A couple of months ago I critiqued former Governor Tim Pawlenty’s position on education. I pointed out his approval and support of the International Baccalaureate program. He supported it’s expansion into the state in 2007. He congratulated the South St. Paul School District when they became the first K-12 International Baccalaureate World School District.
For some of you who are not familiar with the International Baccalaureate program, Emmett McGroarty who is the executive director of Preserve Innocence, an initiative of American Principles Project (and a contributor here) wrote an op/ed piece for U.S. News & World Report explaining why this program is so destructive.
IB isn’t cheap. The application/candidacy fee for a school can total as much as $23,000. Add to that the costs of teacher training (hundreds of dollars per teacher per seminar, not counting expenses), annual school fees ($10,000 for a high school), student fees, test fees, and more—it adds up.
What do parents and other taxpayers get for this outlay of funds? A curriculum crafted in Europe, with a decidedly non-American and non-Judeo-Christian outlook on the world. This slant isn’t surprising, given that IB was initially funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)—which continues to fund certain IB activities—and that UNESCO currently describes IB as a "partner" in its international education initiatives. IB now operates as a non-governmental organization of the UN’s Economic and Social Council.
Do you want to hear from the horse’s mouth? An excellent source for evaluating IB is "A Continuum of International Education," published by the IB Organization in 2002. From this document, we learn that the goal of IB is not merely to impart knowledge or teach thinking skills, but rather to develop "citizens of the world" with "universal human values."
What are these values? Not necessarily the values of the student’s parents or faith, but those embodied in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. That document decrees that "[e]ducation … shall further the activities of the United Nations …"—presumably including activities not endorsed by the United States, such as the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Kyoto Protocol.
Another controversial IB connection is the Earth Charter, a sweeping blueprint of international rights and responsibilities promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. The Earth Charter advocates the redistribution of wealth among and within nations (Art. 10.a), population-control policies (Art. 7.e), abolition of "all forms" of discrimination based on sexual orientation (presumably including traditional marriage)(Art. 12.a), and military disarmament (Art. 16.e). The Charter also decrees that all nations "must … support the implementation of the Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development."
With this programing being so fundamentally against our founding principles which Governor Pawlenty says he supports, but yet he cheered and supported the expansion of a program that is contrary to those very principles. Governor, why is that? I’ve requested an interview, and I’ve emailed his campaign on this issue and have heard nothing. Iowans deserve an answer because his past support of this program contradicts other public statements he has made. Maybe this is one his clunkers he needs to admit to.
Picture by David Davidson