Opponents in Idaho of the International Baccalaureate program have recently been “taking to the streets” to publicize their concerns that the IB is spreading an anti-American ideology in local schools, an Associated Press story reports.
Protesters have objected to IB programs at an elementary school in Hayden Lake and a high school in Coeur d’Alene. Similar controversies erupted in Utah in 2008 and in Michigan in 2005, the AP notes.
One protester interviewed by the AP, Luke Sommer, expressed concern that the IB program undermines American values.
“They want to change the way your child thinks, not feed your child’s mind with information,” he said.
But Drew Deutsch, the director of the IB Americas program in New York, told the AP that the curriculum “isn’t anti-anything.”
“It’s a program that approaches education from a global perspective and it reinforces a rigorous curriculum with high standards,” Deutsch said. “The emphasis is on critical-thinking skills.”
Meanwhile, in March, a Georgia parent filed a federal civil rights complaint against the DeKalb County, Ga., schools, alleging discrimination against black students in the district’s IB program.
For more background on the IB, check out this EdWeek story from 2007, which explains how the number of U.S. schools offering IB programs has expanded rapidly in recent years.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.