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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Concern with the International Baccalaureate

By Margaret Dayton
Utah State Senator

In 1896 Congress passed the Enabling Act that legally created the State of Utah. The wording included these words:
"The schools, colleges, and university provided for in this act shall forever remain under the exclusive control of said State . . . " (italics added).
There is wisdom in that concept and I've taken it to heart. These words were part of the justification used in the bills I filed resisting No Child Left Behind when it was first imposed on our state.

Exhaustive research from multitudinous organizations has documented the significant decrease in state and local control of public education under the provisions of NCLB. In response, Utah enacted legislation that acknowledges state provisions can supersede federal provision when the two are in conflict.

I believe old-fashioned federalism and governance are serious stewardships. Sometimes it's not what we do but how we do it and who makes the decisions that make the long-term impact.

This urgency to maintain state and local control of education has given me some personal concern regarding the International Baccalaureate program which has been implemented in seven Utah high schools. While the IB program seems to answer an urgent need for rigor and challenge in high school curriculum, it also creates a concern with implementation of a program that is not administered in the state or even in the nation.

One of the questions the legislature needs to address is that of governance; are the benefits of a rigorous program justification for further loss of state control of public education? Can we do it better locally? Is the practice of routine international contracts in other areas of our culture justification for the public education system to enter in to such contractual agreements?

The Education Interim Committee will take some time for this issue on Wednesday and I'll discuss it further here on the Senate Site.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a pathetic cover for a foolish decision to abandon a rigorous educational program that has shown actual evidence of improving educational outcomes for students in these schools.

If local school boards and school administrators have examined the course content and approved the teaching of these classes in our schools how can you claim that the schools have somehow left “the exclusive control of said State”? Your argument makes absolutely no sense. You’ve never actually provided a direct explanation of what it is in the content of these courses is that you find so objectionable or who it is you think is administering the classes if it isn’t the teachers and local administrators.

If you’re going to provide some legitimate reasons for your obstructionism then a reasonable dialog can take place. Until then your efforts to block this program don’t come across as reasonable. They are just the ranting of a politically powerful bully who wants her way even if she is clearly in the wrong.

Please get out of the way and let our local public schools teach our kids using these proven and successful classes.

5/20/2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

That last comment was mine...I selected Anonymous by accident.

5/20/2008 4:42 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I would hope legislators would learn about the IB program and how it has actually been implemented in the Utah High Schools. Yes, I've read the criticisms that the IB program is too closely aligned with the UN. However, if the actual implementation of the IB program here results in a rigorous curriculum for interested students without undue UN influence, the program should be allowed to continue. Please attend actual IB classes and interview actual IB teachers and administrators rather than get your information from skeptics or the Internet.

5/20/2008 4:59 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am a licensed teacher in the state of Utah and was offered a teaching position several years ago to teach an IP psychology program. Due to a personal situations, I wound up taking a leave of absence from teaching for that school year and declined to accept the position.

The one question that kept going through my head as the principal described this program is "why aren't ALL our classes taught like this? - this is GOOD instructional design."

After my own research into the IB program, I would hope that our legislatures would do the same. Rather than remove IB programs because of irrational UN fears, consider adopting some of these highly successful instructional strategies into the mainstream classroom. It will create meaningful learning environments where students will be motivated to use higher order thinking skills.

Maybe then can we hel the 20% of our students who fail to pass the state competency tests after 5 attempts.

5/20/2008 10:06 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Jeremy. Dude. You are the master of constructive dialog (as in here and here). Be nice.

The IB program wasn't abandoned. It may never be. We put $100K into the program last session. The funding was restored in the (cue scary Halloween music here) Omnibus Education Bill.

That said - or more exactly, that funded - Senator Dayton still feels some concern. In an Email to me last week she expressed hope that we could have a meaningful discussion here on the Senate Site where everyone could participate and that the conversation could help improve any future proposals on the subject.

Cora and Heather - good points. Thank you for taking the time. Senator Dayton can speak for herself, but I do think she would be quick to commit to forgo irrational fear and look at this personally and thoroughly. Would you be willing to do the same when considering her point of view?

5/20/2008 11:19 PM  
Blogger UtahTeacher said...

The reason this is so frustrating to people is because it appears that Senator Dayton is grasping for defensible reasons to oppose the IB program that was getting unanimous legislative support until someone emailed her a silly Eagle Forum conspiracy article about UN influence.

Her quote at the education committee meeting where she originally voted against funding was "I'm not opposed to understanding the world, I'm opposed to the anti-American philosophy that's somehow woven into all the classes as they promote the U.N. [United Nations] agenda." Senator Peterson explained that he had been about to vote for the funding until he did a web search and saw an article associating IB with scary words like socialization, which we know is not the same as socialism. (He didn't mention the specific source, but here's betting it was Eagle Forum or Edwatch.) Would he be happy if someone Googled “Utah Legislature,” read an article by Paul Rolly that popped up, and then made important decisions regarding the legislature without actually speaking to the legislators?

The next day, Senator Dayton admitted that she had never attended an actual IB class or spoken with a student in the program, despite living literally five minutes away from an IB program in the liberal spleen of Utah County, Provo High School. Senator Peterson finally visited a program at West High, both admitted the program was academically rigorous and that their "anti-American" concerns were unfounded, and the 1/3 funding was to save face after the bad press.

So Senator Dayton now voices concerns specifically about the "loss of state control of public education" and "international contracts," using Switzerland's arbitration laws to claim local "disputes" have to be settled by the U.N. Please understand, I.B.'s "governance" is merely some words of approval on paper certifying that the IB board finds the curriculum rigorous and focused on multiple points of view. This certification is valued by many universities as an outside verification of the quality of the curriculum. Many or most families which serve as LDS mission presidents outside the US, as well as many military families, send their children to IB schools so they can more easily enroll in American universities afterwards.

The curriculum has to independently meet all of Utah's core curriculum requirements as well--no local control is ever lost. A local school board, principal, or teacher can run their classes however they want. If the outside review of the IB board determines the classes don't meet their standards, the local IB program loses the right to put a seal on their diploma. That's it. It's not scary. No student has to fax Switzerland about anything. It's a voluntary program concerning what extra stuff students can put on their college applications that hopefully also meets its objectives of a better education.

Senator Dayton said at the Utah County Convention that she is planning on running an "opt-in" bill requiring extra paperwork of parents enrolling their children. That seems like a disingenuous way to make parents read some silly anti-UN material for a program that is already inherently opt-in coming from someone who frequently criticizes the extra paperwork of NCLB. You already have to sign up for it and parents drive their students long distances to attend these programs.

I don’t think IB is some perfect, miraculous program that solves Utah’s educational problems, I just want the decision making process to be well-informed and rational. I would love to attend the education committee meeting tomorrow, but it's during school. It would be great if notes from some of these meetings were archived here on the site.

5/21/2008 1:05 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...


You're right...I strive to be as polite as possible and I did go a bit overboard in that post. To Sen. Dayton: I'm sorry I called you a bully.

The Senator's claim that the IB courses somehow violate the Enabling Act strains credulity. Reasoned debate is important in every controversy but comparing IB courses to NCLB and claiming they take exclusive control of schools away from the state insults the intelligence of parents who want the best possible curriculum available to their kids as they advance through Utah's public schools. The Eagle Forum clearly doesn't speak for us in this case and neither, it seems, does Sen. Dayton.

5/21/2008 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Senator Dayton again displays her lack of understanding about the IB program. The program does not change any of the Utah requirements for graduation from Utah high school. It does allow our students in Utah to earn worldwide recognition for academic excellence. Even BYU, that LDS conservative think tank, recognizes the accomplishment of an IB diploma. One would think that any Utah legislator would welcome this academic recognition since they so poorly fund education in this state. If the recognition is for academic excellence, who cares if the organizing body is in Utah, in The United States or anywhere in the world?

The "Omnibus Education Bill" was just another way for the Utah legislature to force through many good things by associating them with their "pet" projects. Bills en masse are never good.

5/21/2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Thank you Utah Teacher and Heather for articulately describing the IB program and why it is a valuable instructional model and program that easily incorporates all of the State’s goals and requirements. As a parent, I have chosen to send my children to Utah public schools that provide an opportunity for them to expand their critical thinking skills and take from their education something powerful, the life long habit of engaging higher thinking skills.

I chose West High Schools IB program for much more than the fact that it is a rigorous academic program. I chose it because of the excellent instructional design, because it recognizes and builds off the fact that students have strengths and it provides the opportunity for students to continue to build those strengths with in depth challenging classes in those areas. Critical thinking requires knowledge in all areas, language arts, science, mathematics, and the arts. The IB program acknowledges how valuable this is and students who go on to earn an IB Diploma take IB exams in three high level courses that match their strengths and three standard level courses. The projects, the research, and the exams, the theory of knowledge course, the extended essay and the community, action and service the IB students have access to as a result of the IB program provide our students with the opportunity to actually take from their education the life long habit of engaging their higher thinking skills.

The IB program is growing in the State of Utah, in the nation and internationally because it is a tremendous program that delivers the promise of higher level education by providing highly successful instructional models in a meaningful learning environment. It is not by mistake that for 17 years, the IB program has grown at West High School to become a world class IB Diploma program. It is not by mistake that 6 more Utah high schools have adopted IB Diploma programs. It would be a mistake to discard a meaningful, proven and successful program like IB, with a long and successful track record here in Utah, simply because it is a program that is international and successful worldwide and wasn’t developed in Utah.

5/21/2008 11:50 AM  
Blogger nannette said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/21/2008 8:26 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Okay, let's run through the drill one more time . . .

Thoughtful discussion = good.

Nasty-hearted personal attacks = bad.

Thoughtful discussion mixed with nasty-hearted attacks = still gets deleted.

I hope you will rephrase and repost. And talk to your clergyman.

5/21/2008 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Dayton,

I commend you on your inquiry into the International Baccalaureate Organization. There are several important legal issues that remain unaddressed.

1. IBO declares that "all student work submitted to IBO for assessment becomes the absolute property of IBO". Considering Switzerland is #1 when it comes to intellectual property law, shouldn't we be concerned about such phrasing?

2. IBO further declares that "any legal action against IBO is subject to Swiss law and must be adjudicated in the courts of Geneva, Switzerland." Is it legal to expend U.S. taxdollars on a program that cannot be challenged in U.S. Courts?

3. IBO also claims no liability for the "unauthorized sources" obtaining personal student information via its Online Curriculum Center. Doesn't this constitute a potential violation of student privacy?

Thank you for your consideration.

5/22/2008 5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Utah educator and having taught in a school looking for authorization by the IBO, I actually have to disagree with all the merriment surounding the program. At my school, the IB program has only further marginalized the students who come from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds. You can forget about seeing a student who requires educational services attempt entrance into the IB world. For the most part, the IB program caters to the weathly majority, only. For an international approach to teaching, in utah, we need a program that allows all students the same opportunities, not one that places language learners, minorities, and academically challenged students at the bottom of a school's priority list.

5/22/2008 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Utah educator,

The merriment espoused by IB supporters comes from drinking the IB Kool Aid which empowers them with the belief that their global views are superior to more traditional American methods of delivering instruction. In many schools where IB is implemented, Honors and AP courses are eliminated, as is choice. Students must then select between IB or the basic track.

On the one hand, IB claims IB is for everyone, as long as they are "motivated". On the other hand, IB claims it is intensely "rigorous" and only for those who are willing to tackle the most challenging material. Which is it? What about the average student, who might have excelled in Honors English but has great difficulty in Math? What about the student with special needs, who excels in Math but has auditory processing issues?

Any school awaiting authorization from IBO will receive it........as long as the check is good. I have never read of a school being denied IB authorization.

Bottom line, the IB program is a product. Since 2000, IBO has specifically targeted "wealthy" nations in which to sell its programs. IBO's sales pitch to implement its program in "low performing schools" is simply a way to tap into U.S. .gov's altruism to pay its exorbitant fees.

IB should be limited to magnet or charter schools where students from all over a county choose to go there and neighborhood school districts only have to contribute a minimal amount to support it.

5/22/2008 7:02 AM  
Blogger David said...

At the committee meeting Senator Dayton attempted to present the issue as one of "lack of local control". Education in Utah already lacks local control as the legislature determines the curriculum at every grade level. State mandated testing requires teaching to the test. Utah schools already recognize and utilize programs administered outside Utah with no local control. (Utah uses AP, SAT, ACT.......) This is still Senator Dayton worried about any connection between the IB program and the UN.

Utah uses "local control" as a rallying cry to try to crush anything that they don't like. The legislature determines curriculum, decides on testing, tells how things can be taught, and monitors "success". Smaller districts and only using our own ideas will not give "local control". We already have State control.

5/22/2008 8:16 AM  
Anonymous amy said...

As an IB graduate from West High School, I think the possibility of losing this program is ridiculous. The IB classes were consistently the best, most engaging and most influential I took throughout high school. They were also more difficult than many of my first and second year college courses, and thus I felt extremely prepared to compete in that new venue.

I hope that Senator Dayton listens to the current group of IB parents, teachers and students, especially those who visited from Skyline, and lets those who want to achieve a more rounded and complete education while in high school have an avenue to do so.

5/22/2008 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You said:

"Utah schools already recognize and utilize programs administered outside Utah with no local control. (Utah uses AP, SAT, ACT.......)"

AP, SAT I & II and ACT are all standardized exams, not programs. A student may take any or all of the above exams without a district having to pay fees for IB accreditation, teacher training, coordinator positions, etc.

Another point for consideration, The College Board posts the syllabi to all AP courses online for free inspection by the public.

Can IBO claim the same?

5/22/2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous LC said...


It is hard to understand why somebody wants to eradicate educational program with international roots in a State focused so much on international outreach.

It is also hard to understand why somebody wants to eradicate a rigorous academic program in a State where education is a core family value.

It is also hard to understand why somebody tries to eradicate a venue to higher salaries for kids in a State with one of the lowest average incomes in the country.


5/22/2008 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the anonymous Utah educator who claims that IB marginalizes students who are disadvantaged and impoverished is wrong in making such a blanket statement. As an IB teacher, I look around my classroom and see students from diverse backgrounds and not all of them are wealthy. In fact, I have four ESL students who CHOSE the program, even though they knew it would be hard and they might not get straight A's. I want to know how many of IBs detractors have actually spent considerable time in schools who offer the program? havtnnthtsr Enlethis hEduc

5/22/2008 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I believe you are having difficulty understanding Sen. Dayton's concerns because all of your questions are based on a misunderstanding of the issue. Nowhere have I seen Sen Dayton state that she wishes to "eradicate" IB. The issue she is addressing is her fiduciary duty as an elected official regarding approving the expenditure of public monies on the program. She has concerns and questions regarding whether or not such expenditures are justified. I commend her investigation on behalf of American taxpayers instead of relying on hearsay and rhetoric.

5/22/2008 10:57 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

From the SL Trib 2.28/08:

she is "opposed to the anti-American philosophy that's somehow woven into all the classes as they promote the U.N. agenda."
Dayton acknowledged Friday that she's never witnessed an IB class in session. She also said it's possible "good things" are happening in the program.

I will agree that Sen Dayton should be commended for her investigation WHEN IT ACTUALLY INCLUDES WATCHING A CLASS IN ACTION. How can something be investigated without every being witnessed? How is failing to visit a class and watch the program being implemented NOT considered relying on hearsay and rhetoric?

5/22/2008 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am sure you will acknowledge that in order for Sen. Dayton to visit an IB classroom, she would require pre-approval from the school administration and the classroom teacher would be advised of her impending visit. There is no doubt in my mind that the material presented on that day would focus on some sort of patriotic topic in order to dispel any "suspicions" of anti-US sentiment in the IB curriculum. Additionally, I'm sure the school would make sure she observed the best IB teacher it has. While this may make for a nice little field trip for Sen. Dayton, it hardly serves as proof of the integrity, financial soundness, philosophy, verifiable data or legal issues surrounding the program.

5/22/2008 11:27 AM  
Anonymous LC said...

To increase my understanding, I would like to hear your comment on the full content of section 11 in Enabling Act mentioned by Sen. Dayton:
“SEC. 11. The schools, colleges, and university provided for in this act, shall forever remain under the exclusive control of said State, and no part of the proceeds arising from the sale or disposal of any lands herein granted for educational purposes, or of the income thereof, shall be used for the support of any sectarian or denominational school, college, or university.”
Does it relate in any way to SEC. 3 stating that:
“… the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools … shall be open to all the children of said State and free from sectarian control.”?

Please clarify, is IB program sectarian or denominational?

On the other side, my understanding is that Sen. Dayton helped to remove funding from IB program (Omnibus Bill will probably be challenged in court also) based on sec. 11 of Enabling Act using its incomplete citation (hearsay) and the following rhetoric:

“Exhaustive research from multitudinous organizations has documented the significant decrease…etc.”

5/22/2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Anonymous - having worked in Utah's classrooms in 2 districts as well as at the State Office of Education, I can promise you that no prior authorization is required. It is quite common, for the reasons you stated, for "visitors" to drop in unannounced.

5/22/2008 11:36 AM  
Anonymous LC said...

No time and value in visiting a school and observing class? So much for no-"hearsay" policy!! You aren't helping Sen. Dayton with these comments!!!

5/22/2008 11:40 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

This post has been removed by the author.

5/22/2008 11:54 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I posted in haste a moment ago and would like to add one more thing to my response to anonymous regarding classroom visits:

The process you outlined (contacting school admins, teachers doing "special" preparations for the day, etc) for these classroom visits are currently in practice and are quite frequently used by school administrators and legislatures to justify/support current state-managed classroom content. Why should these same procedures not be applied to the IB program? Or is this "biased" research only appropriate when it supports a particular (personal) education agenda?

I stand by my previous comment that spontaneous visit can remove most of the "pre-planned" bias of a scheduled visit. I also vouch for the honesty of students and the transparency of staged teaching.

5/22/2008 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am not trying to dodge your question, but it is difficult for me to respond based on snippets of a speech taken out of context.

IBO has repeatedly denied its affiliation with the UN/UNESCO. However, the fact remains, not only does IBO receive funding from UNESCO, it has also signed on to UNESCO's "peace education" initiative through the year 2010. I believe Sen. Dayton's concern was centered more on the division of the U.N. that is currently overseeing programs such as IB in Switzerland. These issues create a fine line between "control" and "influence".


With all due respect, I find it very difficult to believe that in this day and age after the wake of Columbine, that any state would have an open "drop in" policy. If such is the case, I would strongly encourage Utah residents to lobby for a new "guest" policy in order to provide greater security for the students.

5/22/2008 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I posted my above comment before I saw your revised comment. I'm not trying to be difficult, but I truly don't understand your question. A school either allows unannounced visits or it doesn't. You can't have it both ways and expect me to comment on a hypothetical situation as to bias.

5/22/2008 12:09 PM  
Anonymous LC said...


Please refer to a letter from Sen. Dayton at the top of this page for a context with snippets taken by Senator out of Enabling Act.

In any case, the United Nation Organization will hardly qualify as sectarian or denominational, in any case.

5/22/2008 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The UN is not a government or a church. It does however, uphold and honor the UN Charter, not the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if we are to ask whether or not it is "denominational" when referring to it being American or Un-American, we are forced to place it in the Un-American category by the nature of its construct.

I would encourage Sen. Dayton to investigate the applicability of the following clause as it concerns IBO's insistence that litigation be adjudicated in the courts of Geneva, Switzerland.

SEC. 17. That the Convention herein provided for shall have the power to provide, by ordinance, for the transfer of actions, cases, proceedings, and matters pending in the supreme or district courts of the Territory of Utah at the time of the admission of the said State into the Union, to such courts as shall be established under the Constitution to be thus formed, or to the circuit or district court of the United States for the district of Utah; and no indictment, action, or proceeding shall abate by reason of any change in the courts, but shall be proceeded with in the State or United States courts according to the laws thereof, respectively.

5/22/2008 12:31 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Let me clarify on the visitation statement.

Visit do happen where the visiting body notifies the school in advance that they will be visiting the school. They then arrive, check in at the front office, and are allowed to carry on with the visit agenda.

Visits also do happen where the visiting body does not notify the school in advance, shows up at the school, PRESENTS CREDENTIALS (they are not just any joe-schmoe walking in to say "hey - let me see what you do all day") and then is allowed to go to the classroom.

While working for the USOE, I administered grants and written in the grant provisions was the clause that we could drop in unannounced to observe programs our funds were supporting.

Yes, you can have it both ways. And yes, it does happen both ways.

5/22/2008 12:37 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

As a West High School parent, I know that they encourage parents to drop in, however, any visitors must stop in the office and obtain a visitors pass. I think it would be wise for any legislator thinking about funding a certain program to visit it on-site. Legislators do it all the time, knowing that the people involved will probably be on their "best" behavior.

5/22/2008 12:47 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

If the real issue is that it is Senator Dayton's duty to scrutinize funding "outside" educational programs with public dollars, then why is it OK with her and most other Republican legislators to fund vouchers for private schools? I find that somewhat ironic.

5/22/2008 12:50 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Anonymous School Teacher:

The IB program is a rigorous program that may not be right for all students, but it offers a challenge for many who need that academic challenge. School curriculum should not be one-size-fits-all. Every student has different strengths and talents and our education system should strive to help each and every student to reach their potential.

Anonymous: IB Kool-Aid? Not an intelligent or thoughtful comment. It seems that you have a chip on your shoulder...that's your issue to deal with.

Which schools have dropped their other AP, Honors courses, etc., when they adopt IB? I know that West High has not done that.

5/22/2008 1:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Charlotte - thanks for bring up vouchers. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go there or not! :)

In addition to the financial arguments regarding vouchers, but the arguments used by voucher proponents for more "parent choice". Taking away these additional programs only reduces the choices parents have for the students in public education.

5/22/2008 1:19 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Thanks all of you who have offered helpful insight here.

I am not aware of any plan to kill the IB program - from Senator Dayton or anyone else. But this is the first year the state put money into the program - and you've got to expect a little state scrutiny when that happens.

If I understand right, the money doesn't cover program costs. It will help pay for the [#$%@! expensive]testing for some IB students.


5/22/2008 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Frustrated Parent said...

I understand the Legislature has allocated $100,000 to help IB students pay for their tests which cost about $600. Why doesn't the Legislature help kids pay for the AP tests? There are 7 schools with IB classes. There are a lot more than 7 schools with AP classes.

5/22/2008 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frustrated Parent:

I was just going to ask the same question myself. Both IB and AP exams cost approx $84 each. The College Board, however, does have a very clear policy on reducing its fees for students with financial need:

IBO, on the other hand, not only charges the students fees without any reduction provision for financial need, it charges the hosting school student registration fees as well!

It seems terribly inequitable to me, for the State to supplement the cost of IB exams and not AP.

5/22/2008 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me just add.........

That I think there is something terribly wrong when the U.S. .gov rewards a corporation (IBO) that makes no provisions for students with financial need, versus an American company that does.

Note that 50% of the search results for "exam fees" on pg. 1 of the IBO site points to U.S. governmental (your taxdollars) exam supplements.


5/23/2008 5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be more able to believe Senator Dayton's fiscal concerns if her initial reaction had been different. She over reacted to something she knew nothing about just by hearing the nasty letters UN. Now it appears as though she is trying to save face by not addressing her initial fears and attempting to appear fiscally responsible. She is now attempting political damage control and was visibly uncomfortable at the committee meeting. She doesn't want the public to get involved and wants to discuss it behind closed doors. I was very disappointed in the way it was (actually wasn't) handled at the committee meeting. The room was full of people with concerns and the item was brushed aside.

5/23/2008 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"She over reacted to something she knew nothing about just by hearing the nasty letters UN. Now it appears as though she is trying to save face by not addressing her initial fears and attempting to appear fiscally responsible.

The following is pure speculation, but if Senator Dayton is anything like 99% of the rest of the American public, her initial reaction was probably, "What's IB?". So she started to do some research into it and discovered that there is a lot of national controversy surrounding the program. IB supporters, a small but growing sect, quickly banded together and bombarded the Senate with letters and ivitations to "come visit an IB classroom". That's all well and good, it is certainly within their rights as Americans, however it is also Sen. Dayton's right as an elected official to explore the matter further without being charged with ignorance or having ad hominems thrown her way. Let's try and keep this discussion factual, not emotional. There is passion on both sides of the IB issue, but passion merely fuels the fire instead of reaching reasoned agreement.

5/23/2008 7:22 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Anonymous - while the previous comment was less civil than it should have been, I think it does reflect some of the concern people have with Sen Dayton's research.

Sen Dayton based some of her concerns on a publication from the Eagle Forum, which in all honesty has a more conservative bias. I think a significant amount of the publics concern is that the research has not - or has not been portrayed to be - fair and balanced.

Other research Sen Dayton may have conducted (visit an IB classroom, contact the IB officials, visiting the IB website, speaking to parents and student, etc) has not been obvious. We understand the extent of her research to be solely the Eagle Forum article.

I hope Sen Dayton will take some our concerns and comments and honestly reflect upon them and do additional research from both sides of the spectrum. Please do not base decisions off of one publication from the Eagle Forum.

5/23/2008 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Sen Dayton will take some our concerns and comments and honestly reflect upon them and do additional research from both sides of the spectrum.

In order to do that, Senator Dayton must look to sources outside of www.ibo.org to review the other side of the spectrum. IBO is one side, those who oppose it for a myriad of reasons, are the other. To just say, "Look at us, look at us, pay no attention to those critics!" is bullying and trying to silence those who have legitimate objections that also deserve consideration. I also seriously doubt that the Eagle Forum is the only source Sen. Dayton has looked at regarding criticism of the program. Perhaps it was the only one she officially cited and as such, IB supporters want to accuse her of it being the one and only piece of research she has conducted. Again, I highly doubt that. Perhaps she chose to highlight the UN issue which she found objectionable first, without even realizing the fiscal extent to which IB impacts public schools. Is she to be faulted for exploring the economic aspects of IB after one of the philosophical aspects already didn't sit right with her? No. I say be brave enough to seek out the "other" side and be strong, Sen. Dayton.

5/23/2008 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How interesting that The Salt Lake Tribune's comment section is controlled by an approval rating by readers as to which comments they like, or don't like. I have noticed this "tool" being used almost exclusively on the web by media with a left-wing agenda.

5/23/2008 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason this is even a controversy is because of the $100,000 allocated to fund IB in Utah. Frustrated parent wants to know why there is no funding for AP. THERE IS! This bill was sponsored by Rep. Carol Spackman Moss in the House and Senator Pat Jones in the senate, simply because they were asking for equity. There has been ongoing funding for AP, Concurrent enrollment, and Gifted and Talented programs for years. Learn the facts.

5/23/2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

To correct the record here: Senator Dayton has spent time visiting and attending a few IB classrooms since the legislative session. The discussion continues in her next post:


5/23/2008 10:24 AM  
Anonymous LC said...

...IB supporters, a small but growing SECT, quickly banded together and bombarded the Senate with letters and ivitations to "come visit an IB classroom"...


One more little push on and sectarian character of IB will be proved beyond doubt!

5/23/2008 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more little push on and sectarian character of IB will be proved beyond doubt!

I'm sorry but I do not understand what you mean by this sentence. It could be perceived as a threat, which I'm sure is not what you intended. Would you elaborate, please?

5/23/2008 11:16 AM  
Anonymous LC said...

Dear Anonymous,

Will you please explain what you meant by calling people supporting IB a sect "banded together". Do you have any justification for this "name-calling" or is it just an emotional reaction?

I believe nobody benefits from this type of "argument".

5/23/2008 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My usage of the word sect was not meant in a derogatory sense, and I apologize if you read it as such, but rather as a categorical grouping:

4. any group, party, or faction united by a specific doctrine or under a doctrinal leader.

The doctrine is www.ibo.org and the doctrinal leader is its Director General, currently Mr. Jeffrey Beard, formerly Mr. George Walker.

As far as "banded together", I hardly call that name calling, merely a description of a group of people who, uh, banded together (getting on a bus and driving to the Capitol) to support its cause.

Since you did not deny that your remark could be perceived as a threat and took no pains to elaborate on what you really meant, I have no choice but to now believe that you did indeed intend it in that manner. I clarified my statement, please respond in kind. If you regret your statement, then please say so.

5/23/2008 12:22 PM  
Anonymous LC said...

Dear Anonymous,

I apologize if you've been offended by my remark.

I am also glad that your usage of the word sect was not meant in deragotary (or any other negative) sense.

But will you please clarify what kind of threat you perceive in my comment.

I sincerely hope you are not specifically looking for things that are just not there (both with my remark and with IB program).

5/23/2008 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more little push on

This phrase indicates to me that you are saying, "You shoved me once. Shove again and.....

and sectarian character of IB will be proved beyond doubt!

This portion of the sentence seems to imply that you acknowledge that a "sectarian character" of IB does indeed exist, and you will prove it in no uncertain terms. I asked you to clarify what you meant by the sentence. You dodged. I clarified my sentence to which you objected. You acknowledged my clarification and dodged again. I have now clarified how I could interpret your sentence as being a threat. I don't ask a third time for the courtesy of a clarification, I'll just have to take it for what I read it to be.

5/23/2008 1:50 PM  
Anonymous LC said...


I am not trying to dodge your question but, if you ask my opinion, it will be unworkable for anybody to try to define IB program as a sectarian and /or denominational organization according to the meaning of these two words used in Enabling Act.

5/23/2008 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It would appear that I did effectively define the IB program as a sect, and you reacted with a threat, then a dodge, then another dodge and finally a refusal to understand the meaning of the word.

4. any group, party, or faction united by a specific doctrine or under a doctrinal leader.

You can choose to attempt to prove that IBO's mission statement, curriculum and its Director General do not represent doctrine and doctrinal leader, or you can continue to hide behind not so veiled threats and word games. The ball's in your court.

5/24/2008 5:55 PM  
Anonymous LC said...

You can choose to attempt to prove that IBO's mission statement, curriculum and its Director General do not represent doctrine and doctrinal leader, or you can continue to hide behind not so veiled threats and word games. The ball's in your court.

To Anonymous:

I will leave it to you as a much better player.

5/24/2008 6:37 PM  
Anonymous John Ogilvie said...

IB helps prepare our children for success in a global economy. I was raised in a Utah Valley town so small it didn't have a post office. Now I am a successful business owner, whose taxes help pay for our public education system. I owe my success in part to the fact that Utah is part of a much larger world. Approximately 75% of my clients are either based abroad or have a substantial market presence outside the US. We live in a global economy. The financial success of our children will be enhanced by a better understanding of other cultures and other languages. That's one reason I supported my oldest daughter (now 25) in her successful quest for an IB degree from West High, and one reason I am thrilled that my youngest daughter will start this fall in West's IB program. Education is a long-term investment in a changing world. I believe the IB program will help my children recognize, adapt to, and take advantage of the global economy.

5/29/2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger Shelby said...

I will be graduating from high school this next week with IB certificates in several subject areas. What I've always enjoyed about my IB classes over my other classes is that I've felt that my IB classes taught me how to think. I was encouraged to discover my own conclusions, how to work through problems and confront barriers. The education the state is offering us, as it is, is severely lacking in that area.
My honest frustration is that the debate over this problem, and, in fact, every problem this country is encountering today, is trying to solve surface problems rather than the root of the problem. In this case, we're debating over whether IB should be continued in our high schools. The root of the problem is that the state education is severely lacking in all areas. If the state was providing for all of our needs as students we wouldn't be turning to programs like IB to try to find a better education than the state is willing to put the time, energy or money into providing us. The root of that problem, in fact, is our inability to make teaching a highly respectable socioeconomic position.
The people in IB are the wrong people to mess with. I have very little doubt that despite the states efforts IB will continue because it is full of smart, highly educated and motivated people, the type of people that I sometimes wonder even exist in our senate (I have been very embarrassed and unimpressed this past year). However, I hope that if the state dares to make such a strong opposition to the IB program they refocus their efforts to reworking the state education to be engaging and fulfilling, which it currently is not.

5/29/2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the "senate" state comment..yeah your funny..you said that deyton wants to discuss further into the issue. FIRST of all, i attended the legislative process thing on the 23rd of May. oh they discussed it alright. in a very rushing way!! they avoided a lot of questions, and senator Deyton didnt have anything to back herself up with. i'm not trying to be mean or anything, but she really doesnt know a single thing about the IB program. anti-american?? yeah..you guys are quite funny in calling the IB program "anti-american" i dont see how its not, i mean we have theory of knowledge, history, foreign language, english, we take all the core classes that regular students are required to take. IB is just a step further for students who would like to challenge themselves and get a better experience. regular classes move a lot slower then IB and AP classes, so kids who like the fast pace has the most benefit in IB. no one forces the students to take this program, its all volunteered. not only does the IB program allow you to challenge yourself, but you also get to do service to the community.

i personally dont think IB is a problem. No one is getting hurt or their educational level is not decreasing, so i dont see the problem with it. If Senator Deyton has already decided to fund the IB program then why bother bringing it up again and this time its governance? These are just ways to try to get the IB out of schools. she has no experience of what it is, and saying they have an IB "expert." The expert is NOT an expert of IB, doing some research here and there. If i were to do a full and in depth research on one subject then BAM! i become an expert in that field. it doesnt work that way my friend..even the expert is not a fully trained IB instructor. she probably hasn't even interacted with the REAL IB program.

As an IB student, i think its full of opportunity. It lets you challenge yourself and gives you a more wider range of choices. For the people out there who wants to mess with us IB kids, go ahead and do it. Because you are messing with the wrong people!

5/29/2008 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! im back again! on the comment above, its supposed to say i dont see how its NOT american.

5/29/2008 5:35 PM  
Anonymous John Pace said...

This is the most inane argument ever.

No one disputes that the IB curriculum covers everything otherwise required by the State Office of Education.

No one disputes that the IB curriculum constitutes a demanding and effective college prep program.

No one disputes that, for a large number of HS kids, college prep is a legitimate goal.

No one has offered one scintilla of evidence that the IB program is somehow cost IN-effective. All evidence is to the contrary.

No one has offered one single example of an UN-American value or ideal taught as part of the IB curriculum. In fact that is the biggest red herring ever! The whole connection between universal public education in America as envisioned in the 19th century, and democracy, is NOT some sort of indoctrination. It was to produce the literate and critically thinking citizens capable of analyzing public issues and voting intelligently. The then-radical notion of universal public education had nothing to do with teaching American values. It had everything to do with equipping us to participate in our beautiful form of democracy.

This is exactly the strength of the IB program! The IB program coincides with the exact reason we became the first great nation on earth to promote universal public education!

That any of this even needs to be discussed is proof positive that whatever we experienced in OUR public education fell woefully short of producing critically thinking and literate citizens even worthy of democracy.

This is freakin’ crazy!!!

Very (very) sincerely,
John Pace, SLC

6/11/2008 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IB admits that it is not a curriculum but a PHILOSOPHY. Believe me it's not one you want your children exposed to. It promotes global socialism via hoaxes like global warming as if they were fact, and uses faulty constructivist learning and fuzzy math programs.

How can you base a whole lesson on the premise that CO2 is bad and we are causing the climate to change when there are 31,000 scientists who refute the UN's claims? The UN just wants to teach this collectivism so they can impose their tax on all of us, by scaring the kids. What a shame.

Its purpose is to teach collectivism for the new society where the UN envisions itself as the sole government of all the world. The children are being used as political pawns. Whenever there is a bad article about IB, it always gets pulled such as the one that was pulled yesterday after being on the web for only 9 hours (6/9/08)but was found in Google's cache:

White students from wealthier families are more likely to join the
Beaufort County School District's International Baccalaureate program
than minority students or those from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds,
a district report released last week shows.

The report, designed to answer school board questions about the
program's cost-effectiveness, also claims too few students move from
IB programs at the elementary and middle school levels to the high
school, IB diploma-granting programs.

The report does not investigate causes but is rather an analysis of
data compiled by the district's internal auditor, Anthony Baxter.

The audit recommends a series of changes:

* The district must consider strategies that focus less on marketing
the IB program to high-performing students and consider those that
create equity within the program, improving the likelihood minority
students will take part.

* The district must establish a database to track students in the IB
program. No database exists, which the report called "indefensible."

* Improve communication between schools to ensure students who enter
IB programs early in their schooling continue to high school

My suggestion? Get rid of it altogether and stop teaching politicals stuff and attitudes! Teach skills, as we had when I took languages in grade 5, and your children will compete. They will NOT compete if they are taught that America uses 50% of the resources but will no longer be allowed to do this anymore.

(From yet another article that let the read agenda of IB slip!)


6/11/2008 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion the IB program really does a great job of teaching students how to be good citizens, how to get along with others and how to succeed in completing complicated tasks. On the other hand, it's not clear to me that the IB program is significantly better scholastically than what my kids experienced in the Nebo school district and at Reagan academy. The Slovenian IB program works hard to integrate all learning together, but doesn't seem to cover as many topics. However, one must keep in mind that kids in Slovenia (and Europe in general) don't attend school as many hours per year as students in Utah, and that is not the fault of the IB program but of the Slovenian school system.

6/13/2008 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The people in IB are the wrong people to mess with." ~Shelby

"Because you are messing with the wrong people!" ~ anonymous 5/29

Do you really think these sort of threats to individuals on a message board are going to stop intelligent Americans from questioning the educational aberration that is IB? What stuff and nonsense! What arrogance! Put your left-wing, anti-American UN propaganda based "programme" in private schools if you need it so badly, but stop wasting American tax-dollars on brainwashing our kids! IB taught you how to think? I'll say.

7/11/2008 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Dayton,

Have you seen this?


I would be VERY interested in getting an official comment from you on this.

Also, please take a look at our new website:


Lisa E. McLoughlin
New York

10/12/2008 7:52 AM  

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