The PJ Tatler

School Stops Teaching "Basic Facts," Goes Internationalist

A government elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia is ditching any pretense of teaching “basic facts” to children and is instead adopting an internationalist curriculum.  The first school to convert will be Jefferson-Houston Elementary.

“We want to build up curious students who inquire rather than students with driven to take tests and recall basic facts,” said Kermit Burks, an Alexandria City Public Schools official told the Alexandria Times.

(Enormous PDF link here to Times story; Story on Page 3).

How do you make an already bad school worse?  Easy – become “an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme World School.  School leaders have pursued the designation, which requires educators to teach curricula using the international organization’s framework.”

What are International Baccalaureate World Schools?  It’s worse than you think, and more information than Tatler has space can be found at the website the Truth About IB.  You can read about the founding of IB here and about the founder Therese Maurette.  Some information about Maurette’s educational philosophy from a supporter of IB:

Maurette was totally committed to bilingualism which she saw as an essential element of international-mindedness. . . .  It is important psychologically to be willing to subordinate one’s national superiority by speaking to the other person, however imperfectly, in their mother tongue.

Maurette had strong left-wing political views. . . . The crisis came in 1950 when she resigned in protest against what she saw as the United States’ manipulation of the United Nations in its involvement against the communist forces in Korea.

There must be a deliberate, planned intervention. For example, she suggests, everything possible should be done to minimize the concept of ‘nationality’ in order to encourage the student to develop a picture of the whole world.

History should not be taught until well into adolescence because, for the younger student, it inevitably consists of a series of stories and myths glorifying violence and misrepresenting events by giving them a nationalistic bias.

The conversion of already bad Alexandria government schools (104th out of 118in Virginia) to worse IB schools comes with a price tag.  Alexandria taxpayers will be forced to pay the internationalist organization in Geneva $9,500 annually for each school designated IB.

Naturally, parents with kids trapped in Alexandria government schools converting to IB, and those pushing for the conversion, will rush to defend the programs as “open minded” co-existence curriculum.

And in Alexandria, the government officials behind this will certainly win re-election and be praised for suggesting innovative solutions to persistently rotten government schools. (For real data about how rotten and bottom-of-the-barrel Alexandria government schools are, go here).

Prior to implementing this new “international baccalaureate” program, Jefferson-Houston was one of the worst performing elementary schools in Virginia (1064th out of 1067 Virginia schools.)

Alexandria Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman promises to convert even more Alexandria schools to International Baccalaureate World Schools.  “IB fits well with the higher order, problem solving, real world approach of our new curriculum.”  The Alexandria schools will increasingly consist of ideologically driven parents forcing this nuttiness on children with parents who can’t afford any alternative.