Standing up to the pro-IB steamrollers
| April 20, 2010 9:00 PM
The recent discussion over the International Baccalaureate curriculum is so typical of modern political debate. The opposing citizens use facts, the curriculum standards themselves, the expensiveness of it and the lackluster results. The proponents of IB use no facts, name-calling, obfuscation, denial, stonewalling, sidestepping and emotionalism to make their argument.
They should bring in Nancy Pelosi to cry at the microphone and tell us just how hurt she is by the intolerance of those "mean people." I've seen it before when I was asking my school district in Seattle for accountability concerning left-leaning education reform in the mid-90s. I was steamrolled.
I'm convinced that school districts see no problem with the global politically correct slant of the IB program. Teachers are predominantly leftist in their views and this is just the way they feel it should be. Most teachers and administrators live, work and play within the educrat bubble. Very few associate with anyone outside that sphere of influence. They go to leftist universities with leftist ideology and move straight into our schools without much real-world experience in a non-government union environment. They don't believe there is any credibility to the other side of important issues like global warming, social justice, homosexuality, government fiscal accountability, etc. Together they reinforce each other's beliefs and values. I don't think that they are liars or manipulators; they just cannot see the other side of political debates. Hence, the name-calling, lack of facts and their emotional backlash. They know better than you and all their friends agree with them. Diversity of thought is fine as long as they agree with it.
During the last 20 years educators have moved from effective educational practices to affective educational remediation. They are more concerned with our children feeling good about themselves than they are as to whether kids are actually learning pertinent information. Emolectual mentors have convinced educators that "self-esteem" is paramount to learning. Grades, standardized tests, rote learning, accountability, traditional values ... BAD. Feelings, tolerance, Mother Earth, victimhood, political correctness ... GOOD. Social engineering?
They state that they showed Al Gore's global warming movie and an unnamed movie with an opposing view to have balance in the classroom discussion. However, you cannot remove the emotional vision of a solitary polar bear roaming the ice, with its implied imminent death due to man-made global destruction, from the mind of a 12-year-old. Cars, industry, rich people ... BAD.
Socialism/Communism sound great when students put on their "critical thinking" scull caps, but are they told that 100 million fellow global citizens have been imprisoned, murdered or starved to death in the last 100 years? I doubt it.
I do get why the administration and teachers are pressing forward with the IB program. It sounds so tolerant and fits in with their global feel-good agenda. What they don't get is the opponent's views and solutions, or that the fight they have picked is with the same people that will see to it educators will never see a school bond or levy passed in the foreseeable future.
This ain't Seattle. Then again, pride and stubbornness are valid emotions and educators may just want to feel good about themselves too.
S.W. Reid is a Coeur d'Alene resident.