After the last School Board meeting, as you interacted with those in attendance you shared a brief conversation with me. During our conversation you offered the opportunity to visit the Middle Schools that are immersed in the International Baccalaureate program. I thank you for the suggestion and opportunity, and wish to accept your invitation.
I would also like more information under the freedom of information act concerning the costs of the International Baccalaureate program in the White Bear Lake School District. I would appreciate the following data:
The costs to date that District 624 has incurred related to any expenditures for the International Baccalaureate Program, district wide. This does not need to include the coordinator salary of which I am aware. Also, what are the budgeted costs going forward for the International Baccalaureate program in the White Bear Lake schools?
What is the current status of the International Baccalaureate program in District 624? What are the near future plans for the program?
Have there been any funds directed from the Advanced Placement Program to develop or support the International Baccalaureate program? How is the District funding the International Baccalaureate program in our schools?
Thank you again for the invitation to visit the schools in our district that have the international Baccalaureate program in their curriculum.
The following LTE was submitted to White Bear Lake News on 10/25/12. Let's see if it gets published:
Type Your Letter :As the administrator of www.truthaboutib.com, I am writing on behalf of the taxpayers and parents of White Bear Lake School District who have not been properly informed about the costs and expansion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in your district. One of your residents has already made an earnest attempt to review the required feasibility studies for IB in two of your Middle Schools and was told none exist. Furthermore, the district was unable to produce any documented research on IB, despite its claims in the Board Actions of September 12, 2012, that the district "refuted concerns they've heard" and "thoroughly studied IB before deciding to pursue it".
This sort of stonewalling and obfuscation is not only unacceptable, it is unAmerican. On September 11, 2012, this paper published a letter titled "IB Benefits" from Katherine Fleming who is not only employed as an IB Coordinator in another district, but who also receives compensation as an IB Examiner.
Each IB program will cost the taxpayers an average of $200,000 per year, per site. Can you really afford to waste that kind of money in these difficult economic times on a philosophical "framework" governed by Swiss Law?
These applications can be stopped, but time is a-wasting. Let your Board of Education and Superintendent know that your children deserve real academics, not expensive propaganda promoted by UNESCO and its well paid change-agents. Demand facts, do not accept hearsay. Children are not guinea pigs and there is no do-over in K-12 education.
WHITE BEAR TOWNSHIP — As a former International Baccalaureate (IB) teacher and coordinator in the South St. Paul school district, I’d like to clear up some questions expressed in the Press (Gary Hukreide’s Aug. 29 letter) about IB.
In its inception in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Organization was funded in part by UNESCO (and the Ford Foundation, among others). Since 1976, it has been self-supporting.
When I began as an IB coordinator, I had a few questions myself. First, I asked, Why IB? After only a few years’ experience with the program, I was able to answer my question.
The IB approach to curriculum and learning is outstanding. Simply put, no district on its own could begin to create such a well-designed framework for its students and teachers. At each level of the IB continuum, and on an ongoing basis, an appropriate curriculum framework is designed by teachers from around the world. In fact, with input from us teachers, accommodations are included for students with special needs.
Here’s another question I wrestled with: Why would colleges and universities offer advanced placement and credit to IB students who do well on assessments? Over time, I was also able to answer this question.
Frankly, colleges and universities admit plenty of high school graduates who are ill-prepared for college-level work. As a result, colleges compete for IB students because they know they are well prepared. In fact, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities admits recipients of the IB diploma with sophomore standing.
Finally, as a White Bear Township-based examiner for IB, every spring I grade 4,000-word research essays written by IB students from around the world, and the most uplifting part of the job is this: I can avow firsthand that our hard-working American students do as well as, or better than, their counterparts from other countries.
To my mind, an IB education prepares our students for a bright future in a shrinking world, and there’s nothing to be feared in that.
LTE Rebuttal paper refused to print (received by TAIB on 1/9/13)
Letter to the Editor:
Reading opinion letters in the White Bear Press the last several months there appears to be many questions about the International Baccalaureate program, especially now since it is integrated into White Bear Lake’s two Middle School’s curriculum.
A letter by Ms Fleming Sept 12 mentioned that IB papers are corrected internationally. That is one of many reasons why I am against the IB program. I do not want my child’s paper graded by someone in another country. As a parent, I feel if you cannot keep management of a curriculum in our own district, our children should not be immersed in it.
The writer neglects to mention that South St. Paul Public School went into AYP (did not make its Annual Yearly Progress gain under No Child Left Behind), and coincidently is one of the schools with the longest term IB program. In Feb 2012 Minnesota schools were brought under a new accountability system replacing NCLB.
If what Ms Fleming believes about IB, then grades in WBL should not remain flat but grow because of IB program influence? This should then also be true of Matoska, listed on the “new” way of ranking schools (as presented in the Press Sept. 5), as only 55% when compared to other schools in the state. Ironically, it is the only school in our district with the longest IB program.
In addition to its cost to our district, I am also concerned with the inquiry based instruction the IB uses. There is disagreement about this sole use of instruction and has been the subject of many discussions.
White Bear Lake School District
October 8th, 2012 - White Bear Lake Board of Education held a meeting attended by Gary H. where he addressed his concerns regarding International Baccalaureate. According to Gary, those present were "surprised and cordial". He has filed FOIA requests for the research compiled leading to the decision to expand IB in the district, along with a request for a copy of the Feasibility Studies and the application for Consideration for Candidacy.
As is typical with most Board of Ed meetings, the majority of those in attendance were administrators and teachers. Parents are either too busy, too tired or simply too disengaged and trusting to make attending Board meetings a priority. TAIB hopes more White Bear Lake parents will take the time to learn about IB and support Gary in opposing IB in WBL.
September 28, 2012 - Isn't that a rather odd choice of words? In a public school district, if parents express concerns about something, shouldn't the district address rather than refute those concerns?
Prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove.
Prove that (someone) is wrong.
What gives WBL the right to declare that parental concerns about this outrageously expensive, ideological program are false and wrong? What happened to "others with their differences, can be right"?
September 27, 2012 -TAIB is pleased to welcome concerned citizens of White Bear Lake, MN, to our site where we will work with you to bring awareness to your community about IB and try and stop the further implementation of IB programmes in your district. As events, notices and documents are added to this page, this block will move down, so chronological order will be from the bottom of the page to the top.
Currently, WBL has one IB PYP and is in the IB candidate phase for its two Middle Schools. There are nine elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Matoska International School was authorized by IBO in December, 2010. As we can see, this IB "creep" began in 2008, with the arrival of WBL's current Superintendent, Dr. Michael Lovett. Very cleverly, Dr. Lovett first introduced IB into only one of his nine elementary schools, providing parents with the illusion that IB was simply a choice and an upgrade to the system. But, as most IB change-agents seem to do, he is rapidly expanding IB to BOTH of WBL's Middle Schools and ultimately the High School (MYP runs through Grade 10) in a matter of 2-3 years, and when that happens, there will be no more choice. WBL will have the entire IB Continuum in place and once it's there, it is very difficult to eliminate.
Putting the ideological elements of IB aside for the moment, taxpayers of WBL need to consider the cost impact of IB on the annual budget and their school taxes. On average, it costs $200,000 per year, per school, to run IB. Dr. Lovett will dispute that and seek to minimize the cost, but this is a fact. So, $200,000 x 3 schools = $600,000 a year .... to start. Then when he adds the HS and a couple of more elementary schools, WBL will be spending well over $1M a year on IB.
It is also very important for residents of White Bear Lake to understand the "big picture" in terms of what is happening to your community. Having the UN (UNESCO) grab ahold of the minds of your children via IB is bad enough, but through Agenda 21, the UN has already named White Bear Lake an ICLEI and they are going after your water.
Please read the following SPECIAL REPORT issued by The American Policy Center, headed by Tom DeWeese, regarding Agenda 21 and how you can stop it!
The WBL Trustees have their phone numbers listed, which is a good sign. Your BoE is your ONLY means of stopping IB in your school system. All financial and curricular decisions rest solely in the hands of the BoE. The Superintendent may make recommendations, but the Board is the ultimate arbitor of what is approved. If you didn't regularly attend BoE meetings in the past, start now. The next regular WBL BoE meeting will be held on October 8th, and the next Work-Study meeting will be held on October 22nd. From experience, TAIB can tell you this is also a good sign. Now would be the time to put in a request to place IB on the agenda of the October 22nd meeting. Here is the schedule for the 2012-13 school year:
TAIB is pleased to share with you three Letters to the Editor, written by your very concerned and awake neighbor Gary Hukreide. If you would like to work with Gary to stop this UN menace in White Bear Lake, please e-mail TAIB at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch.