June 20, 2011 - Donny Harwood is not happy. In the You Tube video below, Donny explains to fellow Tea Party members how he was informed by two County Commissioners that his School Board would be voting on IB and that he better get down there to the meeting. Listen to how he was treated by his elected representatives:
Let's take a look at the Bradley County School District. Situated in the southeastern portion of Tennessee, the district has three high schools, one middle school, 13 elementary schools, a GOAL Academy and an adult-ed high school. In April, 2011, the Board of Education voted to approve Jr. ROTC, Cambridge International and Dual Enrollment. Note how IB is mentioned (and objected to) in the Minutes:
Dan Glasscock, Supervisor of Secondary Education, presented a proposal asking the board to approve the addition of Cambridge International, JROTC, and Dual Enrollment as acceptable areas of elective focus for high school graduation requirements. Within the Tennessee Diploma Project, students must have three credits from an elective focus as a requirement for graduation. Currently, standards allow CTE electives, science and math, humanities, fine arts, or AP/IB courses to count as the elective focus. The standards also state other area approved by local Board of Education. The Tennessee Diploma Project was designed by the Tennessee Department of Education. Mr. Glasscock informed the board that the International Baccalaureate program was planned for implementation at Walker Valley High School and the Cambridge program, just approved by the State Board of Education, would be implemented at Bradley Central High School. These programs provide an advanced curriculum for gifted and advanced students. Students would have to choose to take the courses and would have to meet requirements for enrolling. Ms. Beaty asked Mr. Glasscock to speak more about the IB program. Mr. Glasscock reported that around 20 schools in Tennessee offer the program. Locally, the program is implemented at Signal Mountain High School. As of the last state board meeting, students may take the IB program instead of the Tennessee Diploma Project to meet graduation requirements. The state board approved Cambridge on a course by course basis at this time. Currently, 28 states accept the Cambridge program. Almost all colleges and universities recognize AP and IB courses for college credit. Acceptance of Cambridge courses is by request with the requests almost always accepted for college credit. Funding to begin the two international programs initially will come from the Smaller Learning Communities grant.The initial start-up cost includes training for teachers. Once instituted, an annual fee of $8,000 to $12,000 is required. BRADLEY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION April 19, 2011 – Regular Meeting Minutes Page 4 Mr. Kelley stated he understood the program addressed religion. Mr. Glasscock responded that the programs present a global view. Mr. McDaniel responded that while the curriculum may be a broad view, the courses will be taught by the same teachers who teach now in the high schools. Dr. Baker commented that he had researched IB and could not find any documentation to validate any concerns. Ms. Critchfield commented that Bradley County students will compete globally for jobs, and these programs represented opportunities for students. 5023 Upon motion duly made by Ms. Critchfield and seconded by Mr. Dillard, it was unanimously RESOLVED to approve the addition of Cambridge International, JROTC, and Dual Enrollment as acceptable areas of elective focus for fulfillment of current high school graduation requirements. A member of the audience asked to speak. Mr. Weathers responded that the meeting was for the board. Mr. Weathers instructed the gentleman asking to speak to contact Mr. McDaniel
So how much of our Federal tax dollars were awarded to Bradley County in 2010 for its Small Learning Community grant? Oooo, will you look at that. A cool $2,517,541! IBO must be rubbing its hands together! These grants are awarded for "up to 60 months". Who is going to pay the onerous IB fees when the grant money runs out in 5 years? The Tennessee taxpayers, that's who!
The Minutes for the May and June Board meetings are not yet available online. Mr. Harwood is unaware of any subsequent resolution/vote on IB. Therefore, Bradley School Board may have, through sloppy wording, left the IB issue open and unapproved. TAIB researched all previous Board Minutes dating back to July, 2009, and could find only one other mention of IB in December, 2010:
Mr. Glasscock also reported that the Smaller Learning Communities Grant is being implemented in the high schools. Ways to fill needs of Volkswagen and Wacker are being looked at through the grant. The International Baccalaureate and Cambridge programs will benefit current students as well as international students moving into the area. Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Glasscock are presenting to the state board of education seeking approval to implement the Cambridge Program at Bradley Central High School. Walker Valley High School will proceed with the IB Program.
So, in Tennessee, a district needs state approval for Cambridge, but not IB. However, IBO requires approval by a school's "governing body". Bradley School Board has never voted to approve IB or the expenditure of potentially millions of dollars on IB.
TAIB will update this page when the Minutes become available to verify.
STOP IB IN BRADLEY!
Donny Harwood is your local STOP IB representative for Bradley County. Please e-mail Donny HERE to find out how you can help!