Jonesboro School District Backs off International Baccalaureate Program (IBP)
- but its philosophy lives on in the magnet school programs
(See below for why community is concerned about IBP program and also nine links to other articles on IBO and magnet schools)
Jonesboro School District is in the process of implementing magnet schools, and in November, 2006, posted on their website the themes they had chosen for each magnet school: " INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (INTERNATIONAL BACCUALAREATE): ................................................................................. The school will apply for International Baccalaureate status as soon as possible."
As material about the IBP program was circulated in the district, the post in December read: "The school may apply for International Baccalaureate status if funding becomes available." However, citizens could get no definite answer from the administration as to whether they were or were not going to implement the IBP program.
As more material was circulated in the community about the IBP program, the post deleted the International Baccalaureate wording altogether and the post read and reads today: "INTERNATIONAL STUDIES at SAC - Arthur Jackson, Principal : The International Studies program will provide students with the background and skills for future career opportunities in the global community. Our curriculum will encourage students to be global minded as they explore how their world affects the bigger world in which we live. Students will participate in innovative and challenging hands-on experiences based on the core academic curriculum set by state and national standards. The curriculum will not be textbook driven but will focus on developing thinking and inquiring minds with opportunities for students to work in small groups and create projects." (Can be found at this link: http://www.jps.k12.ar.us/view/672)
The program still sounded like the International Baccalaureate program; but on January 25th after a citizen in the community sent an Educational Alert bulletin to every teacher in the district explaining the IBP program, the Assistant Superintendent sent out an email to all teachers within a couple of hours saying, "Many of you may have received an e-mail from an unknown individual about Magnet Schools today. The e-mail provided information regarding the International Baccalaureate program and the Hot Springs School District. Please remember, the Jonesboro District does not intend to open an International Baccalaureate program. Though this was one of the ideas explored early in our investigation, we will NOT have an IB program." (you can see this alert sent to the teachers at this link:) http://www.wpaag.org/IB%20-%20Educational%20Alert-Hot%20Spring%20Scores.htm Even after this email we were getting different stories.
Then on February 13, this notation was made in the Jonesboro minutes: Debbie Pelley, retired teacher from Westside School District, voiced her concern about Magnet Schools including funding, test scores, graduation rates, and the International Baccalaureate program. The International Baccalaureate program is not part of the JPS Magnet Schools. (Link to these minutes: http://www.jps.k12.ar.us/view.php/id/100)
So it is official that the Jonesboro School District has backed off the IBO program. However, no doubt, the philosophy of the International Baccalaureate program lives on in the International Studies program and other magnet schools being implemented in Jonesboro. The International Studies magnet and the Math and Science magnet school principals at Jonesboro both stressed in their presentations to the community that inquiry learning, discovery learning, hands on learning, no textbooks, and teachers as facilitators and as guides to learning rather than as an authority. . The worldwide director of IBO pretty much explains why they stress these particular types of learning. (Be sure to see blue font below and you can read the entire article from which these excerpts are taken at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/IB%20-%20Excerpts%20from%20Director%20Walker%20Himself.htm
What global education is and what it is not
International Baccalaureate Director George Walker
Walker (worldwide director of International Baccalaureate Program) explains what global education is and what it is not. First, global education is not what the average US citizen would think it is. It is not international awareness of other nationalities and their views, culture, and values; and it is not an academic education that prepares the student for international employment.
Instead Walker explains that a global student education is one that changes the belief system of the student so that the student no longer believes in patriotism and nationalism or the religion passed down by his culture. And it produces a citizen, in Walker's own words again, with the "skill of persuading [other] people to compromise or change their minds" as well, a citizen with "both the ability and the attitude that wants to shift another persons position as well as their own." (And they accuse the Christians and the conservatives of wanting to impose our religion and conservative views on society.)
Who defines truth?
Walker says truth is examined and "refocused" in all areas, including "religion and ethics." In other word, IB's truth transcends any truth we have had passed down to us through our religion. Truth comes through the student's own inquiry and experiences. Therefore, there is no truth or absolutes (of course, none but theirs). Or as Walker says, "How do we reconcile a spirit of inquiry with a patriarchal culture that values received wisdom and rote learning? How can a secular curriculum be adopted in a country where religious faith, rather than empirical observation, defines the limits of truth? Is it possible to be a free-thinking individual, perhaps perceived as amoral, in a culture where the rules and rituals are unconditionally accepted and rigorously adhered to?" [Note the reason for doing away with rote learning it is received wisdom]
We see now the reason for doing away with textbooks (received wisdom), student centered learning, and using the teacher as a facilitator rather than an authority. This approach promotes inquiry and trains the student to be his own expert and authority rather than his culture and religion. IB has to break down the students' religious viewpoints and patriotism to make them open up to believe that one religion is equal to another (that is, every religion but the Christian religion, and it is always under attack because it must be broken to produce the citizens they want.) Nationalism must be broken down because most nations reinforce a predominant religion. The end result, one world order and one world religion, Humanism.
For other links about International Baccalaureate Program see these articles at these links:
Description of International Baccalaureate (IB) Education by Director Himself
Little Rock and Arkansas Magnet School Failures
Magnet Schools Have Low Test Scores
Educational Alert, comparing Hot Springs & Jonesboro Scores & components of IBO
AR Anti-Christian Ed Program Will Promote Complete Disarmament
International Baccalaureate Program Results in Low Scores
IBO A Controversial UN Global Education Program That Conflicts With Judeo-Christian Values
Jonesboro and Texarkana Scores Compared (Texarkana has one IB school) and several magnet schools. They were one of the models Jonesboro used.
Jackson Tennessee Scores for magnet schools. (Jonesboro also used Jackson, Tennessee magnet schools as a model.