A unanimous decision by the Board of Education on October 1, 2012, in front of an overflow crowd of over 100, secured the final expulsion of International Baccalaureate programmes in the Coeur d'Alene district. The time has come to restore quality education and focus on academics, not politics.
The writing is on the wall, but a handful of IB supporters are giving a last gasp effort to retain the PYP at Hayden Meadows elementary school. Below are recent articles in the local press concerning the controversy:
July 25, 2012 - TAIB has been following the IB controversy in Coeur d'Alene for over two years. Thinking about the process to eliminate IB, TAIB is struck by the similarity to weight gain/loss. IB authorization, like fat, is easy to come by. Neither happens overnight. Lots of money is spent over a two year period and both are shoved down people's throats. Any school that spends the money is approved, just as there aren't any standards or pre-qualifications for getting fat. Spend the money, shovel down the crap in excess, and voila! You're either an IB authorized World School ..... or fat.
The Kolers took a look in CDA's educational mirror over two years ago and said, "My goodness! Will you look at that!". Bit by bit, they chiseled away at the denial by CDA that there was any sort of problem with IB (don't listen to those people who say your dress is too tight, they're just close-minded and unable to appreciate our inner beauty) or that taxpayer money might be better spent elsewhere (like a gym membership). They withdrew their children in order to homeschool. They wrote LTE's. They protested and attended Board meetings. And ultimately, they helped get a Board majority elected that it appears will write IB's epitaph in CDA.
Discussion has focused primarily on IB vs. AP at the high schools, but it is important to remember that Hayden Meadows Elementary is an IB PYP school. Under IBO regulations, CDA has already paid for 2012-2013 and will have to finish out the seniors enrolled in IB at the HS. CDA is under no obligation to continue with the IB Learner Profile and PYP framework at the elementary level. At the upcoming August 6th Board meeting, a motion to halt any further spending on IB teacher training or purchase of IB materials (other than those needed for the Class of 2013), is strongly recommended.
It took years to reach the "moment of realization", and it has taken years to turn it around. You can do it CDA! Shed that nasty IB with its wiggly, jiggly, propaganda!
your friendly IB diet coach,
New Board, IB Back on the Burner
October 6, 2011 - Newly elected BoE Trustee Tom Hamilton has pushed for an analysis of the IB and AP programs in Coeur d'Alene. His position is to strictly analyze the two programs from the cost and effectiveness angle, and the Lefties can't stand it. So here are the most recent stories from the CDA Press:
February 18, 2011 - Back in the beginning of 2010, TAIB asked the following questions:
According to IBO, bothCoeur d'AleneandLake City HighSchools were authorized as IB World Schools in 2006. This means that both schools began the application process in2004and that money has been flowing to IBO forsixyears.So what do these two high schools have to show for their IB "investment"? From what we can see on the web, nothing! Coeur d'Alene High School does have its studentcourse description guidefor 2009-2010 available online. But wait! Where are the descriptions for the IBDP courses? A scan of the guide revealed only one mention of International Baccalaureate - a recommendation to AP Bio students to sit for the IB SL Bio exam in the spring. TAIB triple checked this because we found it rather unfathomable, but that was it, one mention. If Coeur d'Alene HS isn't offering the IB program, why is it flushing $9,600 a year down the toilet to remain "authorized" by IBO? Better yet, why has IBO kept Coeur d'Alene authorized as an IB World School if it isn't offering its Diploma Program?
Finally, as of yesterday, IBO dropped Coeur d'Alene HS from its list of authorized World Schools. Yesterday. By TAIB's calculations, CDA flushed well over $100,000 down the toilet just for the ability to place the following on it's website, which as of TODAY still states:
Coeur d'Alene School District is the first district in the state of Idaho to be authorized by International Baccalaureate to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at both of our high schools.
Click today on IBO's website for Idaho DP schools, and you will not locate CDA HS. However, thanks to our IB Watchdog in Pearland Texas, we have captured a screen shot of yesterday's IBO listing from Google cache.
CDA PYP Teacher Flees Arabic School
It would seem the very open-minded, risk taking Mr. Harvey may have had his "worldview" provided with a slight attitude adjustment after his recent teaching debacle in the United Arab Emirates. You know, God really does have a wonderful sense of humor. Now claiming to be the "victim" of a dastardly foreign Principal, TAIB had to laugh out loud at Mr. Harvey's misfortunate treatment. Please take a few minutes to read Mr. Harvey's account. Priceless!
The CDA Press wouldn't run it. The District won't make it public. But we will here at TAIB. There is a very important, time sensitive issue contained within this report that CDA voters need to be made aware of:
On August 24th, a levy to approve KTEC (Kootenai Technical Education Campus) will be presented to voters in Coeur díAlene, Lakeland, and Post Falls school districts.
Hello! Why are CDA voters being asked to approve the KTEC program, yet denied a voice on IB which the district has already spent $1.3 million on?
Can voters get a stay on this referendum until BOTH programs can be put to a vote?
CDA Press Desperate to Make IB Look Good
August 9, 2010 - Although the CDA Press informed us last month that it was time to move on to other issues, it appears that the pesky controversial IB issue simply won't disappear.
So how many IB Diplomas were produced in 2010 with the district's $1.3 Million investment thus far? Eight (8). How can anybody call these results something to be proud of? TAIB is also curious how it is that not all of the students sat for the final IB exams as according to IBO regulations, the student registration and exam fees are mandatory. Are the taxpayers being charged these fees which are sent to IBO, only to have the district allow the students to opt out of the exams?
TAIB heartily disagrees with the latter headline as the abysmal 2010 Diploma results prove otherwise.
Picking Up the IB Hot Potato
June 22, 2010 - The CDA Press may have decided to call it quits on the IB controversy in Coeur d'Alene, but The Spokesman Review has just issued Part I of a two part series. TAIB has added a fairly lengthy comment after the article. June 30, 2010 -
Thanks for the good run on IB, but respectfully, I don't think it's quite over yet. It's an important part of a larger problem affecting our Board. You're right though, that it will ultimately be decided at the polls. Also, I don't think it would be fair for you to cut off discussion without comment on the 6/7/10 school board meeting, which was remarkable. Finally, I'm pretty sure our debate has entertained your readership with thought-provoking discourse. Please run the following article, and note my new email address.
Time to Replace the School Board?
Coeur díAlene School District 271 continues on course to institute changes and programs that their constituents donít want, need, or canít afford Ė critics be damned. Whether itís teacher collaboration, IB, KTEC, or "Schools of Choice," our School Boardís Machiavellian machinations would make the old Soviet Politburo proud. This could not have been more clear than as demonstrated by Superintendent Bauman and the school board trustees at their monthly meeting on 6/7/10.
Example #1: At Mayís School Board meeting, they were set to approve "teacher collaboration" that would push back Monday school start times to 10:00 a.m., crimping already tight family and business scheduling. Only problem was, although they had "forgotten" to do a very good job publicizing their plans, word got out and there was an uproar - both over the substance of the change, and because the Board had done its best to sneak it through. Predictably, the Board decided to put off their decision for a month, to hold a few parent meetings as window dressing. Two things happened: first, the Board encountered even greater opposition; second, the Board decided at their 6/7/10 meeting to institute the collaboration change anyway. (They justified their decision with the old stand-by argument, "studies have shown improved performance..." Have you ever noticed how often that argument is made to support bringing in some new school program? Youíd think with all those changes, our schoolsí performance would be other-worldly.)
Example #2: The Board also convened on 6/7/10 to rubber-stamp its own decision to bring U.N. education to Coeur díAlene through the IB/PYP program, under their code-name, "Schools of Choice." Only problem is, the IB Program was here for 4 years before "Schools of Choice" was concocted in an effort by the School Board to re-frame the issue and side-step the controversy of IB/PYP. To this day, the School Board has failed to determine the projected costs and logistics of busing kids that would otherwise go to their neighborhood schools, but donít want a U.N. education.
Example #3: The School Board denied our request to have an agenda item to discuss our concerns about IB/PYP. Instead, they offered to hold a "workshop" but later announced that no questions or public comments would be allowed - it was strictly a School Board dog and pony show extolling the virtues of "Schools of Choice." Yet, at the 6/7/10 meeting, the Board allowed two IB/PYP proponents to deliver a presentation lasting approximately 15 minutes. Thus, despite the fact that we brought serious concerns about IB/PYP to the Board, the Board refused us a fair hearing and instead only permitted agenda presentation which supported their own position. Message to the School Board: Have you ever heard of Due Process, which requires fairness and an opportunity to be heard? Predictably, the Board rubber-stamped their "Schools of Choice" program, although itís already been a fact for years.
Example #4: Although the School Board repeatedly insists that opponents of IB/PYP in our community are a "scant few," Superintendent Bauman announced the commitment of resources this summer to form a "Task Force" to investigate IB/PYP. Excuse me, but why wasnít this done either: (a) before IB/PYP was brought here at a cost of over $1.3 million (so far); or (b) before the Board voted to approve "Schools of Choice" including IB/PYP? It takes real gall to form a task force after the approval decision is already made. Lip service we don't need.
Example #5: Ms. Bauman says her "Task Force" is going to be unbiased, and made up of approximately 10 teachers, school administrators, and community members. Well, make that only 2 community members, and only 1 of those will be anti-IB/PYP. So itís going to be 9 against 1. Not only that, but Ms. Bauman has conveniently framed the 6 questions the Task Force will answer, without any input from IB/PYP opponents. Care to guess what the outcome will be? As Bob Dylan wrote in Subterranean Homesick Blues, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Ms. Bauman: save your time, our resources and donít bother. Once again, you and the School Board are wasting taxpayersí money and insulting their intelligence. Instead, just own up to the fact that you like U.N. education and wild horses couldnít make you change your mind.
Example #6: Did anyone else notice that Mayís school board meeting was not run on the public access channel? Is that coincidence, or is the school board censoring public access to their meetings that donít reflect well?
Itís been said recently (both by the Editor of The Press and by the School Board) that Schools of Choice are needed in our consumer-driven society so our public schools can "keep up with the competition." Excuse me, but instead of invoking platitudes as an excuse to throw more money at putting liberal social programs in our schools, why donít we take a hard look at why parents are taking their kids out of public schools in droves (hence the "competition")? Is it because the curriculum is not liberal enough? Is it because you just canít get a good U.N. education in our public schools? Is it because (dare I say it?) they just donít have enough good marimba and juggling teachers in public schools? I think not. Parents are home schooling and private schooling their kids precisely because of this kind of teaching in public schools.
I cannot in good conscience support our School Boardís implementation of ANY new program, even one that sounds like it might be a good one Ė like the $5 million-plus KTEC. Simply put, I do not trust their judgment or their motives. I think they need to be replaced.
Hi Duncan: Sorry, but no. We've stated that the back-and-forth grenades on IB/PYP need to stop, at least for now, so the community can get on with other issues. I intend to stick with that.
You do have other options, particularly online. Nothing would prevent you from posting parts or all of your thoughts in comments on IB/PYP-related pieces that already have run. Also, citizens may purchase advertising space to the heart's - if not their wallet's - content. Respectfully, Mike
Local Rags Decree IB Fait Accomplis
June 6, 2010 - It saddens us to see the continuing demise of American free speech and the Left's penchant for stifling debate and discourse to the extent that local newspapers use the power of the press to secure the Liberal agenda as a fait accomplis in advance of there being an actual procedural ruling supporting their decree.
Such is the case with the CDA Press's recent editorial "Time for Next Issue", it states, "members of the Board might or might not utter the acronym IB" but "IB and PYP are here to stay" and even has the audacity to declare that it expended 21,938 published words on the issue, as though that excuses its authoritarian bias and abuse of journalistic privilege.
To see the same thing happen in Idaho within 10 days of an almost identical editorial out of Incline Village, Nevada, where its Liberal rag, the Tahoe Bonanza, yawned, "We Be Tired of IB", cannot be mere coincidence. This is a tactical directive from Geneva to the school boards to the local press.
Meanwhile, the local rags are missing the real story - that parents are selling their homes and pulling their children from IB schools to avoid IB at all costs.
At least before the CDA Press closed the book on IB, it ran the following letter penned by CDA Mom Angie Hannon. TAIB will re-print it here in its entirety, as a tribute to traditions which are being swept aside with wreckless abandon to make way for the new world order.
Ode to the Old Hayden Meadows
For the last eight years I have been a very active parent at Hayden Meadows Elementary school. Four years ago when we were told (no, it was not a choice) that we were going to become a PYP/IB school I was skeptical then.
I am disappointed in our local school board that this program has been allowed to infiltrate our local neighborhood school. It is disappointing to me that a few very vocal proponents have been able to take our school away from us. Hayden Meadows was a great school before PYP was here with many, many great teachers and staff. One thing we always loved about Hayden Meadows was that every year the third graders would put on a wonderful Veteranís Day program. My two older children who are now in middle school displayed such pride when they were able to bring in and share pictures of their great Uncle Jim who served and died in WWII and their Grandpa Dan who also served.
Mrs. Windisch, the former music teacher always performed a wonderful Veteranís Day program and veterans from our community were invited to attend. It would bring tears to my eyes to hear these wonderful children sing patriotic songs in honor of these great heroes who served this great country of ours. I was disappointed this year when my third graderís music performance was a recorder recital. For the last two years Hayden Meadows third graders have not performed a Veteranís Day program. I have seen the school change over the years that I have had children attend there and I am just plain disappointed that my youngest child will attend his last two years of elementary school elsewhere where PYP/IB is not in the curriculum.
CDA IB Protest Makes National Headlines in The Washington Post!
Click HERE for the most biased, uninformed coverage that Jay Mathews was too chicken to cover.
According to Mr. & Mrs. Koler, TAIB was their inspiration for investigating IB in their public schools in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. What they confirmed was enough for them to make the very serious decision to pull their children from the system and dedicate themselves to homeschooling them.
TAIB fully expects to receive e-mail about a "couple of kooks" who are "foolish" enough to believe the "UN conspiracy theory". To those who feel tempted to clog up our inbox with their hateful, ignorant rants, all we can say is, spare us. God bless the Kolers for their dedication to provide their children with a sound education instead of subjecting them to IB's globalist indoctrination.
The local paper, the CDA Press, ran a Letter to the Editor by the Kolers which unfortunately, is no longer available online. However, the PTA .pdf to the right contains the bulk of the letter.
Currently, there is a Letter to the Editor response to the Koler's letter from an IB student.
TAIB has learned that the North Idaho Tea Party will be supporting the Kolers in their effort to get IB removed from Coeur d'Alene public schools!
If you want to get involved, please contact your local organizers Duncan & Aileen HERE
Why is IB a Secret in Idaho?
Because of the diligence of the Kolers, this is the first time TAIB has taken the opportunity to do some snooping around in Idaho and frankly, we are very suspicious about what we are discovering.
According to IBO, both Coeur d'Alene and Lake City High Schools were authorized as IB World Schools in 2006. This means that both schools began the application process in 2004 and that money has been flowing to IBO for six years. So what do these two high schools have to show for their IB "investment"? From what we can see on the web, nothing! Coeur d'Alene High School does have its student course description guide for 2009-2010 available online. But wait! Where are the descriptions for the IBDP courses? A scan of the guide revealed only one mention of International Baccalaureate - a recommendation to AP Bio students to sit for the IB SL Bio exam in the spring. TAIB triple checked this because we found it rather unfathomable, but that was it, one mention. If Coeur d'Alene isn't offering the IB program, why is it flushing $9,600 a year down the toilet to remain "authorized" by IBO? Better yet, why has IBO kept Coeur d'Alene authorized as an IB World School if it isn't offering its Diploma Program?
As to Lake City High School, there is no course description guide available online and while it does dedicate a page on its website to International Baccalaureate, the only information is a link back to the IBO website.
According to Wapedia, (not the most reliable of sources but information appears very scarce about IB in Idaho), the district is considering implementing the IB PYP in two (2) of its elementary schools. As of right now, those schools are not authorized by IBO, but it is possible application has already been made.
TAIB urges the good folks in Idaho to join forces with the Kolers in demanding fiscal accountability and the removal of IB from your schools. Your taxdollars have been wasted on this foreign organization for six years with absolutely nothing to show for it. Districts do not have any sort of contract with IBO, they are free to drop it at anytime. Tell your district to stop the wasteful expenditure of your taxdollars and stop further pursuit of expansion of a program that is clearly not working.
WAY TO GO IDAHO!
This is how you do it patriots! Make your voices and values heard, politely, loud and clear.
TAIB received a copy of the print version (right) - the entire online version is now available and comments are open.
"It is clear to me that the IB program reflects a broader shift in the public school curriculum of many regions of this country, a shift toward a more relativistic, globalist and secular humanist world view," said Tyler Smotherman, Coeur d'Alene High School's student council president. "In my IB classes that I've taken, I've noticed a clear slant toward naturalism, socialism, radical environmentalism, pantheism, buddhism, gay marriage, abortion rights and other topics that could be grossly categorized as progressive or leftist or what have you, and I say grossly because those words are really inadequate."
Smotherman said he has also witnessed hostility toward some ideologies and belief systems like Christianity, American exceptionalism, traditional gender roles, capitalism, "and other topics that can be roughly categorized as more conservative."
The article also states: "Trustees heard from 22 members of the public, more than half pleading for the district to eliminate all IB-related programs from schools because they say IB promotes a United Nations agenda of global citizenship, is anti-American, costly and a threat to citizens' rights."
Right on, CDA patriots! Good for you for getting out and making your concerns heard! Keep up the good work!
The CDA Press also ran a "response" from IB Diploma candidates to criticism of IB.
I wish to add to The Press' reporting of the April 5, 2010, School Board meeting and the citizens' comments about IB. Those who spoke against the program did so passionately but respectfully, and included a number of well- and internationally-educated citizens who had done their own research.
The students who spoke for the program stated unequivocally that there was never, ever any left-wing bias in their classes. This stood in stark contrast to CHS Student Body President Tyler Smotherman, who gave a reasoned analysis and offered his observations shared by other CHS IB students he spoke with that the IB program carried a decidedly radical left-wing tilt.
Not once has any proponent of IB disputed the research we have done, and the things we found that UNESCO and the IB Organization ("IBO") say about their education programs. We have provided citations to these UNESCO and IBO writings to all concerned, including the school board. Instead, the pro-IB folks point to the flowery, lofty-sounding marketing pablum put out by IB to sell their program.
The only contentiousness shown at the meeting was by those pro-IB speakers who resorted to name-calling, labeling myself and others opposed to the program as "propagandists" and "extreme right-wingers." I am informed that Trustee Edie Brooks echoed these sentiments after the meeting. Interestingly, Ms. Brooks claimed to be "conservative." Please, let's base our arguments on research and reason, and not resort to name-calling, as some have recently, both at the school board meeting and in The Press.
The defenders of IB (i.e., the IB teachers, their students and the "conservatives" on the board) claim that U.N. globalist curriculum is not reaching our kids through IB, because the curriculum is written locally by our teachers. In other words, they claim the teachers are filtering out the globalist, anti-American, anti-Christian material from IB. Let's review the facts linking the U.N. to the IBO and to our local students:
The U.N. says: (1) we need to downplay nationality in teaching, lest the kids identify too strongly with their country (this was written about in the 1948 UNESCO handbook, "Is There a Way of Teaching for Peace?"); (2) we need to teach "peace" defined by the U.N. as social equity (redistribution of resources); (3) we need to teach "sustainable development" (meaning putting resources out of reach and redistributing others under the guise of environmentalism and social equity); (4) we need to teach local-to-global activism to our kids; and (5) the U.N.'s related Non-Governmental Organizations (called "NGO's) - including IBO, are legally bound to execute UNESCO's educational objectives and to report back to UNESCO on their activities and results.
The IBO says: (1) that IB's goal is to create true global citizens with the ability to persuade others to their way of thinking; (2) that it's "no coincidence" that IB's Diploma Program grew out of the ideas from the 1948 UNESCO handbook's ideas regarding teaching a "special kind of history," teaching community activism and teaching acceptance of others' ideas; (3) Teaching "values" is a fundamental part of the IB/PYP programs, including the "values" of compulsory community service, openness to change, social equity/peace and sustainable development.
Our children say: (Hayden Meadows PYP 4th graders wrote "Essays to the President" titled, "If I could change the World" over the past two years. These essays are on display in the Hayden Meadows lobby.) Here are some of their suggestions for changing the world: (1) no factories; (2) no cars; (3) no logging or cutting down trees; (4) no building; (5) remove buildings and set more land aside just for animals; (6) stop global warming; (7) free housing for everyone; (8) take away all guns and weapons; (9) make everyone feel equal; and (10) "take the bull by the horns" and start to change the community first, then the nation, then the world. Ironically, the board announced that Hayden Meadows fourth-graders and their teacher were receiving a community service award for their activism in the community at the school board meeting.
It strikes me that the kids are learning exactly what UNESCO and IB aim to teach, mainly "Can't Do" instead of "Can-Do" American exceptionalism. Not one of the PYP fourth-graders suggested anything like, "find a cure for cancer," or "discover a new clean energy source." Also, we keep hearing about the need for change, openness to change and to be community activists for change. This sounds eerily familiar. What change? Draw your own conclusions, but first do your own research.
Where is the school board on all this? On March 1, I presented a formal request to have the IB/PYP program made an agenda item for open discussion at the April 5 school board meeting (i.e., a dialogue between the board and the citizens, instead of 3-minute citizens' comments while the board sits silent). In response, I received a letter denying my request. Instead, the board announced it will hold a public workshop to discuss "Schools of Choice" on May 17 at 5 p.m. at LCHS. They say that workshop will include discussion of IB/PYP.
To summarize, U.N. education is in our schools, and our bright kids are learning their lessons well. In response to legitimate, researched concerns about the U.N.-based curriculum our school board brought to our schools, we have encountered from pro-IB'ers, including school board trustees, demonization and an attempt to hijack and re-frame the issue as one of "choice." Let's take responsibility for our children and demand accountability from our school board - please be there on May 17.