12.20.04 – The Orange County Register:

“Cost and staffing issues are serious ones. The Washington Times reported last month that U.S. schools involved in the program spend $85 million to $100 million a year to comply with IB standards. One Virginia school system spent $1.8 million in a year in additional costs, according to the article.”

“Kristine Spadt, a Beechwood parent who spoke against the IB proposal at the board meeting, gave me a copy of the e-mail she sent to the IB deputy director general asking about the potential use of the Earth Charter – a controversial United Nations-backed political document – and here’s the response she received:

“We did an analysis of existing topics … with the content of the Earth Charter and found that we already covered much of it if schools took up our suggestions for content: human rights, ecology, rights of the child – in fact sustainable development in both human and environmental dimensions.”

The Earth Charter (www.earthcharter.org) is radical stuff. It ignores the idea of property rights, promotes the notoriously corrupt United Nations as the key instrument of world peace, denounces the “dominant patterns of production and consumption,” and promotes universal health care and the “equitable distribution of wealth.”

The IB curriculum and the Earth Charter are separate, but the charter gives you a good idea of the values that lie at the heart of the IB program. A lot of the IB curriculum is of the “be nice to your neighbor” variety. But a lot of the rest of it is propaganda.

The November issue of IB World magazine, for instance, includes a typical story of a primary school IB program.  The students visited an animal sanctuary and took part in a debate organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, in which they debated whether it is OK to keep animals in captivity. That’s a politically charged agenda for grade schoolers, especially since they probably are not offered another side to the animal-rights story.

We are not citizens of the world, but citizens of America.

There’s much to value in other cultures, much to be gained by understanding how other peoples view the world. I would never argue that the American perspective is always the right perspective, or that students ought to be indoctrinated with pro-American jingoism, or that problems in America should be sugar-coated or ignored.

But students should not be taught that America is prosperous because of some geographic accident. The nation has succeeded because of the decisions of our founders, who created a Constitution that protects individual rights, private property, free markets, the rule of law and limited government.

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