The South Orange-Maplewood school district is located in northern New Jersey in Essex County. The district has six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Overall, in 2010 according to the NJ School Report Card, the district produced a 98.3% high school graduation rate. Columbia High School also has impressive student participation in its 21 AP courses, 700 students total.
So what would cause this district to decide to move ahead with a "deleveling" concept for both of its middle schools along with the implementation of the IB MYP?
As is typical with many public school districts which decide to purchase IB, the first major disclosure by the Board of Education occurred back in December, 2011, right before Christmas vacation. This is akin to a Friday night news dump by the White House.
The Maplewood Patch has been the main source of "reporting" for the happenings in the district. It wasn't until March, 2012, that TAIB representative Katie Bell attempted to inject some comments following recent IB Patch op-eds. As with every Patch editor across the country with the exception of Tony Schinella of the Concord Patch, Editor Mary Mann immediately declared that Patch is a "private, hyperlocal site" and that comments from people who don't live in Maplewood are not welcome. By contrast, an op-ed from Beth Brock, one of IBO's highest paid employees and overseer of the IB Fund out of Bethesda, MD, (who happens to be a Maplewood resident), is welcome. Maplewood Patch claims that Ms. Brock "no longer works for the IB", however, her departure must have been fairly recent because she was employed by IB for all of 2010.
Mary Mann has singlehandedly decided that Marian Cutler's well written op-ed on IB, is sufficient to represent questioning of IB in Maplewood. Below are the links to all of the articles Patch has produced thus far, followed by a page shot of Ms. Mann's decision to delete Katie Bell's posts and e-mail correspondence between TAIB's Lisa McLoughlin and Mary Mann.
TAIB urges the residents of South Ornage-Maplewood to come up with a "ticket" to challenge the three announced BoE candidates who are not only vocal supporters of IB in the district's Middle Schools, but have announced a "vision" to bring IB into the high school. As TAIB has demonstrated over and over again, when you bring IB into an AP high school, AP gets the short end of the stick and gets drastically reduced, if not eliminated entirely.
Conlan, Rachel, Mar 13 05:56 pm (EDT):
I'm looping in Jeff Grossman from our Legal team for his advice on how to further respond to Ms. McLoughlin regarding her threats of a libel suit.
RACHEL CONLAN Sr. Contracts Specialist - Legal AOL Inc. 22000 AOL Way - Dulles, VA 20166 P 703-265-4828 - F 703-466-9253 AIM RachelConlan07
Mary Mann, Mar 13 05:46 pm (EDT):
Lisa, I am forwarding your email to our legal department. Thank you, Mary
> Mary, > > Thank you for your reply. > > May I respectfully point out that Ms. Budhos claimed she and her husband > had been in effect, lobbying for IB for 10 years. Would you please tell me > when Ms. Brock moved to the Maplewood community? Or have she and Ms. Budhos > been "colleagues" for the past 10 years? If Ms. Brock has been instrumental > in promoting IB for 10 years as well, 80% of that time (up until 2010, so > you claim) she was one of IBO's highest paid employees! That's not > "volunteer" work. That is active interference with local education on the > behalf of a Swiss NGO. > > You seem to consider the BoE's agreement to make application to IB a "done > deal". There is absolutely no binding contract obligating Maplewood school > district from completing the application process, which it appears was done > without allowing the community an opportunity to scrutinize accurate > financial projections and the schoolwide implications of "transforming" MMS > to an IB World School. > > I am sorry you feel you need to bias Patch's presentation of the issue in > favor of IB by limiting QUESTIONING of IB to s single, very bright, but > lone voice. I further regret the fact that you appear to provide support > for an individual who would libel my website. I am not a litigious person, > however Ms. Budhos' comment in which she attempts to speak for the > community in an effort to discredit my website as well as my integrity, > fits the definition of libel quite appropriately. A retraction or an > apology on Ms. Budhos' part is in order if she wishes to avoid legal action. > > Regards, > Lisa E. McLoughlin > > ------------------------------ > *From:* Mary Mann <firstname.lastname@example.org> > *To:* LISA MCLOUGHLIN <email@example.com> > *Sent:* Tuesday, March 13, 2012 1:48 PM > *Subject:* Re: IB in Maplewood > > Lisa, > I contacted Ms. Budhos to clarify her comment in calling Beth Brock a > "colleague." Ms. Budhos explained that she used the word incorrectly. She > considered Brock a colleague in the sense that they had both been > volunteering their services as parents in the school district to promote > the adoption of IB by the district. Ms. Budhos does not nor has she ever > worked for the IB. Ms. Brock no longer works for the IB. > > Thanks so much for your offer to post an Op-Ed. I think Marian Cutler has > taken on the role of questioning IB very well for the community. Also, > since the school board has already adopted the program, the point is rather > moot. Maplewood Patch is going to move on from IB Op-Eds to other > discussions in the community (we have school board elections and Township > Committee elections upcoming), though I am sure the topic will continue to > surface as IB MYP is implemented in our middle schools. I would be very > happy to contact you as a source if we do more stories about IB in the > future. > > Yours, > Mary Mann > > On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM, LISA MCLOUGHLIN <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote: > > Dear Ms. Mann, > > My name is Lisa McLoughlin and I am the administrator of Truth About IB. > Katie Bell, whose comments you have deleted, is my friend and yes, she > posted to Maplewood Patch on my computer under my direction. > > It is one thing to attempt to limit comments to your local community. It > is quite another to allow the author of two pro-IB op-eds the opportunity > to state the following: > > Marina Budhos <http://maplewood.patch.com/users/marina-budhos> > 10:41 pm on Monday, March 12, 2012<http://maplewood.patch.com/articles/op-ed-a-response-to-kicking-the-tires#comment_2728679> > Marian, > I believe my colleague Beth Brock has posted her response as well. >http://maplewood.patch.com/articles/op-ed-kicking-the-tire-redux > She has vast knowledge about costs, about programs throughout the country, > and can give perspective that is missing from your piece. Any piece that > draws from TruthaboutIB, as this community is aware, is not credible.
> I am quite curious in what capacity Mrs. Budhros considers Ms. Brock a > "colleague". IB has not filed its 2011 IRS 990, so I cannot confirm as yet, > if Ms. Brock received a severance package from IB in 2011. Even if she did > leave IB in 2011, I'm sure that she is available for "consulting" purposes > for IB. > It would be one thing if Brock and Budhros were trying to attract > students to a private school that offered IB. It is quite another when they > are pushing a very expensive, unproven product on the taxpayers of > Maplewood, NJ. > I am not a paid lobbyist or selling any product. I am a suburban Mom of > two college graduates, a taxpayer and an American citizen. IB is an > "international" product being sold by an organization that brought in just > under $100,000,000 in 2010. As mentioned in the New York Times<http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/03/education/03baccalaureate.html?pagewanted=all?pagewanted=all>, > my website serves as a "clearinghouse" for concerned parents from across > the country (and around the world) who find IB's programmes and ideology > objectionable. > I respectfully request "equal time" in the form of an op-ed. Before I > spend my time composing one, please let me know if you would consider > publishing it. > Regards, > Lisa E. McLoughlin > Truth About IB <http://truthaboutib.com