June 07, 2006
It has been called fuzzy. Some even label it a United Nations plot. It's the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and it's ruffling feathers in Minnesota and around the nation. Created in Switzerland in 1968, the IB curriculum emphasizes rigorous global standards and self-motivated learning. But not everyone is pleased with its planetary flavor. IB is "un-American," declares Julie Quist, vice president of EdWatch. "It teaches global citizenship as a priority over American citizenship." But most find that debate silly. "How do you define un-American?" asked Southwest High School senior Chelsea Zimmerman. "Is it being aware that other countries exist? I just think that's preposterous." Right-o, Chelsea. As discussed above, in today's world, global awareness is indispensable. True, we've had some issues with IB. But it's quite possible for the curriculum to teach American civics while also supplying world class academics. Berating IB for its lack of nationalist fervor makes little sense.
"IB strikes a nerve as it catches on," by Norman Draper, Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 5, 2006