CSCOPE controversy continues as Red Hot Conservative generated headlines last week by publishing CSCOPE Assessments (i.e., tests) for numerous Social Studies lessons. Media coverage predictably maintained standard talking points while education activists filled in the blanks regarding the numerous troubling aspects of this program found by parents and engaged taxpayers.
Texas education curriculum discussions will continue as the State Board of Education’s (SBOE) CSCOPE Ad Hoc Review Committee holds a Friday hearing to address to address CSCOPE’s social studies lesson plans and renown national security expert Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses CSCOPE and Common Core at a Saturday event.
Meanwhile, is IB getting a pass? The Texas IB Schools web site says “Texas International Baccalaureate programs have grown from a small number of diploma programs to over 50 authorized diploma, middle years, and primary years programs and at least 35 more schools at some stage of the application and authorization process.”
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation.
A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB Diploma Programme. What started life as a single programme for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has today grown into four programmes for students aged 3 to 19.
The programme in the early days consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world, seeking to provide students with a truly international education. Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has changed over the years and today over half of all IB World Schools (authorized to offer one or more of our programmes) are state schools.
Carrying forward the ideals and dreams of the IB founders, the organization exists to provide high quality education for a better world, as expressed in our mission statement.
IB programmes continue to encourage this international-mindedness in students and educators through the IB learner profile—a set of values that represent our mission and principles.
A 2010 Dallas Morning News article discussed IB’s growing prominence and how the formerly high school-focused program is now moving into elementary and middle schools.
Recent articles document the program’s new use as Plano ISD expanded its IB academy with a new facility this school year and Temple ISD – along with its seeking higher taxes via a tax ratification election – announced IB implementation at one of its elementary schools on the heels of a 2012-13 IB middle school addition.
Click here for the Texas IB School list of member schools.
Texas is one of five states that has rejected Common Core. While CSCOPE is a hot-button issue in Texas, Common Core garners comparable opposition elsewhere. Testifying earlier this year before an Indiana state legislative hearing considering similar action, former Texas state commissioner of education, Robert Scott said that “Texas rejected the standards because it became clear that the Common Core movement ‘was about control, some from the federal government, and some from some education reformers that readily admit that the goal is to create national markets for education service providers and vendors.’”
With Texas’ opposition to Common Core and similarly-written CSCOPE, why would IB’s admission of its sharing many goals with Common Core be acceptable to educated parents and taxpayers?
Bethesda, MD, September 4, 2013 – The International Baccalaureate (IB), an education foundation offering four high quality international education programs to more than one million students in 145 countries has released two relationship studies defining the linkages between the IB and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These studies will provide a valuable resource for teachers at IB World Schools to support curriculum alignment.
“The IB and CCSS share many goals, the foremost of which is the emphasis on career and college readiness. These studies are powerful tools to assist IB educators in the process of rewriting curriculums and changing instructional delivery methods to best accommodate the move to Common Core national standards,” said Drew Deutsch, Director, IB Americas.
The IB’s inquiry based learning model, its emphasis on developing critical analysis skills and the use of global themes that draw connections between different academic subjects are all concepts reinforced by the CCSS. “We anticipate that IB World Schools adopting the CCSS will have an advantage. The standards represent a shift in teaching from covering a wide breadth of content to a greater focus on depth of understanding and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning. These are the very characteristics that define what makes an IB education so effective,” said Deutsch.
Although the CCSS initiative is unique to the United States, it will impact standards-based reform movements around the world. The U.S. Department of State provides assistance to 194 overseas schools through direct and indirect support programs designed to promote an American-style program. The IB contributes a long-respected voice in the field of international education, adding a global dimension to the discussion around the CCSS. The studies can be found at http://www.ibo.org/iba/commoncore/ and on scribd.com.
Texans don’t want Common Core, but their children are getting it through programs like CSCOPE and IB. CSCOPE has been termed by opponents as a backdoor approach to Common Core. They appear correct. Why is IB treated different?
Meanwhile, parents mindlessly applaud this rollout of new IB programs and and often don’t even know what it truly entails. On the other hand, school administrators mindfully applaud such implementations and know exactly the nature of these programs as well as that they go against significant voter sentiment. Meanwhile, elected school board members routinely adopt the education industry’s convenient bent toward of harmony and unanimity over courage so voter sentiment again isn’t a factor.