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Districts Officials Explain IB Program To Wary Residents

Information session on International Baccalaureate program draws hundreds of parents, students and staff members wondering how it will impact course offerings.

Hundreds of Hauppauge school district residents attended an information session at l Monday Night with one question “What’s IB?”

Hauppauge school officials gave a one-hour presentation on the International Baccalaureate program. It attempted to answer question and concerns raised by and plans to trade Advanced Placement courses for IB as early as this fall.

“Clearly that letter touched people because it touched the two most emotional issues we as parents have in our daily lives: first is our children, and the other is our pocketbook,” said Hauppauge Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss.

Hauppauge school officials are currently completing the second half of a two-year application process to offer the IB diploma program at Hauppauge High School. The exploration into the option began in 2005 for a more rigorous, comprehensive academic program, with formal application beginning in February 2010.  

“One of the things we find looking at students writing is their research and writing ability is lacking,” said high school principal Christine O`Connor. “I shouldn’t say that standing in front of you as a high school principal, but if there is anything we have to work on as a district, it’s the writing of the students is not up to the standards we wanted.

Several characteristics of the IB program place an emphasis on English language skills and research papers. 

Students who would choose to pursue an IB diploma would be required to take three two-year higher level classes, the only mandatory one would be English. The other two would be in any of the other five group areas: Language B, or Languages Other Than English; Individuals in Societies, or Social Studies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts.  Students would also need three standard level classes in these area. 

In addition to the coursework, students would be required to complete an extended essay, a two-year independent research paper on a topic of their choice, somehow related to course work, overseen by a faculty advisor. O`Connor said she believe it would give students a chance to acquire firsthand research skills necessary to succeed in college and higher education. 

There is an innovative Theory of Knowledge course all IB students must take, proposed for alternating days over their junior and senior years, aimed at establishing learning style and applying that to interdisciplinary studies.

O`Connor said the IB courses would be replacing many of the district’s Advanced Placement classes.  Only six of the district’s  18 AP courses would be offered once the program is implemented, largely because IB does not have equivalent classes.

IB courses are graded on scale of 1 -7,  completed to AP’s 1-5 scale, with a total score of 24 credits or points needed for the diploma. Individual classes would only receive certificates.

Many parents expressed concern that personal researched showed several colleges did not offer college credit for standard level IB courses.

“Our goal here is not to generate the most college credit. If that were our goal, we would wipe AP and IB and offer all college-level courses,” O`Connor said. “Our goal is to provide students with a solid education, putting together the best comprehensive program we can offer. That’s what IB will do for them.”

Residents questioned the total cost of implementing the program during an economic recession

The district estimates at the moment a yearly application fee of $9,500 over two years. In addition, $750-880 training per teacher for a total of $25,680 have already been spent on the application, for $44,680 in past two years as a candidate school.

An additional $10,000 per year fee would be paid if the school enrolled as an IB high school. A registration cost of $141 per student enrolling in the diploma program, $141 for each year an IB course is taken by a student not pursing a diploma, and $96 per test  - compared to $87 per AP test – would be charged. Testing fees would be paid by individual students.

The district's letter to the community about the International Baccalaureate program and a copy of the slide presentation given by high school principal Christine O`Connor can be found on their website.  

Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Greetings Wary Parents of Hauppauge! Good for you for asking some very good questions. It seems ever since I first encountered IB, parents across the country have complained about their questions going "unanswered". I would like to take this opportunity to address one of your very valid questions regarding college credit for AP vs. IB. Hauppauge parents did a little research on their own and learned that most U.S. universities do not award college credit for IB SL exams. This is a fact and is absolutely correct. But what did your Principal tell you: “Our goal here is not to generate the most college credit. If that were our goal, we would wipe AP and IB and offer all college-level courses,” O`Connor said. “Our goal is to provide students with a solid education, putting together the best comprehensive program we can offer. That’s what IB will do for them.” Let's strip away the hyperbole and generalization. AP courses/exams ARE college-level. The College Board has vetted and normed its courses against U.S. university freshmen 101 courses. While standards for awarding college credit for successful passage of AP exams vary from college to college, these one year, college-level courses are universally recognized, yes, even at Oxford. IB - by its own definition, is "college preparatory", not college-level. Unlike The College Board, in over 40 years, IBO has never bothered to vet its exams with universities. IB is sold and recognized based on hearsay. [cont.]
Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 01:46 PM
One of my questions which to date, has never been answered to my satisfaction by IBO or its representatives, is; 'What is the difference in the DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY between an SL and HL IB course?' Universities recognize that AP Physics C is more difficult than AP Physics B and consequently, tend to award more college credit for a good score on the Physics C exam. But when it comes to IB, all we are told is, "IB Standard Level (SL) courses consist of 150 hours and Higher Level (HL) courses consist of 240 hours." What does this mean to the dedicated student who wants to become a physicist and perhaps apply to MIT? A score of '7' on the IB HL Physics exam will earn 8 credits. A score of '5' on the AP Physics C exam will earn 12 credits. Remember, a student will spend 2 years in HS on the IB HL Physics (if your school even offers it) vs. one yr. in AP Physics C. http://mit.edu/firstyear/prospective/ap/index.html So when your Principal uses the term "comprehensive", ask yourselves, what level of learning are students actually comprehending?
Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 02:37 PM
As you can see at Locust Valley, IB HL Physics is not offered: http://www.lvcsd.k12.ny.us/our_schools/ib_courses An unusual difference between the way Hauppauge is attempting to implement IB vs. the way LVCSD did it back in 2004, is that you are being told up front that AP will be eliminated. We were not told this information. We were under the impression that IB would be a nice, "side" offering, not one that would eliminate Honors and AP in 11th & 12th Grades. Here's something else to consider. It wasn't until two years ago that IB foreign language (FL) was offered at the HL in LV, only SL. LVHS runs IB SL FL over the course of TWO YEARS. Having eliminated AP FL, students with a strength in FL lost all opportunity to earn college credit. I imagine a large number of students from Hauppauge apply to SUNY Stony Brook. Please take a look at SB's college credit awards - '5' or higher on IB HL exams ONLY. But for AP, credit is awarded for a '3'. In fact, Stony Brook makes NO MENTION of the IB Diploma and doesn't even create a chart for IB credit! http://www.stonybrook.edu/ugadmissions/applying/apcredit.shtml What are the REAL reasons your Principal and Superintendent want to dumb-down your HS and put your students at a disadvantage compared to other AP Long Island students? The reasons are purely political. Why would a district seek to lay off 25 teachers and aides and waste money on IB? Are Jericho and Half-Hollow Hills IB? No, they are not.
Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 03:01 PM
"A registration cost of $141 per student enrolling in the diploma program, $141 for each year an IB course is taken by a student not pursing a diploma, and $96 per test - compared to $87 per AP test – would be charged. Testing fees would be paid by individual students." Although the prices quoted are correct, the "each year" reference is incorrect. The $141 (2011) registration fee is a one time, per student fee, which applies whether a student commits to the full diploma or a single IB course. When IB infiltrated LVCSD, initially the district paid the student registration fee and the parents/students paid the examination fees. About two years ago, (the reason I was given was that a decision was made based on the difficult economy), LVCSD decided to pay the IB/AP exam fees out of the general budget. (Yes, we still have AP in 9th & 10th Grades in SS ). This has added $100,000 to our general budget and now all of the taxpayers are footing the bill. This was done without public discussion. In fact, I searched the Board Actions and could find no reference to the decision. Ask yourselves, why should you OR the taxpayers as a whole, pay $237 compared to $87 for a less recognized, inferior product? Expect the IB student registration fee to rise to $147 in 2012, if IB's fee increases continue at past rates: http://truthaboutib.com/howmuchdoesibcost/ibfees.html
Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Another thing IB supporters like to dismiss is IB's legal clause in its application which binds your district to arbitration in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as IBO's status as an NGO with UNESCO. I find the district's response to this point not only disturbing, but disingenuous: http://www.hauppauge.k12.ny.us/metadot/index.pl?iid=27955 Here is the link directly from the IBO website for 'UNESCO for ALL Initiative" - http://globalengage.ibo.org/eng/post/unesco-education-all-initiative Expect your Principal and Superintendent to tell you, "Oh, we don't have to do that. That's not part of the way we will implement IB in Hauppauge." Really? Here is the clause from IBO governing regulations regarding Swiss Law: http://www.ibo.org/become/guidance/documents/edpguidetoschoolapplicationJul05.pdf D. Final Provisions Article 16: Governing Law Swiss law governs this Application Procedure for Candidate Schools and all other documents relating to the authorization process. Article 17: Arbitration of disputes 17.1 Any dispute arising from or in connection with this Application Procedure for Candidate Schools or any other document relating to the authorization process shall be finally settled by three arbitrators in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Geneva. 17.2 The seat of the arbitration shall be Geneva, Switzerland. 17.3 The proceedings shall be confidential and the language of the arbitration shall be English. CONT.
Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Considering IB is such a tiny, fringe program(me) in the United States, to the best of my knowledge, no one has had to travel to Geneva to sue IB on behalf of their child - YET! However, I have been contacted by a Polish IB student who was denied his Diploma because he became ill from food poisoning during one of his IB finals and was unable to complete one of the papers. He is in the process of consulting with an attorney. He missed out on university applications and is now behind a year because of the arrogant refusal of his school's IB Coordinator to help handle the problem for him with IB in Geneva. What confidence do you as parents have in the IB Coordinator your Principal has tagged? (You should have been informed by now as to who that will be) Are you willing to place your child's educational/college future in the hands of this "newly trained" individual? You see, IB is a brilliant scam in that it has no bricks and mortar. IB answers to no one and kicks back any "mishaps" into the lap of the local World School, absolving itself of any liability. Anyone who knows anything about intellectual property law knows that the Swiss have the tightest and best IP laws in the world. Did you know that once a student submits their work to IB assessment, IBO claims the right to use it for whatever purpose it wants? Please read Article 9 carefully! http://www.ibo.org/become/guidance/documents/DP_rules_en.pdf
Lisa McLoughlin March 10, 2011 at 09:37 PM
I keep coming back to this article because there is simply so much to rebut: "There is an innovative Theory of Knowledge course all IB students must take, proposed for alternating days over their junior and senior years, aimed at establishing learning style and applying that to interdisciplinary studies." Now in English: Theory of Knowledge, or TOK, had its origins with Karl Marx: http://www.newfoundations.com/GALLERY/Marx.html TOK is a MANDATORY component of the IB Diploma, also known as one of the CORE elements. Only full Diploma students can enroll in TOK and have their essays "moderated" by external IB examiners. Schools MAY run TOK for non-Diploma students, however they will not receive an IB Certificate for TOK and the school must establish its own independent "assessment committee" to review student essays. In LVCSD, one year they ran TOK with only 3 students in the course, despite the fact that the district has a minimum class size policy of 8 for advanced courses. And since it is dragged out over 2 years, one full semester was used as SAT prep - for ONLY full IB DP students. Rather elitist, don't you think? But it's IB. Exceptions MUST be made! Here is a full "detailing" of IB's TOK: http://truthaboutib.com/theibhiddencurriculum/ibtokcurriculum.html
To All Who Read Comments by Lisa......I wish I had some more insightful things to tell you but Lisa covers it all. You are lucky to have found her as a resource before your child finds themselves useless exposed to a program that is a scam......and the two year research paper...pppplllllleeeeeaaaassssseeeeee.....kids kick it into high gear two weeks before for a 4,000 word essay.....but really, the IB program takes test information directly from Wikipedia and the CEO steals speech material from recognized peers......with these credentials do you really think that this program can be beneficial.........don't put your kid in this program......you start to see its effects when your kid is trying to take PSATs and SATs for entry into college and they are slammed with nonsense amounts of paperwork....something has to give.....keep your kids safe from these mind predators.......
Lisa McLoughlin March 11, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Thank you, IB Been There. You know, every time some PTA mommy questions my "agenda", it makes my blood boil. I think the greatest personal satisfaction I have gotten from my efforts to make American parents aware of what IB really IS - are the letters from parents and students who thank me for revealing the truth about the program. Many have decided to homeschool (at the PYP level). Many have switched to AP schools. Some have been able to put their kids in private schools. I think what public school districts need to be aware of is that for all of their claims that IB will "attract new students" and "set FILL IN NAME OF SD apart from the rest" - there are an equal or greater number of people pulling their kids from IB schools due to its controversial design. I noticed the Hauppauge Superintendent decided to use SUNY Binghamton as an example of a school that views IB favorably. Do you think the fact that the Binghamton IB HS Principal was named to the IBNA Executive Board and that IBNA kicked backed money to the Binghamton district has any influence on the local SUNY? (Oh yes, I can back it up) Follow the money, my friends.
concerned citizen too March 12, 2011 at 07:21 PM
Lisa... I wish You could come to our board meetings - LOL I just don't know HOW to get more people there... yes, everyone complains and almost everyone I speak to are against it... but the board members are their neighbors, their children's friends' parents, and some our 'friends', so most will NOT speak up. Many parents I speak to are parents who have their oldest coming into the high school next year. Their child is an overachiever who does very well (perhaps like Kirsten) who want what's "best" for their child. (also it's just "one more thing" their kid can have on an other student'). These parents always want to PUSH their child to the highest level - which is great-but they need to take the advice from those of us who have been there! We ALL recognize the competiveness out there to fight for the same open positions in certain fields, but come on... what is the damage your child will have along the way? Maybe some brave person will advertise this link in the HORIZON!
Lisa McLoughlin March 12, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Concerned citizen too, You do not need me at your Board meetings, I would be of little effect there. However, if Kristen would care to invite me to a PTA meeting or if parents and taxpayers would like to organize a meeting at your local library or community center, I would be happy to drive out to Hauppauge and meet with them. Once people are provided with BOTH sides of the IB story, I am confident that the majority will make up their own minds as to who is telling the truth. Cover the cost of my gas, and I'll be there with bells on. ;-) My daughter suffered terribly in HS because I spoke out against IB. Two of the Board member's kids were IB students who circulated a letter trying to get me fired from my job as a local education reporter and were hateful towards my daughter. No parent wants to see their child discriminated against because their parents oppose the powers that be. But you know what? It built her character. She stood strong. And I am proud to brag that my daughter was just invited to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, one of only 12 students at NYU - all without IB. Your Board members are supposed to represent YOU. There's power in numbers - petitions are worthless when it comes to BoE's, they just ignore them. But you get 50-100 parents and taxpayers picketing outside a Board meeting and call in News 12, Newsday (and of course Patch), that's the last thing they want the month before the budget vote. ;-)
Lisa McLoughlin March 13, 2011 at 01:20 AM
Here's some more ammo for Hauppauge - you guys prompted me to stop being lazy and put it together. Enjoy! http://truthaboutib.com/ibbuysbinghamton.html
Lisa McLoughlin March 13, 2011 at 01:17 PM
06-07 IB North America Board President also Senior Vice President of Programs for La Raza! http://truthaboutib.com/breakingnewsopinions.html
Remi C. July 31, 2012 at 09:11 PM
My brother, sister, and I were all IB diploma students. We have all attended Ivy league schools...and were more prepared because of the rigorous (and comprehensive) study than we could have anticipated! Not only that, but we were able to APPLY that knowledge, not just spit back out answers to questions. Not only that, but we we have each traveled a fair amount, and to be able to compare with others the courses we took, the essays we wrote, and the ToK classes was...incredible. Not only that, but I received 1 full years worth of credit at college! The bottom line is, the IB diploma program is a more comprehensive, wholistic, intense program than just taking a series of AP courses. However, AP courses have their place and are a well established bench mark of "intelligence" (or study capabilities) in a particular field. Honestly, a combination of both is probably best if possible. It's been a while...but I believe I was able to take both AP and IB courses as they often overlapped in content, especially for foreign languages, English, writing kinds of things, etc. If you want your children to do well in college, and be able to relate better on an international level to others, then IB is the program for them!
shewithnoname August 01, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Remi, So all of the Valedictorians/top 1% who took AP in HS and who attend Ivy League schools merely "spit back" information? Really. How interesting. My future son-in-law who graduated Columbia University last year as a chemical engineer, was able to APPLY the knowledge he attained in his 12 AP classes in HS. He even landed a prestigious job as a bio-medical engineer immediately out of college in this terrible economy. All without IB. My own daughter graduated summa cum laude from NYU last year and was awarded more than one year's worth of tuition in scholarships. She received the Rudin Scholarship in her senior year, the Dean's Travel Colloquium in her junior year (for study in Greece) and was a nominee for a Rhodes Scholarship. Again, all without IB. My daughter and her fiance' have friends from Australia, India, France and many other countries. Again, they didn't need IB to "relate" well with fellow students from other countries. You obviously came from a wealthy family who thinks their way (IB) is the "best" way and that it should be forced upon ALL of the children in a public school district and that ALL of the taxpayers should pay for this superfluous program. IB is elitist, expensive and obnoxious. Or so it seems to me.

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