Schools’ IB program an expensive failure

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In spite of budgetary constraints that have entailed the dismissal or reassignment of teachers from ancillary positions such as reading coach to the regular classroom, Wilson County Schools continues to offer an elite program benefiting a small cadre of students.

Much of this shifting of teachers is a result of the loss of students whose parents have taken them to either private schools or alternate public school venues like the charter schools. Facing this loss of revenue would, in the private sector, provoke management to reapportion funds in order to maximize customer satisfaction and stop the hemorrhage of students fleeing to more attractive alternatives.

Regardless, the Board of Education is continuing to fund a school program that benefits a precious few students at considerable costs and with dubious benefits. I am speaking of the International Baccalaureate program at Fike High School.

I am familiar with IB as my last school became an IB school with much fanfare shortly before I left the teaching profession. At a cost of $15,000 per school just to be affiliated with IB, perhaps more now, it is very overpriced. The several exams each student takes are pricey as is the teacher indoctrination/training required of staff and administrators.

The elite nature of the program attracts very few students, we had a maximum of 15 during a good year; distorts scheduling as the IB schedule takes priority over even Advanced Placement courses and provides dubious academic benefits.

The underlying philosophy of IB reeks of globalism and does not distinguish the moral superiority of democratic government over say, communist dictatorships. IB sprang from an effort at the United Nations to spread their ideals throughout the world via education. Take collective ideals, mixed with internationalism and moral relativism and put them into a trendy sounding name and one has the perfect indoctrination tool for molding young minds.

My understanding is that in Wilson County, a small cadre of students avail themselves of the IB program and that administration continues to promote it rather than accept its shortcomings and lack of popularity among even the best and brightest. The Board of Education should wind the IB program down and put all its support behind making AP the best it can be.

As an aside, AP credits are accepted for college credit much more than IB credits are. Parents, look at your options and make an informed decision as to what is best for your child.

Julia Yancey