Welcome to The Senate Site

Friday, May 23, 2008

Guest Blog: Perspective on the IB

By Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
Director, World Class Education Research

Since 2005, the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) has been under scrutiny in several states. As its history, leadership, mission, partnerships, philosophy, pedagogy and costs become more widely known, the IB program has received mixed reviews.

Concerns about IBO partnerships with the United Nations, UNESCO and the IBO endorsement of The Earth Charter have prompted the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to respond with “Facts vs. Myths” flyers.

In addition, almost no empirical research is available on the effectiveness of IB in comparison to other gifted programs. The only empirical study available shows that the IB program yields no significant difference among IB gifted students compared to students in other gifted programs. Another is merely a survey of graduate perspectives, showing a positive correlation.

In 2007, the IBO encouraged teachers to show evidence to support their IB Programs and provided instructions and criteria on its website. However, again this evidence cannot prove that the IB program has an exclusive lock on higher results compared to other gifted programs. In both studies, gifted IB students were isolated from the students in the general program in homogeneous groupings, which is typical for IB programs.

Likewise, the rate at which colleges and universities may or may not be accepting IB diploma students has no rational, empirical basis to indicate that IB students would not have performed as well in other gifted programs. This IBO-commissioned study is more reflective of college perception and good IBO marketing.

In Utah, sufficient data to examine the costs has not been available, due to lack of tracking and the problem of no state accountability from an international administration.

Over the next few days, I will submit blog entries to address the truth and error in the IBO’s responses to concerns that have caused other states and schools to review the program and in some cases to discontinue it, in spite of popularity and growth. (See CA, PA, SC, CA again, MN, and AZ). The citations are from primary sources including the IBO website, IBO leaders, IBO partners or proponents of international education.

The three main areas of concern are:
1. History, funding, partnerships, mission, administration and arbitration.

2. Cost, growth, impact on student achievement and college entrance.

3. Philosophy, curriculum, pedagogy and testing.
The IBO’s responses to the following charges may be accessed at the IBO website. Hillcrest and West High Schools also provided me with similar flyers. Here is a summary of the myths that the IBO has addressed in its promotional literature:
Critics have claimed that the IB is “a western system,” “a Swiss export,” and is “funded by UNESCO.” It has been said that “IB Programs are pilot programs for UNESCO and the UN,” “developed for the purpose of creating an ‘international education system’ and that it is “only for private and international schools” and “hasn’t moved on since it was launched in 1968.”

Additional complaints are that the “IB is very expensive,” is “not a well-recognized qualification,” is “only for Diploma Programme students,” is an “elite club,” and is “only for the brightest students.”

Some have accused the IBO of promoting “a left-wing agenda, socialism, disarmament, radical environmentalism, and moral relativism, while attempting to undermine Christian religious values and national sovereignty.” They believe “the world view taught by IB includes the promotion of the Earth Charter” and find evidence that “America’s foundational principles of national sovereignty, natural law and inalienable rights are at odds with the IB curriculum and are not taught.”

Others find that IB Programs are “non-academic ‘fad’ programs and many colleges and universities will not accept IB courses as fulfilling undergraduate requirements for admissions.” Some are concerned that the “IB examination assessment is not thorough enough,” and others say that “all tests and papers of American [IB] students are sent to Europe/Geneva for grading and evaluation.”
Where’s the truth here? In my next blog entry we’ll begin to explore the answers. I would love to see hear from you on this.

NOTE: Cherilyn Bacon Eagar is a former teacher, researcher, and mother who has analyzed the IB program in significant depth. Senator Dayton has invited her to offer her perspective as a guest blogger on the Senate Site.


Blogger CraigJ said...

This is starting to sound more and more like Cherilyn's personal anti-IB crusade.

Cherilyn concedes that IB is as effective as gifted programs. The only difference - IB is not a "gifted" program. It does, however, achieve similar results. Students, by choice, can enter the program. It is rigorous, though - they'll have to work hard for that IB diploma!

I strongly support IB. It prepares students well for higher education and encourages them to serve their communities and their country. It helps build deep national loyalty by helping students understand WHY America is such a great country, not to just take the concept on blind faith. To suggest that we shouldn't teach students how to think for themselves does them a great disservice. They are human beings with enormous potential.

I would invite anyone to read the PRIMARY sources for IB. Read the standards and practices documents on the IB web site which describe what it takes to become an IB school. Read the ACTUAL documents and decide for yourself. I have, and I'll tell you my impression differs vastly from Cherilyn's.

5/23/2008 4:30 PM  
Blogger Cherilyn said...


Be patient with this process. I plan to take this one step at a time. As I mentioned in another post on Senator Dayton's Part II entry, I will be citing primary sources. I'll continue next week and answer your concerns then. Meanwhile, have a good weekend!

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar

5/23/2008 5:35 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Cherilyn, with all due respect, before we continue reading your posts and/or consider you a "reliable" source of information, could you please give me a bit of background information on World Class Education Research?

What type of organization are you (if you are)? Are you government sponsored or affiliated with any other organizations? Is this just a self-create title based on personal research?

I have no familiarity with this group and would like to know a little bit about it and why you were asked by Sen Dayton to guest post.

5/23/2008 6:03 PM  
Blogger CraigJ said...

Cherilyn, this should be fun. I'll await your posts and will respond accordingly.


5/23/2008 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Eagar's academic credential is a bachelor's degree in theater--no master's or PhD degrees which might give credibility to her "researcher" claims. Anyone can "research" the IB program from right-wing websites. Her views are so extreme, even for Utah, as evidenced by the resounding defeat of her resolution on public education at the GOP convention, that I think it an utter waste of time to even engage in a dialogue with her.

5/23/2008 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Bewildered said...

I would like to make a comment about "citing primary sources".

Cherilyn wrote:

"The only empirical study available shows that the IB program yields no significant difference among IB gifted students compared to students in other gifted programs."

My comment:

This study, at least according to its abstract, compares 176 general education students (no speicifc program) to 122 IB students. It does not compare, at least according to its abstract, IB students to students in other gifted programs.

Abstract of this study actually says: “ … students served in the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program reported more positive perceptions of school climate, had higher grade point averages and academic self-efficacy, and reported less externalizing psychopathology and affiliation with negative peers.”

True, this abstract also states that general education students and IB students “reported comparable levels of global life satisfaction and internalizing symptoms of psychopathology”. Is that what you meant stating that the IB program “yeilds no significant difference among IB gifted students compared to students in other gifted programs”?

It could be interesting to email, for example, to Dr.Shaunessy your conclusions related to her work and see what she thinks about it.

Please, expect your readers to check the links you provide.

One more point, IB programs in Utah are opened to every student who is able and willing to work extremely hard at school, not just to students identified as “gifted”.

5/23/2008 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Eager attended BYU but did she actually get a degree? Please show us the credentials that make her an "expert." I read a lot about dinosaurs on the internet because my son is obsessed. I guess that makes me a dinosaur expert. See the reasoning?

5/23/2008 7:40 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Uh... reasoning? I just see an anonymous attempt to discredit and I wonder what you are so afraid of.

Read her stuff (or don't), then consider all the comments. Do your own thinking. Then decide. Nothing scary about that.


5/23/2008 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could the senate site possibly not be so biased what with everyone (one) on the payroll being funded by taxpayers? Dayton canxed this person at the Ed Interim Committee for who knows why so now she's been relegated to the senate site? And given credibility?

IB is a proven, long time, not gifted program(me), why are we letting right wing bias obstruct good instruction for students who want this opportunity?

Sometimes I hate Utah.

5/23/2008 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Googled and can find no location for "World Class Education Research." I Googled the director's name and found references to the Eagle Forum, The Sutherland Institute, GOP delegate, pro-voucher, Sen. Buttars, and David Archuleta. I too wonder how Ms. (Dr.?) Eagar is supposed to be a credible expert.

5/24/2008 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

In answer to what happened to my presentation at the Education Committee meeting:

Senator Dayton and I agreed to postpone it for the following reasons:

1. The IB/AP statistics and financial numbers I requested two months ago were not received prior to the presentation. Discussion at the May 9, 2008 school board curriculum committee meeting discussed the problem of not having tracked the IB because the contractual agreement is between the local school and Geneva, Switzerland. This will probably take some time to gather.

3. The presentation needed more time than would be available. (I will present it at another time and in another venue, as the USOE information is received. It will be announced.)

4. We agreed, out of respect to those with opposing views, to divide the discussion into increments so that it could be discussed more thoroughly and thoughtfully over a greater length of time.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/24/2008 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

In answer to the question of my background:

You absolutely have a right to know who I am. Because I've not been involved in Utah education policy discussions since the mid-90s, here is my background specifically related to my education policy analyst experience:

1. In 1989, a parent organization representing thousands of parents in Dallas, Texas asked me to run for the school board. This was prompted by my presentation to the board, submitting research that had not been shared previously. It halted a critical vote on a hotly-contested issue.

I ran on a platform of pro-local and parental control, pro-choice in curriculum, anti-voucher, pro-merit pay, pro-honors classes, anti-heterogeneous grouping, pro-rigorous academics, anti-government sponsored socialization pedagogies and anti-school-based health clinics (which would distribute condoms and give abortion counseling without parental consent).

Not surprisingly, the teacher's union and its PTA foot soldiers endorsed my opponent, the local district PTA president. However, we were well-funded and succeeded in retaining honors classes and in defeating the middle school plan.

2. World Class Education Research was the result. I wrote a training manual and presented nationally. I took a necessary hiatus to develop and administer my own educational program in New York City. Because I’ve been recruited to this discussion again, I recently registered WCER in the State of Utah.

3. I have had a small part in influencing good legislation over the years and applaud individuals and organizations that have vigilantly worked to pass it. For example, I co-authored and funded the research for the Utah Family and Education Rights to Privacy Act, which successfully passed.

4. I brought attention to the unconstitutional “world citizen” and “participatory democracy” language in the civic and character education section of the Utah Education Code. I appreciate Representative LaVar Christensen's follow up a few years later to amend it to read "competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles of representative democracy in Utah and in the United States."

5. I presented research to the Utah legislature opposing the managed-economy, school-to-work proposals, as well as research opposing America 2000, Goals 2000 and NCLB. They are each similar blueprints, written by nationally-driven Washington bureaucrats that remain from administration to administration. These laws violate the state-level jurisdiction defined by the Utah State Constitution.

6. I co-authored a report, and delivered presentations nationally, on "outcome-based education" and the accompanying attitude/values testing found in NAEP and in other testing. Senator Hatch has used my research on the U.S. Senate floor.

7. I was invited to sit on the steering committee for what became "Citizens for Choice in Education." My position at that time was anti-voucher. I provided definitive research on how the voucher in Europe was a tool for state take-over of private and parochial school curricula. The recent Utah voucher legislation was personally problematic, but I supported it because:

a. Its language prohibited intrusion into private school curricula;

b. It was the most viable solution to the immediate crisis to reduce class size while keeping the money in the classroom; and,

c. It would ultimately give teachers more choices.

8. I've held leadership positions in non-profit organizations and have recently raised over $1.5 million to fight pornography, to advocate for family and education policy from the local level to the United Nations, and to support other charitable and political causes.

9. I solicited the funds to underwrite the legal research for the recent School Clubs bill.

You can find my commitment to provide primary source research in post #3 in the comments section on Senator Dayton's Part II post. Again, I do my own research from primary proponent sources. IB proponents admit their political bias is a progressive one. I am not a progressive. I have found it to be enough (and much more compelling) to use their own progressive words to explain the mission and philosophy of the IB program and others like it.

Personal attacks are distractions and wasteful of elected officials’ time. Debate and dispute the facts, if you will, but be respectful of the bloggers and elected officials.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/25/2008 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Self-righteous scolding is frowned upon also.

5/25/2008 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

In reponse to the question of my degree:

I received a B.A. degree in Speech and Drama, with an emphasis in Public Address and Debate. I've used those skills to write speeches for political candidates and have coached award-winning speakers in speech contests. I've presented to organizations on media, marketing and public relations, and debated a variety of issues in live debates and on local and national radio and TV since 1978.

I've been told by progressive IB teachers that I can't possibly understand IB because I'm not an IB teacher, and it would take at least six months for me to understand it. If I had just "happened upon" IB last month, that might have made sense. However, I've been researching the foundations of education since 1989.

If one's paper credential is the sole criterion for achieving "expert" status, why then do these same education progressives worship Al Gore as the "expert" on global warming? His degree has nothing to do with environmental science. (He has a B.A. in Government.)

Mr. Gore wrote Earth in the Balance to establish his credibility and since then, he has effectively used his name and communications skills to champion his point of view. Whether one agrees with him or not, can anyone deny that he has been a rather effective communicator for his cause?

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/25/2008 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

In response to the study “School Functioning and Psychological Well-Being of International Baccalaureate and General Education Students: A Preliminary Examination” Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Winter 2006:

You are correct about the general purpose of the study (comparing gifted IB with the general school population), as outlined in the abstract. My point is this:

The IB students showed a profile typical of other gifted and talented students, not exclusive to the IB program. In other words, the IB program is functioning as a gifted or honors program and attracting students who “self-select” into the IB program.

“…[S]tudents selected are typically those who score above the 90th percentile on achievement tests …. These students fit the profile of academically gifted students and intellectually gifted learners, representing what Renzulli (1998) describes as schoolhouse gifted, or students who demonstrate consistently high performance in test taking and learning in school. Students in these programs appear to self-select participation in IB and have experienced success in school over time…. As such, there is a common profile of students that has been reported in prior studies; IB students are highly self-motivated, adhere to or exceed school expectations, achieve academically , and have a strong desire to succeed…”

The study further shows that the advantages of the IB program are typical of any program that groups students homogenously. This study “supports the notion that participating in this rigorous curriculum is not harmful with respect to school and psychological functioning.” This study asks the same question I have asked: Where is the proof that IB is, as one teacher claimed, “…the best kept secret in education…”? Instead the study emphasizes that “No data on student outcomes were provided to support [this] contention." The study did show that IB doesn’t harm students; that IB students show a level of satisfaction; and that they smoke less than the general student body. Again, this does not show an exclusive correlation to IB.

The study calls on researchers to prove that IB is superior to other gifted programs because what exists is "perception." For example, a national college ratings magazine has recently opined that IB has the cache to get a student into a prestigious college. This is more likely the result of successful marketing campaigns (again, perception-based) than of solid research. This bias, and subsequent Congressional and State subsidy of it, reflects a political bias – as the IB’s philosophical foundation is the epitome of progressive deconstructionism. Progressive deconstructionists on college campuses (those that created political correctness and the politics of meaning) love the philosophical underpinnings of IB.

On one of my IB school tours, the IB staff introduced Senator Dayton and me to a top Utah Sterling Scholar heading for Harvard. This was obviously to showcase the quality of student that IB produces. I have known this student and her family, prior to her enrollment in the IB program. What I also know is that this family typically produces gifted students and would have done so with or without IB.

According to reports from other states implementing the IB program, this is an extraordinarily expensive program – anywhere from 3 to 7 times as expensive as other gifted programs. Yet it is only serving a minute percentage of Utah’s population. With present budget constraints, does this program have enough merit and can it be justified? Or should the budget be rolled into the rigor of other less expensive gifted and/or college prep programs already in place?

As this unproven, expensive, internationally-administered program becomes more popular, elected officials must pay more attention to what they are funding.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
© 2008 World Class Education Research ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. For reprints contact Cherilyn@CherilynBEagar.com

5/25/2008 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you and your Web site set someone up to be an expert on any certain subject, we have a right to question exactly what makes that person an expert -- rather than just accept your propaganda at face value. That's what dialogue is all about, right? Or maybe that isn't really your objective.

5/25/2008 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A credible researcher examines both sides of an issue. Ms. Eagar consistently examines the IB Program from the perspective of right-wing advocacy groups. Notice she is now trying to move away from her more outrageous claims to cost. It is the responsibility of the local school board to allocate resources for programs that benefit kids. IB may never rival other advanced programs like AP, but it is surely serving a niche that provides many students with a quality education. Thousands of parents of IB students would concur. A recognized researcher like Dr. John Y. Bennion to name just one, looks at data free from the lens of right-wing extremist websites. One question for Ms. Eagar: What is your true motive in attacking IB? Are you simply trying to be a player in Utah conservative political circles? Are you aspiring to run for something? Anyone who wants to know her real agenda can read her failed resolution to the GOP County Convention. Just google her name and you will find it, along with her ties to other ultra-conservative organizations.

5/26/2008 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

This is my final comment to Anonymous. I will engage in meaningful dialogue with anyone willing to identify themselves and share substantive information. To demand credibility and then sit behind the facade of "Anonymous," is hypocritical. I have cited sources that are hardly "right wing," unless the IBO website, its leadership and partners, the Journal of Secondary Gifted Education and my other citations listed below are considered "right wing." They are:

IB: Myths vs. Facts, http://www.ibo.org/ibna/actionpacks/documents/MythvFact_000.pdf

IB: Myths vs. Facts, http://www.ibo.org/ibna/actionpacks/documents/MythvFact_000.pdf. See also, West High School flyer, Salt Lake City, Utah.

“School Functioning and Psychological Well-Being of International Baccalaureate and General Education Students: A Preliminary Examination,” Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Winter 2006


Taylor, Mary Lee and Marion Porath, “Reflections on the International Baccalaureate Program: Graduates’ Perspectives,” The University of British Columbia, The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Vol. XVII, No. 3, Spring 2005, pp. 21-30.

Building Evidence to Support Your IB Programme, http://www.ibo.org/ibna/actionpacks/documents/BuildingEvidencetoSupportYourIBProgram.pdf

“Perceptions of the International Baccalaureate Programme Among Australian and New Zealand Universities,” http://www.ibo.org/ibap/IBOPerceptionsReportFinal.pdf.pdf

Report to Curriculum Committee, May 9, 2008, Utah State School Board Meeting discussion.

Examples: Challenges to the IB Program, discontinuing, cutting back or reviewing:
Discontinued. LaMirada, CA: http://www.sgvtribune.com/education/ci_9153979
Discontinued – Reinstated. Upper St. Clair, PA: http://pittsburgh.about.com/b/2006/02/22/international-baccalaureate-is-anti-american-anti-christian.htm
Discontinued. Beaufort, SC: http://www.libpa.org/newsletter.html
Threatened. CA: http://www.advanceproj.org/index.php?q=/c/news/item_id/1
Challenged. Minnetonka, MN: http://citypages.com/databank/26/1275/article13267.asp
IB Bill Failed. AZ: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0620international0620.html
Recommendation Failed. Owego-Apalachin, NY: IBO Task Force, Final Report 2004

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/26/2008 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not hypocritical to demand credibility while also remaining anonymous, and this is the reason why: I am not claiming to be an expert in the IB program or any other area of education. You, Cherilyn Bacon Eager, are. In an effort to weigh your arguments, it is important first to understand your background and where you are coming from. It is important to understand exactly what makes your education research "world class" if anything at all. Is that just a personal claim you are making about yourself or is there any merit to that claim?

The fact that you -- and the Senate Site -- are so beligerent in addressing these valid questions about your credentials raises more questions. It makes one wonder if there is, in fact, merit to the other claims (raised by the previous anonymous, not me) that you really are just an ultra-conservative with an agenda.

5/26/2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Silliest Debate

The Mountain gorillas of Bwindi
need their legs, their arms, their hands.
Unlike humans, they do not need syntax.

Syntax is like the grid of a city -
we need it to find our way
to work, to home, to school,
to the Super WalMart with its own grid
laid out like a Melville sentence.

Some humans claim syntax
makes us smarter than gorillas.
We have Maalox, Tylenol, Anusol, Viagra,
and we can compose compound-complex
sentences that have multiple nouns and verbs.

We are the Adamic specis.
We name everything, even "ecotourists,"
humans who pay to watch
the mountain gorillas of Bwindi
sleep, eat, nurture, have a little sex.

Imagine mountain gorillas
paying to watch humans
run through the maze of [Salt Lake]

from Kenneth Brewers final book of poetry, Why Dogs Stopped Flying (Utah's second poet laureate)

5/26/2008 8:46 PM  
Blogger mitch said...

Ms. Eagar is just what Senator Dayton wants. Someone who already agrees with her position. How odd that in Utah to teach a subject you must be "Highly Qualified", but to be recognized by the Utah Legislature you only need to give yourself a name and a title and agree with their position. Ms. Eagar is not highly qualified in education or education research. She is only an involved parent like myself. This may not make her views less important but they do not make them MORE important. It is truly unfortunate that for this subject there will be no meaningful dialog. Senator Dayton side-stepped it at the committee meeting and it swept under the rug (just like she wants to do to the program). Education support in the legislature in Utah is all "lip service". The Utah Legislature passed a tuition tax credit bill that was overwhelmingly shot down by public vote. Do they represent those who sent them there? I think not.

5/28/2008 12:40 PM  
Blogger Seagulljaap said...

What is up with this debate over IB? If you ask me, there is not substantial evidence to give IB a death sentence. This begs the question. Has anyone who is attacking IB sat in on an actual IB class? Can they provide affidavits from students who are now more liberalized, atheistic, and, with this reasoning, promiscuous?

I smell something very suspicious here. Somehow, I do not doubt that the Eagle Forum is involved. Radicalism, whether right or left wing, never proved to ensure safety for the people. I think Utah is ready for a change.

5/28/2008 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Bewildered said...

To Cherilyn:

Is the World Class Education Research a non-profit organization registered with the state of Utah?

5/29/2008 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


5/29/2008 1:42 PM  
Blogger mitch said...

Isn't it interesting that when you "google" World Class Education Research you get nothing. This is surprising since Randy Eagar (Cherilyn's husband) is her partner in "Computer Camp". Speaking and training real estate agents in the power of the internet and to improve their web sites! It seems World Class Education Research (she states she has been researching since 1989) has no web site. Perhaps she could enlist Randy's help in setting something up.

World Class Education Research, The Sutherland Institute, The Eagle Forum, etc. etc. etc. No differences between them. Giving yourself a name and non-profit standing does not make your opinion more important. Another time that the Utah legislature is trying to push their agenda on the public.

5/29/2008 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


You must not have seen the post in which I explained that I took a hiatus from the work I started through WCER to pursue other related causes and to help other non-profit organizations raise funds. However, after I was recently asked to become involved in education issues again, I registered it.

Yes, my husband Randy is a popular and respected Internet marketer and seminar speaker for realtors. He is known nationally as a technology humorist (most commonly "accused" of a Seinfeld-like style). He keeps everyone laughing through the rather dry topic of technology.

He presents his own seminars on how to build a business online, and was also a Senior Instructor for the National Council of Residential Specialists (CRS), having authored its technology course. He and Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert started the first Utah CRS Chapter years ago, with Gary serving as its first president.

Randy has served on the national board of CRS for over 20 years and as its president in 2006. He was instrumental in expanding its 50,000 members to an international membership including China, Japan and Spain.

The Internet is a great tool for communicating any message. I've been fortunate to learn how to use it to raise a good amount of money for some worthy non-profit causes as well as for commercial entities since 1996 when I first went online.

At this point in time, I'm in the planning phase of creating a blog for WCER instead of a website.

I hope this answers your questions about WCER and my Internet background.

We're here to discuss international education. If you have any questions about that, I'll willingly respond.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/29/2008 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


I have sat in on many classes over the years to observe different curricula. I've attended professional development courses. I've served on a district-wide task force and have participated in in-depth research of education issues.

Attending a class usually only demonstrates the individual teacher's ability in that particular presentation for that particular class on that particular day. (And they usually know in advance that visitors are coming.)

What matters is reviewing the curriculum, the outcomes (standards, or whatever the current label), the tests matched to the outcomes, the scoring mechanism used and how the students responded.

Schools do not like to be scrutinized in this way. They usually say it would destroy the integrity of the test and it would require a FOIA request to subpoena the information.

I have already requested this information from the Utah State Office of Education, but have not received a response yet.

If one wished to observe the impact of the IB, a European-grown, process-based "critical thinking" philosophy of education that seeks at best to produce a "skeptic" (see top IB consultant Marc van Loo's Implementing the International Baccalaureate Programme), one need only go so far as to observe the dying culture of Europe.

The philosophical underpinnings of the IB originated from the progressives at Oxford, in collaboration with educators at Ecolint (International School of Geneva). Alec Peterson, its first director, wrote the history of the IB - Schools Across Frontiers. You can read Ian Hill's comments in Peterson's book confirming the "liberal, humanist" leanings of its leadership.

I subscribe to an array of newsletters from across the political spectrum, not only from the US, but internationally. I recommend that readers here subscribe to the UNESCO/UN newsletters, that they actually read the documents that come out of the UN and observe its overwhelming impact on US education policy.

Now, if you agree with a progressive political view, then you won't find much to criticize in the IB or the rest of government-funded education (as well as some elite private schools). The IBO has been a long time partner with UNESCO, and still is.

Go to the IBO website and read the speeches of the IBO's deeply entrenched progressive leaders - Ian Hill, Alec Peterson, Desmond Cole, Nicholas Tate, and UNESCO's Peter Smith, among others. You will find the common thread of leftist philosophy and internationalist goals.

(One anomaly is Nicholas Tate. Although he is dedicated to international education, he speaks honestly about the difference of the mission between a national and international school.)

If you are attracted to the idea that the United States should be held responsible to fund the rest of the developing world by redistributing its wealth and forgiving their debts because we're all somehow "world citizens;" if you like the idea of nations being beholden to an international body of bureaucrats that no one elected; and if you support documents that would impose (and already are imposing) collectivist solutions, primarily through environmentalist policy, then you've not only found your curriculum in the IB, but you will also love these progressive globalist themes found throughout our government-funded schools and elite private schools.

Why is this happening in Utah? Because we are tied to a national department of education (follow the money) that is testing nationally and requiring that all states comply. They say it’s voluntary, but the price is high – withholding of federal funds.

What is really a shame (no, a tragedy) is that some of our colleges and universities are giving preference to those students that answer "correctly" to the politically correct testing.

So the question is not whether the IB will die any sort of death. It is not a question of vouchers or choice of brick and mortar. It's not even a question of a thematic charter school. It's a question of curriculum and pedagogical philosophy: allowing parents to be informed and to choose their curriculum and the philosophy behind it and to know which teachers teach which philosophy and use which pedagogy, and which schools are doing what.

After all, we choose our children's piano teachers and doctors based on what "pedagogy" they're skilled in. Why not school teachers and curriculum as well? That was my position when I ran for the school board in Texas 1990, and it is my position today.

But as long as we have a DOE and a state core curriculum forced to meet national standards, we will not see any choice in curriculum philosophy any time soon.

It's interesting to watch those who claim they are liberal and who rush to defend freedom of speech become suddenly totally fascist and close-minded when the idea of this kind of "choice" is presented.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/29/2008 6:41 PM  
Blogger Seagulljaap said...

"You will find the common thread of leftist philosophy and internationalist goals. "

Ms. Eager, please be advised that I am not attacking you as a person, but rather addressing your comments.

I am deeply disappointed, confused, and almost offended, by your statement and response to my comments. Your radicalism in this matter, coupled with dubious credentials, proves that Utah is in need of a change of perspective. Frankly, I don't want radicalism in any form in my schools, place of employment or government. I find it interesting, however, that you choose to attack IB because you claim it has such leftist leanings. If IB were notoriously conservative, espousing creationism, condemning abortion, homosexuality, and attacking science, that there would be no debate in Utah over funding it. None whatsoever. Also, your comments on being closed minded are more than ironic.

You have yet to demonstrate hard, concrete evidence that the pedagogy of IB in Utah Schools produces atheists. Also, your claims that sitting in on IB classes does not provide an adequate picture of the IB program are absurd. Sure teachers may act differently around guests. I, for one, have yet to hear of a student who believes that IB has a liberal leaning.

Prove all things, Ms. Eager, hold fast to that which is good.

5/29/2008 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

To Seagull ...

I don't feel personally attacked at all. I'm quite confident in my qualifications, experience and ability to analyze education issues.

We simply have different world views, so we can't expect to see eye to eye on this matter.

My point to you is that parents ought to be able to choose what they want for their children within the public school system.

I not only "claim" that the leaders of the IBO and their partners are progressive/ leftist, I challenge you to prove me wrong.

I don't find allowing parents to choose what's best for their children to be a radical idea at all, do you?

I'm not even asking that a "right wing" curriculum be forced down anyone's throat, and yet that is what progressives have done for years to conservatives. It's time we bring some balance to the system and give parents an informed choice.

So since I'm a former teacher (in college, private and charter school venues) I'm going to give you and your friends on this blog a class assignment:

1. Read former IB Deputy Director Ian Hill's speech to the Disarmament Forum - you can Google it. List every conservative idea he discusses. You are not allowed to excerpt anything out of context. (Hint: This report will be a very brief essay, if even a paragraph, and this speech is merely representative of others.)

2. Read IBO founding director Alec Peterson's history of the IBO, "Schools Across Frontiers" and list one single "conservative" name or organization involved in the development of the IBO and the concept of the international school.

Then report back to us. We'll call this class Foundations of IB 101. :-)

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/29/2008 10:45 PM  
Blogger mitch said...

The problem is with your lack of qualifications in the area of education and research. A B.A from BYU in speech and drama. Do you have a masters in education? Have you published any independent research in any peer reviewed journals? I could not find any research you have performed yourself. You only present information from others research. Statistics are a malleable item and can often be manipulated to demonstrate whatever end you choose to display. Sample size, controls, study design, and many other variables contribute to the validity of the information gathered. While there is nothing wrong with becoming well read about issues and becoming involved, it does not make you an expert on education or a researcher.

5/30/2008 7:19 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

In all of these comments back and forth, I am having a hard time understanding why "progressive" is such a bad thing and why "progressive" is only connected to those who are left-learning.

By definition, progressive is moving forward. Making advancements. Progress. Why is this a bad thing? Why don't all people want to consider themselves progressive? Sure is better than "regressive".

Could it be that "progressive" is often interchanged with "liberal"? These two words have quite different meanings. If that is the case, then carry on with your crusade Ms Eager, because nobody wants anything - gasp - liberal in our schools.

5/30/2008 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


My purpose at World Class Education Research is to review the research and provide an analysis and report to those in decision-making capacities. I have concerns about the IB and other education curricula and pedagogies on many levels: content, process and evaluation in the affective domain, being just a few.

The research you suggested in your post is exactly the kind of research that is lacking with regard to the IB. I cannot find an empirical study that shows that the IB is superior to any other gifted program. Since it is an expensive program, this is a critical point.

This discussion is actually a subset of a greater issue that has been percolating within the education world for years. I have been tracking it since 1989 (pun intended). It is centered on the matter of homogeneous grouping (ability grouping, tracking) versus heterogeneous grouping (grouping all ability levels together).

In short, the U.S. Department of Education has decided that because “education is for all” (from the U.N. Dakar Framework that No Child Left Behind parallels), it must be delivered equally to all. That means teachers must “lower the basketball standard so that everyone can shoot the basket.” Furthermore, this game cannot introduce any competition, because at the end of the day things start sorting out by all the ACLU No-No’s: SES (socio-economic status), race, ethnicity, gender, with someone winning and someone losing and a potential ACLU law suit.

As a teacher, I’ve had enough experience with heterogeneous and homogeneous grouping to know the advantages and disadvantages. I know that I cannot meet the needs of all students adequately in a heterogeneously grouped class especially if I use the higher achievers in a cooperative learning setting to help the lower achievers get up to speed.

This usually creates additional socialization problems, as the higher achievers are bound to come through in the group while the lower achievers sit back and let the high achievers do the work for them. No one wins here.

What is disturbing to note is that the students hurt the most are the higher achievers. In fact, heterogeneous grouping studies (see Slavin, 1990 and 1993 and Gamoran and Weinstein, 1998) do not show favorable results for “all.” What the research shows is that the higher achievers are held back – or on a plateau – and one could go so far as to say, are actually being used – to bring up the lower achievers. That is why we hear so much about “closing the gap” with NCLB. Yes, believe it or not, the USDOE goal is to keep the higher achievers at bay while it brings up the lower achievers.

It is no wonder that the U.S. is not able to compete internationally. Frankly, there is no consensus on heterogeneous grouping even among educators because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to arrive at this obvious outcome.

One of the reasons why the IB has risen in popularity is because it markets itself as a prestigious and rigorous program, and all students are allowed. However, the research shows that the most likely to complete the class and especially the entire program are the high achievers. Back to homogeneous grouping again. Furthermore, the research shows that students prefer homogeneous grouping. However, the cost of the IB program, the minute number of students it reaches in Utah, its international focus and philosophical underpinnings are of greater concern. Other gifted or honors programs that minimize these concerns already exist.

Even with other options, once the government mandates a state core curriculum and outcomes matched to that curriculum, and then ties it to a national curriculum, which is also tied to an international curriculum, (with testing in the affective domain) all roads eventually lead to Rome. That is not the definition of “local control.” This national plan also violates the Utah State Constitution, which says that education is to be forever under the jurisdiction of the State of Utah.

I've given you and your friends a research assignment to prove me wrong about the background and the political perspective of the IB. If I'm wrong, then it benefits everyone to bring that to light.

Now go research that assignment and report back (see my post to "Seagull.") Either complete the assignment, or receive a failing grade. :-)

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/30/2008 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I cannot find an empirical study that shows that the IB is superior to any other gifted program."

Hmm... Years of "research", and our "expert" Cherilyn does not even know that IB is not a gifted program? It is a rigorous advanced program, yes. It was shown to have many characteristics of gifted education (go find that dissertation by Linda Hutchinson, Cherilyn), so it is good for gifted kids, yes. But it is not a gifted program since it is by no means limited just to gifted kids, only to students who can handle the workload.

She is such an expert, indeed.

5/30/2008 1:42 PM  
Blogger Seagulljaap said...

Ms. Eager-

I have yet to see any indication of your qualifications or credentials, every time someone brings this up, you list statistics and your status as an educator researcher. Do you have a teaching degree? Have you ever been actually involved in the IB program?


5/30/2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


I have been on the faculty at the university level, and at the high school level, as well as having administered and taught in my own program in collaboration with faculty members from one of the most prestigious theatre conservatories in NYC. I consistently received the highest teacher ratings in all three venues.

I do not see the need to respond to any more off-topic posts. The topic is the International Baccalaureate program, curriculum, pedagogy, and philosophical foundations. If you have anything further to say about that, as I said to Anonymous, I will respond.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

5/30/2008 5:36 PM  
Blogger mitch said...

It is useless for us to continue in this blog as Ms. Eagar is only being used by Senator Dayton to bolster her agenda. Ms. Eagar is not-qualified to analyze the educational program any more than anyone else. The real comments concerning IB should be made to Senator Dayton since she is being fed biased information from Ms. Eagar. Please continue to contact Senator Dayton at:


Sorry for not completing your assigned project Ms. Eagar, but I never enrolled in theater this term.

5/30/2008 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Eagar.

Asking about your credentials is not off topic. I will give you an assignment.

Determine the validity and objectivity of said expert. (Is this fact, fiction, or faction?)
Once determined, weigh the evidence presented and decide if it is fair and balanced. Finally, based on said information, form your own opinion.

1. Examine issue (IB)
2. Examine credentials of experts (must find out specifics such as "on faculty at university level" - name the institution, "high school level" (name the institution.
3. Based on findings,determine the bias of said expert, then form your own opinion. (anon who is only anon because I can't figure out my darned google account) You can refer to me as Lizzie. Thanks

5/30/2008 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


You don't have to rely on me or anyone else for the facts. Go to the original sources I've sited and check them out for yourself. If you find that what I've said is incorrect, then we will have something more to discuss.

Meanwhile, let's both have a good weekend.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar

5/30/2008 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Eagar,

I went back and looked at all of the posts regarding your credentials and the only concrete thing I found was that you received a B.A. from BYU. Everything else is general. You taught at the university level but no name of that university. Why can't you just answer the question?


5/31/2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Bewildered said...

To Cherilyn:
Is the World Class Education Research a non-profit organization registered with the state of Utah?
Cherilyn said:

According to the Utah non-profit laws and regulations:

"(i) no substantial part of the activities of the (non-profit organization) shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the (non-profit organization) shall not participate in , or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office except as authorized under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended..."


5/31/2008 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


It has taken me a while to get back to this strand on the blog. You raised a good point about the use of the word “progressive” and why that may not be a “good” thing. As you well understand, “progressive” commands a positive media image, just as the labels “pro-choice” and “pro-life” provide more attractive spins than do “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion.” Therefore, using “progressive" provides more media message mileage than other terms that might be used to cover the range of meaning, such as: “statism,” “big government,” “big brother,” “managed economy,” “socialism,” “Marxism,” “collectivism,” “communism” or “liberal fascism.” I chose the use the word that proponents of these ideas prefer: progressive.

Wikipedia describes a range of definitions and actually posts a list of some well-known progressives. Interestingly, they all supported, or continue to support, big government ideals in varying degrees from the Left. This list of progressives is almost entirely Democratic, and it closely matches another Wiki list: the list of well-known socialists. (Wikipedia must therefore be a far right wing conspiracy.  ) Hardly.

One can observe the voting record of 54 of the most Left members of Congress and find their ideals closely match those of the Democratic Socialists of America Party. Certainly it’s not illegal to belong to or vote a socialist party agenda, but those ideals are also certainly not in the U.S. Constitution, nor were they the original intent of our Founders, all vehemently opposed to direct or participatory democracy.

Reagan is regarded as the only true conservative (“right-winger?”) to lead in the last century. However, even he fell short on several fronts, including failing to dismantle the U.S. Department of Education. Yet his failings are more indicative of the bureaucracy and the Democratic Congress that surrounded him while President than anything else.

The danger of labeling “Left” and “Right” is that we come to the table with preconceived notions of cause and effect. We typically lay out the political continuum as if it were linear, with fascism on the far right and communism on the far left – polar opposites. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fascism and Communism are actually siblings competing for the attention of their mother: Totalitarianism. A more accurate description of the political spectrum would be to pick up the ends of the political continuum, and pull them around to the top, join them together and suddenly it makes sense. Both fascism and communism are versions of totalitarianism, and socialism is the vehicle.

The Left has successfully promoted the lie (primarily through government schools, where I was taught this myth) that fascism is the ideology of the “far right.” Perhaps you were taught this in school as well. In truth, Hitler was not only a racist, he was a socialist. Nazi Germany was a National Socialist republic and the Nazi party was formally called the National Socialist German Workers Party.

The Democratic Socialists of America believe that “both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.” Is this not the agenda we have seen from Congress for years, unfortunately aided by liberal Republicans? Through legislation, the United States has moved slowly but surely, incrementally, toward a socialist economy.

I have discussed this observation with several friends who have immigrated to America from communist countries – Cuba, USSR, Ukraine, and Viet Nam. The consensus is that in some respects their socialist homelands resemble the U.S. In the case of my Russian friend, her observation was that the U.S. is much more tightly regulated than Russia under communism was. Are we blind to this reality?

Calling oneself a “progressive” in the U.S. during the first quarter of the 20th Century held the same sort of cache as calling oneself a “Fabian progressive” at Oxford, where the IBO got its start. A progressive seeks the same goals as any other socialist, but “incrementalism” is the preferred method over military coup. This post-World War I climate nurtured and set the stage internationally for the birth of the IBO. At that time and through World War II, socialism was the savior from Nazism and fascism.

If an educator wanted academic credibility, identifying with a progressive movement was a real plus. C. S. Lewis found out how quickly an intellectual can fall from grace by defecting from that progressive club. That remains true today. We call it being “politically correct.”

The left-over hippies of the Sixties with whom I went to school have been lurking within Ivory Tower halls for forty years now, spewing deconstructionist poison to indoctrinate today’s teachers. Those teachers in turn must conform to a government monopoly bent on holding the classroom hostage to the curriculum of the Left, e.g. radical environmentalism, multiculturalism, tolerance, relativism, egalitarianism and the need to socialize worldwide as global citizens in the wake of whatever Chicken Little theory they can co-opt next. Now that progressives have realized global warming is actually cooling (again), they have conveniently changed the label – “climate change” or “climate crisis.”

All this is to control the masses to suit the needs of the state. So when parents think they are sending their children to school to learn to “get along with others,” think again. The group/control theory of Glasser (backed up by the cooperative learning theories of Johnson and Johnson) and the “moral” initiatives of Goodlad (to name two), put the focus on the group and not the individual, ideas counter to the unique Constitution under which we live, which protect the rights of the individual over an oppressive group. It is of no surprise that these theories provide the education framework for socializing for democracy (i.e. allegiance to The Great Society).

And we thought we were sending our children to school to learn to read, write and do arithmetic. No wonder we’ve lost our academic anchor.

We will continue to struggle academically until this government monopoly can be broken up. Vouchers were not the solution. We need a complete overhaul, a Ma Bell/postal service-type break-up. The telecommunications explosion would never have happened without that break up.

I'm asking first for Utah to defend federalism and its state constitution, which requires education to be locally managed by the legislature. The other imperative is to provide some balance through choice of curriculum and philosophical foundations within this government-controlled school system. If that cannot be achieved, then we must at least provide parents informed disclosure and consent so they clearly understand they are getting socialist indoctrination and not academics in the public school setting. If that’s what they want, then so be it. But at least disclose it.

The likelihood of this transformation is slim as long as we have 54 socialists and a majority of Democrats that vote along with them controlling Congress. I have been surprised to watch too many Republicans also vote along with the ideas of the Left. It will take courage to stand up to the teachers Union and its cheerleaders, the PTA. It will take an awakening of business leaders to realize that they too are the losers, as long as our schools are producing government groupies who must rely on a calculator to think.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

6/04/2008 10:26 PM  
Blogger CraigJ said...

This is hate speech plain and simple - a paranoid, frothy, filthy rant.

6/05/2008 2:16 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Agreed, Craig. And it does NOTHING to help support Ms Eagar's position.

Ms Eagar was pretty selective in what she pulled from Wikipedia. She left off "Many progressives hoped to make government in the U.S. more responsive to the direct voice of the American people" in addition to many of the accomplishments of these "crazy" progressive people (women's suffrage, secret ballots for voters, voter referendums, etc).

Progressives are the voice of change and progress. The media, and people like Ms Eagar, are the ones who spin this positive position into something so negative. I am a progressive - and I am proud to say so. I am not a communist. I am not a socialist. I am also an educator.

In Ms Eagar's comment, she calls for an educational system overhaul while denouncing big government. It is a bit ironic given that No Child Left Behind (the largest "big government" educational movement) was all driven by the most conservative of people - sort of puts a hole in your "progressive" stereotype, doesn't Ms Eagar? There are many other examples that paint conservatives as "big government", not us progressives (marriage definitions, medicinal marijuana, and stem cell research legislation just to name a few).

In addition, addressing your call to "overhaul the system" it is worth pointing out that the "progressive" changes in education in relatively more recent years (hands on learning, student ownership of learning, using manipulative's and experiments, etc) all have incredibly strong research backing them as successful models of teaching. But, I probably don't need to explain that to you, Ms Eagar, since you are an expert in education. These models are even more effective for our "alternative" student learners, which I have had several years of experience teaching, and which you - again being an education expert - already know.

Rather than create bias in this IB "discussion" Sen Dayton would like to have, stick to objective facts and let us readers make the subjective interpretations.

I look forward to your comments about your non-profit status and your apparent disregard for the piece about not influencing policy.

6/05/2008 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Craig and Heather. What is wrong with tolerance? Ms. Eagar needs to go back to California or Texas, or wherever she is from. We don't need any more extremists in Utah. We have enough.

6/05/2008 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...

Bewildered: This response to your inquiry about WCER's IRS status was posted on the other IB article on 6/02/2008 9:07 PM, copied here:

I’ve served on several steering committees and boards and have assisted some fledgling organizations with governance issues. I have seen some rather unusual and troubling situations arise within young non-profits, which usually can be traced to problems in governance and structure.

This prompted me to research and analyze the Bylaws of some of the country’s best-run non-profits. It developed into a 200-page manual on governance for those who are interested in starting a non-profit organization, including sample Bylaws, organizational charts and policy and procedures recommendations.

Most of my time is spent researching and writing. When WCER is about to overstep the IRS definition for a “c 3” in the lobbying area, I will file for an extension, and then if needed I will set up a “c 4.” If I find it necessary to endorse a candidate, I will establish a PAC. If there is a particular issue that requires more than the IRS allows a c 3, I will set up a 527.

Until then, WCER is doing just fine as a 501 (c)(3).

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

6/02/2008 9:07 PM

6/06/2008 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


It’s clear that we don’t see eye to eye on this matter. I don’t know your age, but I assume you are younger than I and that you were educated in a government run school. The perspective taught in our government-controlled schools, as well as with the IB program, is a secular, progressive, “liberal humanist” view (as the history of IB calls it). That is not in dispute.

I did not take anything out of context on Wikipedia. The progressives were indeed right there in the women’s movement, as well as others, no doubt about it. I was deeply involved in that movement when I lived in Chicago many years ago. As a delegate to the U.N. International Womens Year conference, I appeared on several radio and TV shows, on college and community debates, and I was interviewed in newspapers to discuss my views on passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. I was literally laughed at, mocked, booed, hissed at, and ridiculed for making “outrageous claims” that the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment would:

1. Force “unisex” bathrooms. Now California and Maryland are mandating unisex locker rooms and bathrooms in public buildings, including schools.

2. Require women to fight in combat. Now they are.

3. Cause a two-income family economy that would undermine the traditional family and take women out of the home. Now we see mothers leaving their children in day care routinely.

4. Cause disparity in the population (as abortion and zero population were advocated) that would either require enormous tax increases or social security to go bankrupt. Now we’re trying to figure out how to care for the Baby Boomers, and we need illegal immigrants to replace the 45,000,000+ babies that we’ve killed for convenience since then.

5. Cause women to lose the special protections they had and create a new level of poverty for single, divorced women through no-fault divorce laws. Now we see the ravages of this folly.

6. Bring about comparable worth (or gender parity). Now we see movements to equalize wages and require equal numbers of men and women in elective offices.

7. Be used to justify same gender marriage. It has.

We got all this in return for being able to have “equal pay for equal work.” We haven’t needed the amendment at all. We have piecemealed it through legislation and activist courts that have abandoned Natural Law.

So when people tell me that my perspective on the IB is foolish and I am mocked for it, you might understand my impatience with ignorance of history. It simply saddens me that we now have a generation of indoctrinated citizens that attended these schools and didn’t get taught history. Only the liberal view is allowed in government schools. Your view is a secular, humanist, progressive view. So naturally you love the IB.

All I’m asking is that parents be allowed to select their children’s curriculum – Left, Right, Centrist - because nothing’s neutral in education. T.S. Eliot wrote that all education is essentially religious. Parents should at least be informed as to what religious perspective the curriculum is taking and what the political views of those that created the curriculum are.

If there are parents that want their children to be fed politically correct drivel trickled-down from college campuses, then let them have it. But give it disclosure and transparency. Do you oppose that, because that is my definition of tolerance.

The truth is, progressive educators have proven they have absolutely no tolerance for any other view but their own. That is my definition of censorship.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

6/06/2008 1:05 AM  
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 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John,

The form of government the United States has is not a democracy. It is a constitutional federal republic. This means we are represented, and we do not directly vote on legislation, unless through an occasional referendum.

The founders abhorred democracy and deliberately set it up this way so that folks who don’t have time to really study the issues can elect those who are able to dedicate their time to research. I ran a survey with a class I teach recently and I asked this very question – what form of government does the U.S. have? The majority responded “a democracy.” So you are not alone.

Some knew that it was not a Democracy. Others didn’t know at all. This is proof enough that public schools have failed to teach history and government, and that they have been indoctrinating students for the past 50 years with the false notion that America is a democracy. As you know, there are some who would like the U.S. to become a democracy. They typically are Fabian socialists who, knowingly or unknowingly, prefer to get their way through proletariat revolutions.

In fact, the Utah PTA recently passed a resolution unanimously favoring “direct democracy.” They had such success with the voucher referendum, I assume they plan to use it again to over-ride our representative form of government. We already have a referendum. It’s called an election.

A few years ago, the Utah Education Code read that we were training students to be “world citizens in a participatory democracy.” I’m not sure who wrote that language into the code, but I brought attention to it in the mid-90s. I understand that LaVar Christensen had something to do with removing that language.

As you may also be aware, we are presently undergoing a “Green” proletariat revolution. The “un” American part of the IB curriculum isn’t actually unique to IB. However, because of IB’s partner relationship with UNESCO and its endorsement (unofficial, now because of political expediency a la Wright/Obama) of The Earth Charter, environmentalism and the concepts of “sustainability” and “world citizenship” are infused throughout the curriculum, which I have reviewed.

The Earth Charter (you can google that) has not been signed by the U.S. because, for starters, it requires redistribution of our income internationally to “sustain” the poor and to prevent a climate disaster, even if the science doesn’t show a crisis.

At least 31,000 scientists who disagree that CO2 is the cause of global warming have signed a petition to protest the $300 million junk-science campaign of Al Gore. I attended a lecture series on the environment and learned that trying to effect climate change by changing man-made CO2 is like pointing a fire extinguisher at the sun to put out the fire.

Yet, one of the brightest IB students at a participating Utah school explained that man-made CO2 is the cause of global warming. Her teacher enthusiastically agreed and blamed parents of the past 50 years for causing this catastrophe waiting to happen. She’s on her way to a top university, but she was taught incorrectly.

It’s rather humorous (and not) that we once called the scare a “red” scare. Now we’ve got a “green” scare. So one might say the Red scare now has the Green light, at least in our schools and in the media. No wonder our leftist universities like the IB diploma!

If you wish to know more, I have written more on this on previous posts. You may have to search for it, but it is summarized in this blog. I’d be happy to share more with you, as long as this topic is posted on this blog.

Finally, the cost of IB is an “unknown” for now in Utah. As I’ve written, the State Office of Education has not been tracking it because the contract is between the participating school and Geneva, Switzerland. Now that the state is funding the program, it is incumbent on our legislators to have this information. Accountability is two-way, and the Utah legislature has committed to transparency.

What we do know is that where the IB is delivered in other states, the consensus is that it is 3-7 times as expensive as competitive models, and with scanty research to prove it is any more effective.

I hope this is helpful.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

6/11/2008 6:42 PM  
Blogger CraigJ said...

Apparently Cherilyn is not only anti-IB, she is anti-democracy as well. What's next? Will you lecture President Bush for "spreading democracy" in the middle east?

The simplest perusal of our constitution and its amendments shows that we are a representative democracy. This is a form of republic - a republic "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Obviously there are different forms of republics. The Soviet Union (USSR) was a republic - it was just one in which a very small group of people got to vote for an even smaller slate of party leaders. Not much of a republic by our standards.

When our nation was first formed, there were many (including some of the founding fathers) that believed that only white, male property owners were entitled to vote. It wasn't until the 1920's that women could vote and the 1950's and 1960's that people of any skin color could exercise their rights free from intimidation and poll taxes.

Hence the irony - if it weren't for those scary "democracy advocates" who brought about change, Cherilyn wouldn't have a vote today.

I've heard these far-right anti-democracy rants before. It's as if these folks have deified the "founding fathers" (or rather, packaged snippets of their words that support their particular views) to marginalize the will of the people. While I respect the constitution, by today's standards it would have a terrible human rights record. It was an inspiring "first step" in the late 1700's. However, improvements to the constitution (and the bill of rights) have been in the direction of granting more free participation to all citizens. These are pro-democracy acts, ratified by at least 2/3rds of the states for the amendments. Now, through these amendments, all citizens 18 years of age or older, and regardless of race or gender, can vote for local, state, and federal offices. We can now say that we are truly a representative democracy...well, perhaps except for the Utah State School Board.

Long live our representative democracy - long live our republic!

6/12/2008 1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I said, this opinion on “democracy” is the result of over 50 years of politicized government-funded and controlled "education."

I have collected some choice quotes from many of the founders on what they thought of "democracy." It wasn’t good.

Americans typically didn't call the U.S. a "democracy" or a "democratic republic" until after the democratic party was formed (and it became a politically incorrect comment to refer to the country as a "republican form of government." Of course, now the tables have turned.)

Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government they had formed at the Constitutional Convention. He replied, "A republic - if you can keep it."

You might also look up what form of government our nation has, along with others in the world, on Wikipedia. The U.S. is a constitutional federal republic. We pledge allegiance to the republic, not to the democracy.

One man, one vote only occurs on Election Day when we go to the polls. After that, we are a representative form of government, which is a republic.

We have a bill of rights and some amendments which corrected the mistake that nearly prevented our union - the slavery issue. Our founders contended over that, and we paid the price.

And yes, you are correct, I do not subscribe to a "living constitution." I'm an original intent advocate. Original intent means Natural Law dictates civil law. Under Natural Law, all people are created equal and they have unalienable rights to life, liberty and happiness.

This discussion has gone far-afield from the IB, but it does clearly define why those to the left of the political spectrum are more prone to like the program. If anyone has any other questions or comments on the IB, that would be relevant for this blog.

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

6/13/2008 1:07 AM  
Blogger CraigJ said...

The discussion is only far afield because Cherilyn insists on making ideologically extreme comments and passing them off as generally accepted views. She insists that if we do not agree with her that we are either socialists or part of the godless liberal left. Give me a break already!

And her continued references to government-induced brainwashing would be humorous if she didn't actually believe what she was saying. "Argumentum ad Conspiracy Theory" just makes her look silly.

The "choice quotes" she is referrring to have been circulating the Internet on anti-democracy web sites for years. Everything she's been saying can be found on these web sites. It reminds me of the anti-Mormon literature people would show me when I was a missionary. My advice to them was always the same - look at the primary sources and make up your own mind.

Let's look at the facts:

- As it stands today, we are a representative democracy. This IS a Republic. I doubt Cherilyn would like to go back to the day where she as a woman was not allowed to vote. The founding fathers she claims to understand didn't consider her "equal enough." We've made progress as a nation - better to celebrate it than to fear it.

- The founding fathers were not all in agreement. They were a diverse mix - left, center, and right. Thus, it's dangerous to claim "original intent."

- The constitution is meant to be a "living document"; otherwise we wouldn't have the ability to amend it.

- The bill of rights and subsequent amendments to the constitution have all been in the direction of ensuring more opportunities for all citizens to participate in government, not less.

I do wholeheartedly agree with Cherilyn that all people are created equal. The development of our nation - over time - has shown that we as a people are committed to this ideal. It is clear that the founding fathers did not guarantee liberty and equality for all - too many of them had vested interests tied up in the status quo. Nevertheless, in spite of the fearmongering of the Cherilyn Bacon's of our history, we as a nation have made the changes necessary to ensure more equitable and fair representation for all Americans, regardless of gender, color, or bank account.

All of this underscores what I believe Cherilyn and I are in complete agreement on - that the foundation of our nation is built on liberty. We have liberty because it is our right under God to be free, not because the majority of people think it's a good idea. An essential element of liberty is protecting the rights of those individuals for whom the majority may not agree. This happens to all of us at one point or another. So when I hear comments suggesting that because we are a "conservative republican state" and that somehow that invalidates the IB program from having a place amongst us, I am troubled.


6/13/2008 7:49 AM  
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 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Cherilyn Bacon Eagar said...


I have actually not gone to secondary sources or websites myself to get any quotes. I have the books that our founders contributed to (i.e. The Federalist Papers) and I've read their writings on democracy. I suggested that one might find quotes on the Internet. It’s extremely important to know the source before quoting it. I’m not familiar with the sites to which you referred.

We simply disagree on the original intent matter, which gives me an indication of how vastly different our fundamental assumptions about life are.

In my own experience, democracy is indeed a slippery slope. The definition I gave Rush Limbaugh years ago was this: You have five people in a room. Three are men. Two are women. They take a vote on whether to rape the women. The vote is three-two. Too bad for the women. He has used this example from time to time over the years.

In a republic, we should demand virtue of our representatives. Again, that is wholly dependent upon the virtue of those electing them. Once elected, it is their responsibility to understand issues that lay citizens cannot explore as deeply. If we allowed the masses to make these decisions, we would be even more at risk making decisions by virtue of public relations and media campaigns. As it is, there is already enough of that.

Whether a republic or a democracy, what matters is that the people have virtue and that government does not encroach upon the rights enumerated in the Constitution and under Natural Law. Our founders saw that virtue and Natural Law from ten essential principles. They were called the Ten Commandments.

Those who believe in a "living Constitution" don't believe that law should be interpreted in that context any more. The greatest proponents of these ideas are the atheistic, agnostic and anti-American ACLU. I would not be surprised to know that you disagree. I’m not saying that every attorney in that organization is of that persuasion, but the majority are, as we can see by its fruits. It is an example of democracy without virtue (i.e. Natural Law) in action.

We will probably not agree on this point. Our culture no longer has unity, and that's why we are having these "school wars."

I began my discussion with Senator Dayton with the end in mind, explaining to her, as well as on radio shows where I've been an invited guest, that it is not so much the brick and mortar choices, it's the curricular, philosophical, pedagogical, and ideological choices parents have.

As T.S. Eliot said (and quoted by Nicholas Tate, the IB director at the International School of Geneva) all education is inherently religious. Because education today is holistic and teaches well beyond the "Three R's," exploring the meaning of life, why we’re here, where we’re going and what to do about current events, parents should be fully informed, know the world view of the curriculum, school and teacher, and be allowed to select them in the same way they select their children’s doctors and piano teachers. It’s the choice of teachers and curriculum within the government school system and full disclosure to the parents.

As long as our state education system is tied to national standards and outcomes and (as Sec. of Ed. Rod Paige said), as long as our national plan - No Child Left Behind (or whatever name the next president will give it) is credited to the U.N.'s parallel version "Education for All Framework,” parents are tied to a system that is teaching values that some do not share.

Much has been said about “choice” and the means to getting there – vouchers, tax credits, scholarship foundations, etc. The truth is: we have no real choice within government subsidized schools. It's a one-size fits all socialist system. (…Socialist in that it is government subsidized and therefore controlled by government.)

IB works into the core curriculum and standards perfectly because it is partnered with the very folks that created Education for All in the first place. A charter school can have an international focus, or an arts focus, or a science focus, but when it comes to the outcomes and the assessment, the states and the nation are testing not only cognitive skills but also in the affective domain. That makes education a wholly religious endeavor.

In a government controlled system, what we get is whatever "religion" the state needs to keep the citizens under the control of the state. So the foundational question must be asked: What religion then is the state supporting in government schools?

Cherilyn Bacon Eagar
World Class Education Research

6/13/2008 11:14 AM  
Blogger CraigJ said...


Thanks for your comments.

What exactly is "American culture?" I've never understood this, apart from some people's definition of eagles and flags and barbecues. Culture to me is a false standard. It presupposes norms and conventions that represent a shallow sense of belonging. I thought that being an American transcended culture; I thought it meant celebrating our liberties and respecting the fact that we are all unique individuals, yet united in freedom. I see this concept of universality manifest to a great degree in our public schools and in the IB program, which is one reason I am such a huge fan of both.

I just have to say...good grief, without democratic participation what type of republic would we have???!!! Assuming virtue in the hands of a ruling few leads to the destruction of human rights. The only way to preserve the Natural Law of which you speak is to increase, not decrease, the level of participation of everyday citizens in the public process. I believe on this issue I have over 200 years of national growth backing me up.

I agree our assumptions appear to be vastly different. I don't mind this and I don't mind discovering more about how you view the world. Understanding people who are different from myself is a value I hold deeply.

Yes - we do need virtue in government.

Yes - education does boil down to goals and values. I'll buy you a donut if you can tell me who said that :-)

Yes - I have from day one opposed NCLB. But let's be fair - so have the educators of this state.

Yes - I oppose any and all measures to implement "National Standards" or a national curriculum - I have opposed efforts such as E.D. Hirsch's "Cultural Literacy" (I confess I do like Core Knowledge I just don't think it should be mandated across the board).

No - I do *not* agree that public education is one-size-fits-all. Please see my blog response to Paul Mero's slavery argument last year (I find it curious that you seem to be out-flanking even my friend Paul):


OK, to answer your question re the state religion in government schools (which I've been asked before): Our public schools, like our representative democracy, can and should prohibit advocacy of any particular religion. To do otherwise would be grossly unfair and unjust to those citizens who do not subscribe to those views. However, to imply that such neutrality is de-facto atheism or anti-religious is totally unfair and is the type of logical fallacy that is both self-serving and dangerous. Protection of the minority is fundamental to liberty. We all at some point find ourselves in the minority. This is the only socially responsible course to take.

So, if I must, I would define the "religion" of our public schools as one of respect for each and every child, one in which all, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds, may enjoy the benefits of a quality education. Fortunately, since we have a representative democracy (a republic of the people), we have sole control over our public schools. IB or Singapore Math or whatever other "program" is implemented, regardless of the origin, must follow our laws and must be accountable to US.

Accordingly, do I think IB is appropriate as a default or only program? No. I can see why some folks would not approve of it. The transdisciplinary thematic approach and heterogenous groupings are not for everyone. To be fair, it must be a program of choice and I would oppose any measure to standardize IB as the only available option. I would oppose standardizing a program such as Direct Instruction on similar grounds - such programs dive into questions of "means" and not just "ends." To implement IB and only IB would be violating the autonomy of local and state school boards to accomplish the outcomes of the curriculum in ways that best meet the needs of their individual constituents. HOWEVER, with all of that said, as a program of choice I have absolutely no problem with IB. It would be unfair to deny funding simply because it is a program of choice. I do not agree that it is anti-religious, anti-republic, rabidly green, etc., etc., nor do I think that such ideological disagreements are the standards by which we should base the fitness of our educational programs.

OK I'm coming up for air now :-)

So here's a question for you...

You use language like "control of the state" and "government schools." You seem to have strongly felt libertarian leanings. Tell me honestly, do you support the Separation of School and State pledge?



6/13/2008 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are amazing. As a teacher, I revel in minds such as yours. You are not only an amazing thinker, but an incredible writer. Thank you so much for your reasoned and diplomatic responses to the often extremist, paranoid views expressed by Cherilyn. I admire your ability to remain calm in your responses.


6/13/2008 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just who is Cherilyn Eagar?


"Cherilyn Bacon Eagar was born and raised in Hollywood, California and has lived in Arizona, Texas, Illinois and Connecticut. She currently resides in Utah and is the marketing director and co-owner of Webstarget® by Computer Camp, an Internet marketing and website positioning company specializing in SEO natural rankings and Web 2.0 strategies. Ms. Eagar holds a B.A. degree from Brigham Young University in Speech and Drama, with an em-phasis in public speaking. She was on the music faculty at Brigham Young University and taught at one of America’s top arts high schools (a California charter school) the Orange County School of the Arts, as well as in her private voice studio. Ms. Eagar is actively engaged in the public policy/advocacy/charitable and political process. She has served on many boards for charitable and conservative public policy causes. She has been a GOP delegate multiple times and has advocated at the United Nations for family policy. She is an accomplished researcher and speaker in the field of education and has hosted a radio talk show “World Class Talk.” As Director of World Class Research, she compiled an education public policy manual titled Edugate 2000: The Deconstruction of a Culture. Research from this manual has been used on the U.S. Senate floor and in the Utah Legislature to defeat Goals 2000 legislation. She also co-authored the first state Family Education Rights & Privacy Act, (Utah), for which she received both the Utah and National Eagle Awards. She has written copy for DVDs, been a contributing writer for magazines, and has written speeches for and coached political candidates. Ms. Eagar is currently writing A Mistress Named Pornography, an anthology of anonymous, but true, stories to be used as an outreach of hope to women and children whose lives have been dam-aged by this international scourge. She is an advocate of “cable-izing” the Internet to protect minors from sexual predators, abolishing prostitution, and ending sex trafficking and the abuse of women and children worldwide. Ms. Eagar is a professional speaker, actress and singer and has performed leading and supporting theatrical roles all over the country under contracts ranging from Full Production, Off-Broadway, Summer Stock, Small Professional Theatre, Guest Artist and Letter of Agreement. She was a founding member of the BYU Young Ambassadors with whom she performed internationally for troops during the Viet Nam conflict under the banner of the USO and Department of Defense. She produced and directed a multi-media musical presentation featuring Dallas Cowboys QB Dan-ny White and a chorus of 325 teenagers, A Time to Love, was honored by several Texas mayors and the Governor of Texas and featured on local and national radio and TV. Five teens who partici-pated were selected to represent America’s teenagers at a teen pregnancy prevention summit in Washington, D.C. Ms. Eagar produced Singers on Stage’s On Broadway Musical Theatre Workshops, recognized by Back Stage as one of New York City’s top two training programs for aspiring musical theatre artists alongside of NYU’s Cap 21. The program brought talent from all over the world to work with fa-culty from Circle in the Square Theatre School, as well as Broadway producers, directors, choreo-graphers and performers, and showcased the participants on Broadway stages. Ms. Eagar is married to Randy Eagar. Together they have seven children and eight grandchildren. She is an active member of the Mormon Christian faith - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

6/14/2008 10:39 AM  

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