The IB had its basis in the Swiss educational system. The Europeans, for all their faults, didn’t mess around with the basics of schooling back then. The curricula foreign kids got were much tougher than in America, even at most private schools. Not even pictures in elementary textbooks existed. Switzerland was considered la crème of the educational universe. If a parent had real money, that’s where they sent their kids. Former presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, went to boarding school there. A common joke went: How do you tell a European student from an American pupil? Answer: The European kid takes three steps before his book-bag moves!
Those days are gone. Switzerland, France and most other nations are facing the same leftist ideology, political correctness and mental “health” exercises — all passed off as academics.
Nevertheless, folks are misled into believing today’s IB program is top-drawer, just like its predecessor. But the modern IB bears no resemblance to the 1950s-era program. From its inception in the 1940s, there were ideological biases toward socialism, but in areas such as math, science, literature, spelling, geography and history, it was the gold standard. Today, both the IB curricula and its tests have undergone profound changes.
Today’s IB (like most ordinary K-12 curriculums) operates in partnership with UNESCO, and therefore is consistent with United Nations dogma. The IB is U.N. dogma on steroids, and redistribution of wealth is an overriding, subliminal theme.
The biggest difference between the American creed and IB is that our Declaration of Independence insists that government is beholden to the people; it does not exist to protect itself. This view puts teeth into the notion of inalienable, individual rights, which is one reason socialist-leaning schools here at home gloss over the Declaration — as if it were Thomas Jefferson’s unsolicited opinion.
Under the U.S. Bill of Rights, government has only those rights that the people say it has. The U.N. takes the position, in its Universal Declaration on Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR], Article 29, Section 3), that: "rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations” [italics mine]. This small phrase is key: Under the UDHR, people have only those rights the United Nations (ergo, government) says they have.
Take, for example, Flora High School in Richland County, Columbia, South Carolina. It started offering the IB program when the U.S. Department of Education announced $1.2 million targeted to fund the IB program in middle schools (2007). The idea was that they would become “feeder schools” for the IB’s high school diploma program in low-income school districts around the country. (This, by the way, is a typical method of extending potentially unpopular government programs: to start with one state, offer huge bucks to promote it as a “pilot project”; then, get the bugs out and take it national.)
The Earth Charter comprises the backbone of IB science, ethics, literature and history programs, because that is UNESCO’s approach to foreign policy issues. Briefly, the primary elements of the Earth Charter are:
- Earth worship (pantheism).
- Socialized medicine.
- World federalism.
- Income redistribution among nations and within nations.
- Eradication of genetically modified (GMO) crops.
- Contraception and “reproductive health” rights (inc., legal abortion).
- World-wide “education for sustainability” which means planned communities and citizens told where they must live.
- Debt forgiveness and different standards for third-world nations.
- Adoption of gay rights and the right of children to all sexual materials and literature.
- Elimination of any right to bear arms.
- Environmental extremist positions, including global warming, bans on pesticides and genetically enhanced vegetables.
- Setting aside biosphere reserves where no human presence is allowed, which means the government may come in and take your land for its own higher purposes — something that is now being debated in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are fundamentally opposite from the U.N.’s UDHR. A few examples:
- The right to bear arms — UDHR has no right to bear arms.
- No double jeopardy — UDHR does not prohibit double jeopardy.
- Church/state separation — UDHR promotes earth-worship spirituality.
- Limited government — UDHR has no limits on government.
- Reserved powers — UDHR has no reserved powers.
- Recognition of natural law — UDHR does not recognize natural law.
- Guarantee that property cannot be taken by government without just compensation — UDHR has no such guarantee.
If one doesn’t look too closely, IB curricula appears to mimic the American creed — that is, the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution: that all men and women are created equal; inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that government exists to protect those rights, and limited government. But the IB program, first of all, attempts to guarantee “happiness,” not just its pursuit. It also lacks the references to universal truths and values that once were staples of American classrooms. International curriculum standards promote UDHR as being the highest of all principles.
Today’s IB is committed not to a melting-pot concept, but to globalism and multiculturalism. Accurate history, correct geography, honoring perspectives or even other nationalities all wind up in a hodge-podge called “diversity” or “multiculturalism,” which is more about lip-service than substance. Globalism venerates the collective, not the individual; world government is celebrated over national sovereignty; centralization of power is honored over local control. That is why “social studies” are mostly about minimizing Western culture. So it is not surprising that American Indian and African worship would be taught in the IB program (with the more gruesome elements left out, of course, such as ritual mutilations, human sacrifice, female infanticide), while red and green ornaments at Christmas are banned from tax-supported U.S. educational institutions.
Today’s IB students approach ethics from the perspective of Muslims, Native Americans, Eastern Europeans, Africans, and so forth, without regard to their inherent rightness or wrongness, or even morality. The Judeo-Christian ethic is no longer a benchmark. Students are further expected to identify and root out cultural stereotypes. Even IB Theatre Arts integrates global concerns and international perspectives through a learning environment that emphasizes non-Western traditions.
In addition, modern IB students are steeped in fringe science. Even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is blamed on global warming, for example. Meanwhile, medical breakthroughs such as those discovered through the Human Genome Project are beginning to be used to encourage support for selective breeding in humans. Naturally, kids who don’t even know basic science aren’t aware of this. What they don’t know will make “parent licensing” a lot easier to “sell” when it emerges full-blown in about 10 years — i.e., government deciding who is allowed to become a parent and which children should be aborted.
Health classes focus on topics like overpopulation and AIDS, not the inner workings of the human body. So, solutions to trendy pseudo-problems naturally revolve around abortion, condoms and sexual awareness, which have no track record of success, even if one were to accept the ethics. Indeed, humans are viewed as no more than complex animals.
While there is no actual course called “economics” in most IB programs, students do learn to convert various world currencies as part of a unit in social studies. But they are also immersed in redistribution theology and taught that evil consumerism in the West is denying the good life to people in Third World countries — never mind that political leaders in those countries never seem to get their act together and have a propensity for lining their own pockets with the donations supplied by those “evil consumers.”
When the IB’s public relations publications say the program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach in order to relate various curricula to each other, what kids actually see is mathematics fused with fringe science and environmental extremism. Thus they absorb flawed energy and conservation policies. As voters later on, this message is highly damaging. Combine this with biased history and, yes, you have a multidisciplinary approach, all right, but the pupils are getting a political agenda, not a well-rounded education or a coherent set of facts.
Ultimately, today’s IB is a red herring with extensive funding ties to interests advancing U.N. politics, as opposed to any transmission of substantive, core knowledge, as was the case pre-1955.
Photo: AP Images
Beverly K. Eakman is a former educator and retired federal employee who served as speechwriter for the heads of three government agencies as well as editor-in-chief of NASA’s newspaper (Johnson Space Center). Today, she is a Washington, DC-based freelance writer, the author of five books, and a frequent keynote speaker on the lecture circuit. Her most recent book is Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms Are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks (Midnight Whistler Publishers).