International Baccalaureate Feeling the Heat

, Julie M. Quist, Leave a comment

“Federal funding for International Baccalaureate (IB) has been allocated from the Advanced Placement Program for a number of years.” (See “Federal 2007 Appropriations Bill” below.)

New resources opposing IB are popping up across the country. Opposition in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania has spawned an active website after the Upper St. Clair school board voted to drop its IB program last February. The American Civil Liberties Union retaliated by trying, and they are still trying, to bust the district’s budget in court. The board was forced to temporarily reinstate IB to avoid an expensive lawsuit. The Pennsylvania website posts two sample IB exams that reveal the Marxist, multi-cultural and feminist political worldview of the IB curriculum. (These will soon be posted on the EdWatch website.) Sample IB Exam Questions 1 and Sample IB Exam Questions 2.


This led to an identification with other peoples of color on a global level because of a shared history of victimization by whites. Many of the women did not accept official versions of the terrorists [9/11] as madmen. Their scepticism over the media portrayals offers further evidence of their marginal position as Americans. During such moments in the discussions their position as blacks became the most important characteristic of their cultural identity. One of the women, Stella, hypothesized that being black allowed for greater compassion towards the terrorists than whites would have.

And another:

[However,] the womens role as mothers was even more powerful than their disconnection from America, and challenged it. […] In talking, their frequent self-positioning as mothers was connected to the rejection of violence as a solution to the September 11 attacks. […] One woman, Nadine, said, I noticed that men and women have different views, as far as what we were experiencing, and how it should be handled all the females were like, more killing is not going to make it better. And men were like, the testosterone was on high. […] In her protective maternal role she refused to support Americas war. [However, as the mother of a Marine] she [stated]: I am proud of him. Her role as mother [once again] connected her to America.

Sample questions:

How can the notion of ethnicity be used to promote or control the position of a group in society?

Discuss how honour or shame or purity is used in the exercise of power and authority.

One former IB student, now at the Fordham Foundation, wrote the following:

“…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…Some of these books were bad, others were quite good. But those 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. The absence of Western classics is not merely frustrating; it’s a serious and inexcusable omission that deprives students of an essential piece of cultural currency. And it’s particularly disgraceful to forgo teaching such important works because of dubious diversity concerns. This was not the core knowledge I had been promised.”

Other recent sources of information regarding IB are:

March-April 2006 Education Advocate newsletter, “The International Baccalaureate Programme ”

Education Reporter, “IB Schools in U.S. Under U.N. Law International Baccalaureate: An Analysis of Jurisdiction”

Julie Quist is the Vice-President of EdWatch. This article is from their regular e-letter.