don't care if IB calls what I write, "confirmation bias", what you have written is IB bias on steroids. So let me respond to your four points for the purpose of clarification for your students. In fact, your response serves as a wonderful example of how IB supporters deliberately miscategorize and attack views of those who don't march in lockstep with IB.
1. How you jump from Galileo's geocentric theory of the universe (with your snide/sarcastic remark included) to the role of the UN following WWII, is not only bizarre, it makes absolutely no sense. Quite interestingly, when my daughter was in 6th Grade, she was given a ditto which stated that our galaxy was at the center of the universe. When my daughter brought it home, I told her that the information was incorrect, that the universe is thought to be ever expanding and that even if the center of the universe could be precisely calculated, we do not have the technology to determine if it is expanding equally in all directions. As such, the location of the center of the universe would be subject to change and in any event, our galaxy is not located in what we currently perceive to be the center. She went to school the next day and told her teacher what I told her. The teacher responded, "What is your mother? Some kind of science nut?" I did not appreciate this response to my daughter, and on Open House night, I asked the teacher for the "source" of the ditto. She got quite flustered, hemmed and hawed, and eventually blurted that it came from the Rose Planetarium of the Museum of Natural History. Of course, there was no copyright on the ditto, so I had no way of verifying her statement. Apparently, my questioning so upset the teacher that she broke down crying. Before the Open House was over, I was hauled into a tiny room with the Asst. Principal and the hysterical teacher, who told me in no uncertain terms that "she couldn't teach a cynical child like mine who has a cynical mother like me." The AP then said, "Lisa, don't you want your daughter to be happy? Why do you encourage her to question everything? Why can't you just accept what she is being taught?" And I replied, "Because it is incorrect. You are supposed to be the educators who provide accurate information." Before the end of the week, my daughter was switched to a different 6th Grade "team", but not before they forced her to sit through a video presentation of all of the "special" things the team she was being removed from would be doing. I made a phone call the following week to inform the AP that they could shove their "Character Education" where the sun don't shine, as apparently they had attended the Marquis de Sade school of sensitivity. We are not living in Galileo's time. I expect our public schools to provide students with the most up to date scientific theories and data. I know IB can't stand data in any shape or form, it interferes with its hyperbole and Progressive propaganda.
Your age at the conclusion of WWII and the UN's role is irrelevant. Your students don't care how old I was on the night of the 1965 blackout, any more than they care that you were 5 in 1945. You may be my elder, but that doesn't necessarily make you more rational. The creation of the UN at the end of WWII to prevent future international incidents had failed rather miserably, wouldn't you say? Just because subsequent conflicts haven't been labeled WWIII, in the brief decades following we have seen the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Bosnian-Herzegovina War, no less than 7 wars in Israel, the first Gulf War, the War on Terror .... am I making my point? The UN is a failed organization. It's largest financial supporter is the United States of America. We are wasting billions on this corrupt organization whose "peacekeepers" rape with wild abandon and which panders to tinpot dictators and currently is acting against the sovereignty of Israel and the U.S.
You want to consider yourself a "world citizen?" Bully for you. I'm an American citizen, not a world citizen. I was born in the United States and I have all the documentation to prove it. I consider myself blessed to be a citizen of the greatest country on the planet. Thousands of people die every year just trying to get into my country. I value U.S. sovereignty, our Constitution and our Federal Republic. Unfortunately, globalists like yourself and our current administration are seeking to shred the very fundamentals that made this country great, destroy the free market, and enslave my children to unsustainable debt. Americans are the most philanthropic and altruistic population on the planet. No other country matches our donations in times of catastrophe. For this belief, you feel the need to label me a "xenophobe". Do you even understand the definition of the word xenophobe, Jim? I think not. A xenophobe is "unduly fearful of what is foreign, especially people of foreign origin." By applying that ad hominem, you seek to elevate yourself as a braver, more tolerant being. You confuse pride of nationality with fear of others. I find it so amusing how IB supporters need to tell me how "diverse" their friends and family are. Shall I tell you of my family and friends? Do you really care, or are you more comfortable in denigrating anyone who dares to question the almighty IB? All right, I will. I was adopted at birth by Jewish parents in NY. I married a Catholic, whose parents were both off the boat Irish, one from county Galway, the other county Leitrim. I was an only child, my husband one of 11. Two of my sister-in-laws married black men (both now divorced). One of my sister-in-laws is from Costa Rica and an FBI agent. My children (21,27) have travelled to Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece and Mexico. I have travelled to the UK, the Netherlands, Mexico and numerous Carribbean islands. Bermuda (not in the Carribbean) was my favorite. On a cruise last year, I made friends with a married gay couple from Paris. I have a standing invitiation to come visit, which I hope to take them up on. Still on my wish list are New Zealand, the Costa del Sol, Scotland, the Greek Islands and Bali. Life is short and money is tight, but I'd hardly call my family "xenophobes".
2. You are partially correct, the U.S. is NOT a democracy, it is a Federal Republic. Only under Obama is it becoming an oligarchy with his plethora of czars and circumvention of Congress. Our DOJ is currently under fire for discharging the case against the Black Panthers in Philadelphia for voter intimidation. ACORN has been discredited and forced to scramble and re-group. I will not allow Progressives like yourself erase American history and rewrite it to suit your one world order agenda. You can do it to your heart's content up in your IB school in Canada, but not in American public schools on my dime.
3. Without a link, I have no idea which "article from London" you are referring to.
4. How completely disingenuous of you to twist my statement that I am NOT a 9/11 Truther and my objections to IB's showing of the movie Loose Change, in order to cast me as a Birther! What is wrong with you? You completely ignored my entire statement regarding the UN's Agenda 21. Perhaps because I didn't link it for you, you can pretend it doesnt exist. Please read it.
Jim, IB eliminates choice. In our HS, AP and Honors courses were eliminated. At the PYP level, IB mandates that the program must be implemented schoolwide. Neighborhood elementary schools (thankfully only 234 in the U.S.) are driving good families away because of IB. That's the only "choice" parents who don't drink the IB Kool Aid have in order to avoid IB in public elementary schools - move, homeschool or put their kids in private school. So again, if IB wants to market its "product" to private schools, by all means, be my guest. But keep it out of American public schools funded with American taxdollars.
In liberty, Lisa --------------------------------------------------------
Good for you, Lisa. I'll show my students this, too, and conclude that we agree on a few things, but mainly to disagree.
TAIB'S CONCLUSION - It is impossible to conclude whether Jim and I agree on anything as Jim decided the "debate" was over without ever addressing the points I made in my lengthy reply. Instead, he chose to inaccurately label me a "xenophobe" and misrepresent everything I had stated. Jim lacked the intellectual honesty for reasonable debate. It would appear that his only interest in our exchange was to use me as material for his class in the fall. In a subsequent e-mail, Jim told me he is a Pantheist. While this information should be irrelevant to a teacher's qualifications, it certainly affirms how someone of that particular mindset is the perfect candidate to promote IB's pantheistic, one world agenda.