STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
UN's International Baccalaureate Program Under Attack in NH
By Staff News & Analysis - April 18, 2012

Imagine, if you will, there is an international club that exists for the sole purpose of imposing the Constitution and Bill of Rights on every country in the world that doesn't already follow that form of government. Imagine that this club had a program that it sold to schools around the world. Imagine further that this program stipulated every subject taught must be framed within the club's above-mentioned political philosophy. Wouldn't you agree that allowing this club to invade and control public schools would be highly inappropriate? That's exactly what's happening with the International Baccalaureate program (www.ibo.org). We should instinctively understand the inappropriateness of allowing a club with a political agenda to control public schools. Yet, this United Nations-affiliated program is being invited in by some New Hampshire school boards and justified by some "conservative" New Hampshire legislators. – Nashua (NH) Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: What's wrong with the UN and its educational methods?

Free-Market Analysis: There is a public debate going on in New Hampshire over whether or not to ensure that the UN's International Baccalaureate "Programme" does not have a long tenure in New Hampshire colleges and universities.

The New Hampshire House has passed HB 1403 that promotes "state and national sovereignty and is not subject to the governance of a foreign body or organization." This bill is aimed directly at the UN's program. It has incited controversy on all sides.

The New Hampshire, UNH's student newspaper (reprinted in the NH Insider), sees the bill as an impediment to scholarship. Its editors have posted an editorial entitled, "NHDP – ICYMI: HB 1403 full of GOP nonsense." They write:

On Monday night [April 9], state legislatures, and dozens of angry citizens crammed into a small room in Bedford to discuss HB 1403, which the N.H. House passed after an eleventh-hour amendment. The bill, which was crafted by ultraconservatives, would "promote state and national sovereignty and is not subject to the governance of a foreign body or organization."

With the wording, though, the bill's writers took aim at a single program. HB 1403 would essentially cut the International Baccalaureate program – a demanding program comparable with advanced prep classes – from schools in New Hampshire.

The program is so rigorous and prestigious that students with IB diplomas who are accepted to Harvard are automatically eligible to become second year-students. And yet, a group of legislators was 45 minutes away from campus Monday arguing against the program because they said the bill promotes views of the "UN's values as well as encouraging [students] to be activists."

They say they don't want their money supporting the program, which is taught in 141 countries, if it has influences out of the country.

There are other points of view, of course. According to Wikipedia:

Political objections to the IBDP in the United States have resulted in an attempt to eliminate it from a public school in Pittsburgh. Some schools in the United States have eliminated the IBDP due to budgetary reasons and low student participation …

"In Utah, funding for the IBDP was reduced from $300,000 to $100,000 after State Senator Margaret Dayton objected to the program, stating, "I don't want to create 'world citizens' nearly as much as I want to help cultivate American citizens who function well in the world."

The issue is so controversial it's spawned its own anti-IB website called "AskIt! For IB." The site proclaims its mission is to explain "Everything you always wanted to know about IB but that MVSD officials wouldn't tell you …"

"This is an AskIt! website for your questions about all aspects of the UN's 'International Baccalaureate' program as it is implemented in the Merrimack Valley School District, New Hampshire," the site elaborates. The text then makes the following points, among others:

Fact: In order to spread the mission of IBO (which is the same as the mission and agenda of the UN), teachers are required to FRAME ALL subjects with a connection to globalism/internationalism, which often entails asking children to 'take action' on political issues. This could mean writing to the government to ask them to send money for more foreign aid, or for a cause, or taking up a collection, or even traveling to a foreign country to help them in some way.

Fact: Children are asked to question their values, and their parents' values. In the lower grades, students are checked often to make sure they follow and demonstrate 'international' values on a chart displayed in the classroom. A program called Theory of Knowledge is used at the high school level.

Fact: Students often complain of the burden of excessive homework loads, the triviality of the discussions, that they are not learning the proper basics of subjects like math and history, and that because of the excessive work, they have no time for anything else which makes them feel isolated from the rest of the world. This is ironic when you consider the attitudes that IB purportedly claims to want to instill (open-mindedness, risk taking, etc). Adults warn that you will be treated poorly if you dare to question IB. Proponents will publicly ridicule and call names about anyone who dares oppose it.

Conclusion: There is absolutely NO reason to send our local tax dollars to an organization that is basically a club of foreign entities, which then advocates the use of pedagogical methods that have been proven to "dumb down" learning (collectivism and egalitarianism), and even MORE objectionably, requires our schools to infuse their political dogma of "internationalism" and "global government" (with strong themes about redistribution of the wealth among nations throughout) into every subject in the curriculum.

The New Hampshire student newspaper cited above has its own take on the pushback. "At this point, though, it's tough to understand what these select Republicans believe. These are the ones, after all, who consistently say that issues like this should be sorted out at the local level. They don't want government getting involved. But when Bedford, at the local level, decided on the program, they went to bigger government to seek their 'solution.'

Here's some more from the article in defense of the UN's IB:

The IB program is doing its job. At a time when money is being slashed from budgets across the country, our legislators are debating cutting a proven program because other countries are using it. Do you know what else foreign countries are doing? Putting up better test scores than us. Teaching their students better. Producing well-rounded students who think for themselves.

Said Rep. Ralph Boehm, a Litchfield Republican: "Do we want our students indoctrinated to be world citizens or citizens of the United States?" This type of rhetoric completely misses the point of the program – to challenge the best students we have to offer and help them become better students. It has nothing to do with determining the citizenship of our students, as Boehm puts it.

For a group of legislators quick to cut funding in our schools, they fail to see the damage this would do at Bedford High School and the New Hampton School – two of the Granite State schools that offer the program. Passing HB 1403 would waste the funding already invested in the proven program, and cause the schools to spend more taxpayer money to find another program that challenges dedicated students. Further, the IB teachers at Bedford have come out and said they don't feel pressured to promote a socialist or foreign agenda – their concern is offering a rigorous program to ambitious students.

The goal of the bill is to eliminate programs that do not promote "states and national sovereignty" and are "subject to the governance of a foreign body or organization." The IB program doesn't threaten state and national sovereignty, but due to the language used in the bill, would be cut. That would be a mistake. After numerous cuts to academic funding, this is one of the few programs still in New Hampshire schools that successfully offers a rigorous curriculum. The fact that they're even discussing cutting it because of its ties with other countries is ludicrous.

The Nashua Telegraph article cited at the opening of this article concludes with the following statement: "Every subject taught within the International Baccalaureate program must be framed within the UN's internationalist, global government agenda. It charts students' 'attitudes' toward the same. That is the only requirement of the program, for which your tax dollars are going to Geneva."

It seems almost every time we turn around another globalist program is being offered and promoted. The pushback is mostly in the US, it seems, which is why the US has been targeted so relentlessly in the past by supporters of globalism. US exceptionalism is still part of the country's culture in the Red States especially. It is this small-R republicanism that the globalists seek to eradicate.

After Thoughts

Those who want world government are determined to get it and the UN is a chosen vehicle of indoctrination. These programs are never what they likely seem to be. And this UN "degree" program no doubt isn't either.

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