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[COMMENT: Government controlled education will always
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EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
March 17, 2007
The International Baccalaureate
Critics of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program
often say that IB is "un-American." IB supporters, on the other hand, say that
participating schools can write their own curriculum, so the content of the
curriculum is really up the schools -- not the International Baccalaureate
Organization (IBO). In this ongoing debate over IB, who is right? (The IBO
website says that IB is now in 680 American schools.)
by Allen Quist
IB's Core Curriculum Requirement
Can IB schools write their own curriculum? IB schools
can write their own curriculum so long as the beliefs and values of the
curriculum agree with the beliefs and values of IB. The philosophy of IB must be
incorporated into the school's core classes.
When schools adopt the IB program, they agree to the
Notice that in the IB "Standards and Practices" quoted
above, the words "beliefs and values" are used three times. One has to be
impressed by this extraordinary emphasis IBO places on requiring that member
schools teach its beliefs and values. IBO leaves no doubt about requiring its
schools to teach the guiding philosophy of IB. This heavy emphasis additionally
raises the question: Is IB primarily about education? Or is it more about
- Program Standards and Practices:
- Section A: philosophy
- Standard A1: There is close alignment between the educational
beliefs and values of the school and those of the [IB] program.
- 1. The school is committed to the principles defined in the IBO
- 2. The school is committed to developing in students the qualities,
attitudes and characteristics described in the IB learner profile.
- 3. There are clear and close connections between the school's
published statements of mission and philosophy, and the beliefs and
values of the [IB] program.
- 4. The beliefs and values that drive the [IB] program are shared by
all sections of the school community (including students, teachers,
administrators, members of the governing body and others, as
Program standards and practices, International Baccalaureate
Organization, Geneva, CH-1218, Switzerland, Published September 2005 by
the International Baccalaureate Organization.]
What are the "beliefs and values" of IB?
IBO insists that its beliefs and values form the
core of the IB curriculum. IBO calls its curriculum "the best possible
curriculum to be enjoyed by all who participate". What is this curriculum?
The same paragraph in which IBO claims to have the best possible curriculum also
clarifies that the essence of the IB curriculum is teaching students "those
human values which are recognized as universal; these are embodied in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, [as stated in Article 26] adopted and
proclaimed by the General assembly of the United Nations in 1948" [A
Continuum of International Education, published by IBO, p. 10, all emphasis
in the original].
That is, IBO says its curriculum is "the best possible"
for two interrelated reasons: (1) The IBO curriculum focuses on the beliefs
and values it says are universal. These beliefs and values are seen by IBO,
therefore, as being superior to the parochial beliefs and values of mere nations
that are less than universal. That is, IB believes that it teaches the universal
beliefs and values which are superior to the limited beliefs and values of the
And (2) IBO says its curriculum is "the best possible"
because IB teaches the beliefs and values of the UN as defined in the UN's
Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR]. This UN document specifically
requires supporting nations to promote all the activities of the UN in its
education program [UDHR, Article 26.]. This means that IBO is committed to
teaching the beliefs and values contained in numerous UN treaties and accords
the United States does not support such as Kyoto, the UN Treaty on the Rights of
the Child, the Earth Charter, Agenda 21, the Biodiversity Treaty and many
others. (IBO formed a partnership with UNESCO in 1996.)
Teaching the Beliefs and Values of IBO
As mentioned above, IBO requires member school to
teach its courses from the IB point of view. This requirement is clearly stated
in the Minnesota School District # 6078 federal grant application, which says:
"Units will ... integrate IB philosophy and concepts into core content
curriculum." [p. 70]
The IB curriculum in A.C. Flora High School in South
Carolina illustrates how the IB values are incorporated into math and language
classes. A.C. Flora describes its IB curriculum as follows:
At A. C. Flora the French classes have continuously integrated global
concerns, such as pollution, endangered species, health issues (obesity,
aging, AIDS, cloning), space research, human rights, and the death
One wonders how much French IB students are learning when they are studying AIDS
and the death penalty. A. C. Flora describes its math curriculum as follows:
Math Studies curriculum explores problems concerning the weather,
environmental protection, conservation, and energy. . . The statistics unit
will examine a variety of problems from a global perspective, such as the
disparity of wealth distribution between first and third world countries.
How much math are students learning as they study wealth distribution? (They are
actually learning Marxist ideology in math class.) IB Latin looks like this:
In Latin, [at A. C. Flora] an ancient language, students will examine the
ancient world as a sounding board to measure and compare the global issues
in a modern world. Students will discuss the impact on the Roman world, as
well as their own, of such topics as women's rights, slavery, and national
(A.C. Flora High School described these classes in the 2002 IB Introductory
Seminar given in Danvers, MA. These classes were said to be "designed for
schools from around the world interested in becoming part of the IB Program."
That is, IB held up this A. C. Flora curriculum as a model IB curriculum.)
When students are studying "wealth distribution" and
"national imperialism," they are not learning much math and Latin. The United
States is treated as an "imperialist" country by IB, of course, and is compared
to Japan during World War II. The main concern about IB, however, is this:
When the beliefs and values of IB are even taught in math, French and Latin
classes, as well as in every other class, it becomes abundantly clear that IB is
more about indoctrination than about education. Indeed, at numerous points
IBO says that its purpose is teaching the beliefs and values that create
students who are "world citizens." IB leaves no room for doubt about the nature
of its curriculum.
To ensure that that the IBO-UN beliefs and values are
adequately indoctrinated into its students, IBO and the UN are now writing their
own textbooks and other materials. The
IBO website states:
Undermining the Beliefs and Values of the United States
- The Global Teaching and Learning Project of the UN in New York accepted
an IBO tender to produce two teaching booklets about UN global issues. ...
The project has been undertaken by the International Baccalaureate
Curriculum and Assessment Centre in Cardiff using experienced curriculum
writers from around the world, principally in IB World Schools, and having
UN input and approval of the 20 units completed. They will be copyrighted by
the UN, with acknowledgement to the IBO for its work, and disseminated to
the governments of all member states for use in schools. The content of the
booklets reflects the structure and philosophy of the IB programs ...
IBO not only teaches its own worldview, it simultaneously
undermines the beliefs and values of the United States (also called the
"American creed"). And what are the beliefs and values of the United States?
They are stated in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The
American creed includes national sovereignty; universal truth; the equality of
all persons; God-given, inalienable rights of life, liberty and property;
limited government; free enterprise; natural law; rule by the people;
constitutional government and other related values and principles.
It is important to understand that the American creed
says its principles are true not only for Americans, but are also true and right
for all people. The principles are universal.
It is this universal nature of the American creed that is
consistently undermined by IB. That is, IB teaches that our creed may be
acceptable to some Americans, but it does not contain universal truths and
values that are good for all Americans and certainly not good for other nations.
The IB curriculum, for example, makes the following accusation against free
This IB description means that Americans may think of
free enterprise as being good for all people and nations, but it is actually
only good for some people and nations while it is bad for others. Free
enterprise is not a universal value according to IB. In contrast, IB says that
it teaches values that are universal. This theme -- that our beliefs and
values may be good for some people but not for everyone, while IB provides the
universal beliefs and values -- is the unifying theme around which the IB
beliefs and values are constructed.
- Both Democrats and the Republicans supported a more or less unrestrained
capitalist system. They believed that it offered unique incentives to hard
work and opportunities for all -- even though there was plenty of evidence
that it left many people very poor and a few grotesquely rich. [IB
History of the America: Politics Old and New]
The American Creed versus the IBO-UNESCO Creed:
How different are the American creed and the
IBO-UNESCO creed? The following table describes some of the differences:
|Right to bear arms
|No double jeopardy
|Church & state separation
|Natural law recognition
There are other significant differences between the
American creed and that of IBO-UNESCO. For example, our Constitution guarantees
that a person's property cannot be taken by government without just
compensation. IBO-UNESCO has no such guarantee.
The biggest difference between the American Creed and
that of IB-UNESCO, however, is this: Our Declaration of Independence states that
government exists to protect the God-given, inalienable rights of all persons.
The Tenth Amendment to our Constitution restates the same doctrine as follows:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution ... are
reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." That is, human rights
belong to the people, and government has only those rights given it by the
people. Our rights have higher standing than government.
The UN and IBO, in contrast, subscribe to the exact
opposite view of human rights. The UN's
Universal Declaration of Human
Rights [UDHR] says: "These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised
contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." [UDHR,
Paragraph 29, Article 3]
This means that under the UDHR, people have only those
rights the UN says they have. But under the U.S. Bill of Rights, government has
only those rights the people say it has. UN-IBO turn human rights on its head,
and it takes the same view of human rights as, for example, the constitution of
Cuba, which says that Cubans have freedom of speech -- as long as their speech
conforms to the wishes of the government of Cuba.
IBO and Multiculturalism
IBO frequently says that its curriculum is organized around "multiculturalism."
IBO defines multiculturalism when it says,
"These programmes encourage students ... [to] understand that other people, with
their differences, can also be right." IBO means that the American creed may be
right for many Americans, and the Iranian creed may be right for many Iranians,
but the IBO creed is the universal creed that is right for everyone.
Every subject in the IBO curriculum is taught from this
same unifying perspective. Students are asked "to be familiar" with their own
"traditions," including their own history, government, religion and the like,
but students are taught to view these subjects as merely their own cultural
"traditions," while other countries see and do things differently. No country's
traditions may be seen as superior to the traditions of any other nation. They
are all equal and limited to their particular culture. IBO, in contrast,
provides the beliefs and values that are universal and, are, therefore, good for
Following this theme, IBO defines its multicultural
Theory of Knowledge (TOK), which it says is at the core of its curriculum, by
asking: "Freedom Fighter or Terrorist?" and answering: " 'Honest disagreement is
often a good sign of progress.' [Mahatma Gandhi]." (The
Learner Profile, Slide # 17) The point being that Americans may be right in
calling some people "terrorists," while Palestinians may be right in calling the
same people "freedom fighters," but both the American view and the Palestinian
view are of little importance because they are limited to being right only in
the postmodern sense of reflecting the traditions of their own cultures. IB,
however, transcends particular cultures and believes it views such matters from
the perspective of universal values.
The issue of the IB curriculum is not primarily a matter
of the subjects being taught. The question is not, for example, whether the U.S.
Constitution and U.S. history are taught -- the question is how they are taught.
Are the beliefs and values of American history and the Constitution taught as
containing universal truths and values and being, therefore, good for everyone?
Or are they taught as being good for some but not others? And, are the beliefs
and values of IB-UNESCO promoted in the classes as superior to the beliefs and
values of the American creed? These are the questions we must ask.
A Student's Experience
Given the reality of the IB curriculum, one
student described his literature class this way:
- ... literary merit wasn't in the mind of those who created the reading
lists in my IB English classes; multiculturalism and gender concerns were.
After reading some Shakespeare and Dickens's classic Tale of Two Cities, our
dead-white-guy quota was just about full. So, instead of Plato's Republic we
read Ngugi wa Thiong's Weep Not, Child; instead of Catcher in the
Rye we read Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony; and instead of Dante and
Cervantes we read Soseki and Rulfo. ..
Western classics that form the foundation of our literary canon The Sun
Also Rises, The Grapes of Wrath, The Scarlet Letter were absent. So,
too, the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Literature that had
stood the test of time was sacrificed for contemporary works that addressed
immediate cultural or feminist struggles. ...
And it's particularly disgraceful to forgo teaching such important works
because of dubious diversity concerns. This was not the core knowledge I had
Christianity. "Christianity" is defined by the author in the usual sense as
those organizations or persons who adhere to the Ecumenical Creeds of the
Christian Church and who believe Christianity is true in the universal sense
(not in a postmodern sense of being only true for Christians or Westerners).
This definition is necessary because IBO lumps Christianity as defined above
into the category of what it calls "fundamentalism" -- along with the Taliban
and various terrorist groups, saying that these "fundamentalist" groups are all
"dangerous." It would be difficult to imagine a more clear, and repugnant,
attack on Christianity.
The Religion of IBO
While IBO undermines Christianity, it also
advocates its own religion. IBO promotes the worldview of New Age-Pantheism guru
William Butler Yeats (see the link just above). Another New Age leader, Joseph
Campbell, is often required reading for IBO students. Like Yeats, Campbell
aggressively promotes "inclusive" New Age-Pantheistic doctrines while
Campbell argues that New Age religion provides the
universal doctrines of the unifying world religion. He argues that no religion
which claims exclusive truth should be followed -- the position of IBO as noted
above. Truth, says Campbell, can only be found in the common themes of all
religions -- which gives us a common world religion -- exactly what IBO desires.
IBO also teaches the beliefs and values of the Earth
Charter.* The Earth Charter requires
schools to engage in what it calls "spiritual education"; and how is spiritual
education defined? Spiritual education is explained by the numerous religious
symbols on the "Ark of Hope" which houses the papyrus copy of Earth Charter and
is promoted by the Earth Charter website. These religious symbols, without
exception, are New Age-Pantheism symbols. The
Ark of Hope website describes the Ark of Hope as being decorated with the
symbols of " 'Spirit' that honors the children and young animals of the world"
The Ark of Hope is an antitype of the Ark of the
Covenant. It is often carried about by priestesses in long flowing white gowns.
When not on tour, it often resides in the Temple of Understanding in New York
City, a temple the UN Chronicle headlines as being the "Spiritual United
Nations." [Spring, 2000, edition]
IBO subverts Christianity while at the same time
advocating New Age religion -- a clear violation of the separation of church and
state. This is not a problem for IBO, however, because it does not recognize the
separation of Church and state. Both Christians and non-Christians need to be
concerned about IBO religious indoctrination because IBO is inculcating New
Age-Pantheism in all its students, not just Christians. (When IBO speaks of
teaching "beliefs and values," it clearly includes religious beliefs and values
as part of the mix.)
SO DOES IBO ALLOW SCHOOLS TO WRITE THEIR OWN CURRICULUM?
IBO schools can write their own curriculum in the same sense
that Cubans have freedom of speech -- you can say anything you want so long as
it agrees with the party line. This party line is really all that matters to
*For public relations reasons, IBO had itself removed as a signator of the Earth
Charter in 2006. IBO still teaches the beliefs and values of the Earth Charter,
however, and is committed to doing so by its subscription to UDHR, Article 26.
The beliefs and values of IB have not changed.
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
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