International Baccalaureate rushed through

February 21, 2007

 An e-letter produced by EdWatch, a nonprofit organization. 

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Please read EdWatch update on IB for background. Excerpt: "IB is hostile to the foundational principles of the United States. Our Declaration of Independences says: We hold these truths to be self-evident. One of the foundational pillars of the United States is recognition of objective truth, real truth. IB undermines this principle and aggressively teaches the contrary view."

Yesterday three bills to expand International Baccalaureate in Minnesota moved through the House E-12 Education Policy Committee.  Most of the IB time was used hearing its high praises. EdWatch and the Minnesota Family Council were allowed a very few minutes of opposition testimony, but were cut off for "lack of time." The proponents were then called back up to counter the criticism. This committee clearly does not want to hear much about the serious dangers with IB. All three bills passed on voice votes and are already scheduled for a House K-12 Education Finance Committee hearing tomorrow, February 24th, at 2:15 p.m. in Room 10 of the State Office Building.

Streaming audio of the hearing can be heard here, or download MP3. Chief author (HF804) Rep. Atkins, in response to an important criticism of IB, stated: "The local school district and the local school board continue to make all curriculum decisions."

The Brooklyn Center IBO grant application, however, states it entirely differently. It says, "The IBO validates [approves or disapproves] the standards [curriculum] of each school's assessments."

One school administrator described the process to EdWatch this way: "In the Primary Program (PYP), IB tells you that you will teach the IB curriculum three hours of every day and you will teach your own curriculum, including your state standards, the other three hours. IB also tells you, however, that you must incorporate the values and attitudes of IB into 'your'  three hours,and that IB must also approve the standards [curriculum] and tests for your three hours. In other words, the entire curriculum is basically IB."

The statement by Rep. Atkins, that "the local school district and the local school board continue to make all curriculum decisions," is false, then, and legislators are voting for IB on the basis of this false statement.

HF804, was taken up first. It adds IB funding to the current Advanced Placement funding (AP). It increases the availability of IB, increases the number of students who participate, funds teacher training and instruction, further develop IB courses or programs, purchases curriculum, pays course or program fees, and hires IB licensed teachers. It also begins a grant program to schools with a plan to establish a new IB program. It appropriates $7.3 million in 2008 and $8.111 million in 2009 for, IB, AP, and preadvanced placement.

House authors: Atkins, Joe (DFL) ; Benson, John (DFL) ; Swails, Marsha (DFL); Greiling, Mindy (DFL); Hilstrom, Debra (DFL); Marquart, Paul (DFL); Dittrich, Denise (DFL); Anzelc, Tom (DFL) ; Heidgerken, Bud (R); McFarlane, Carol (R) ; Mariani, Carlos (DFL); Demmer, Randy (R); Murphy, Mary (DFL); Garofalo, Pat (R) ; Mahoney, Tim (DFL) . Senate authors (SF 589): Bonoff, Terri E (DFL); Rest, Ann H; Clark, Tarryl L.   

The other two IB bills were heard at the end of the hearing. They fund IB for primary (PYP) and intermediate (MYP) IB programs in South St. Paul and Brooklyn Center. All students in these schools will be part of the program, meaning there is nothing voluntary. People familiar with the programs describe it as pure indoctrination into a radical, world-citizen worldview.

HF 417/SF 448 is a five-year pilot program for South St. Paul. It will fund SSP's implementation of IB for the primary and intermediate level programs for the entire district. SSP is already implementing the program district-wide.
House authors: Bigham, Karla (DFL); Atkins, Joe (DFL); Hansen, Rick (DFL) ; Greiling, Mindy (DFL); Abeler, Jim (R)
Senate authors: Sieben, Katie; Metzen, James P.

HF 233/SF220 funds a five-year pilot program in Brooklyn Center for all grades in the district. It pays for preparatory activities, in-service for teachers, curriculum and instruction materials, startup costs, annual operation, instruction costs, implementation costs, and the costs of achieving learning outcomes and timelines.
House authors: Hilstrom, Debra (DFL); Abeler, Jim (R)
Senate authors: Scheid, Linda  

The House Finance Committee will roll these three IB proposals into a massive omnibus education spending bill. They will be just a few items in a monster. The Senate is expected to do the same. Unless legislators hear from the public, beginning now, these IB bills will not have so much as an amendment on the House floor to delete them from the final bill.

Governor Pawlenty supports and promotes IB. Unless he hears from the public, he will sign IB expansion into law.

What can you do?
1. Call your own legislators. (See who represents you: Click here.)
Tell them to author an amendment to delete the IB funding on the House and Senate floor. Tell them to vote to remove IB funding.  Many Republicans are unwilling to oppose the Governor. Tell them that to make their opposition known to the Governor and urge him to withdraw his support for IB.

2. Contact Governor Pawlenty.
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone: (651) 296-3391
Phone: (800) 657-3717
Fax: (651) 296-2089

Tell him to withdraw his support for IB and pledge to veto the legislation.

3. Send this information about International Baccalaureate on. Most people have not even heard of the program.

4. Help EdAction raise money for radio ads exposing this agenda.
Contact us at 952-361-4931 or email us here.

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