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Parents: Lack of Communication Built Skepticism Towards IB

District residents believe school officials failed to adequately reach out and inform parents on IB from the beginning.

Hauppauge  parents blamed school district officials lack of transparent communication about the International Baccalaureate program for skepticism, almost outlash against the academic change. 

Parents attending the district's IB program information session Monday night said school officials "dropped the ball" by failing to education district residents about the academic program before moving forward with application process. The school is now completing the second part of a two-year application with hopes of beginning the transition as early as September 2011. 

"I would like to state my profound dismay of not being fully informed before this evening that the IB program was fully moving forward," said Siobhan Atkinson. 

Atkinson was one of many who stepped up to a mic during a question-and-answer period  that said  an anonymous flyer against the transition to an IB program delivered to household's mailboxes in early February was their first notification of the pending academic changes.  The flyer accused school officials of having a "hidden agenda." 

"This struck a chord with me as I had to find out about this through an anonymous letter. That doesn't settle well with me or the common person," said resident Luis Velazco. 

Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss defended the district's actions stating a transition from Advanced Placement classes to the IB program has been part of the district's goals for several years, and has been discussed publicly several times. 

"I think its grossly unfair to say anyone kept this from anyone. We are responding to the community, " Sullivan-Kriss said. "We were following a prescribed timeline that would have had us reporting to the Board this month, as recommended by IB. Then, we would hold community and student education workshops in the fall." 

However, residents expressed the belief that as taxpayers they should have been informed of program's structure, pros and cons, long before more than $44,000 has been spent in a two-year application process. 

"You are investing in [teacher] training and we are not yet approved. As a business person, I don't know if I would do that," said resident Ralph Plotke, citing the economic recession and state education funding cuts. 

The district has presented the information many times either on its website or at Board of Education meetings. Hauppauge School District's public statement of yearly goals have included mention of the IB program since at least 2008-2009 under "Improving Academic Performance," and again in the 2009-2010 school year's goals.

A presentation titled "The International Baccalauareate Diploma Program at Hauppauge High School" was given at the Feb. 20, 2010 Board of Education meeting, before the district began its application. It was mentioned again at the Oct. 20, 2010 board meeting when a presentation was given on the status of the district's educational initiatives. 

Residents asked why more fliers weren't sent home to school parents or more information disseminated through local media sources including Newsday, Smithtown Messenger and Patch. 

 Requests were made for AP classes could be kept within the curriculum longer, to allow students more time to readjust schedules and provide an easier transition. 

At the conclusion of Monday night's meeting, school officials said they would consider all comments made but would be moving ahead with the IB application process as a candidate school. 

Lisa McLoughlin March 11, 2011 at 11:06 PM
G. Batista, I LOVE IB trivia!!! WOW - you made my day! There's ALWAYS a connection. These IB "change agents" are like a cancer. When Anna Hunderfund came to Locust Valley from Jericho, I had hope that she would get rid of IB. I failed to remember that her husband, the highest paid "retired" Superintendent on LI, James Hunderfund, had ushered IB into Commack. I call them the million dollar Supersucker couple! LOL!
niallasaorsa July 18, 2012 at 03:09 PM
very true, and the 44K is just the tip of the iceberg in costs it's actually probably more like 5 times that!
niallasaorsa July 18, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Here's a trivia question for you all. Name three Educational Experts/Theorists and then tell me what their political leanings are. Look up Bertrand Russel, Carlos Torres and Pablo Friere on the IBo.org site and then google them.
Jane Aitken July 19, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I find it interesting, after admitting lack of communication and proceeding without parents or taxpayers input, the conclusion is they will be going forward with it regardless of any objections. That's right, they don't care what you think, for the IB zealots the fix is in. This is typical. Dissenters should be ready to experience the Alinsky treatment. And they should read up on why this IB program is of NO EDUCATIONAL VALUE to your children. First, the IBO takes no responsibility for their learning. That's in writing. Your schools still must construct their own curriculum. Second, the academics are dumbed down through the use of 'constructivist' teaching methods (you'll have to look that up) that the teachers are trained to use. Third, the IBO does however, require that UNESCO's political agenda is the subject of all of your child's learning. That's right, UNESCO, a political organization from outside the country. Imagine that? I can't imagine a massive political organization like UNESCO running our schools, but alas, this is allowed?
Jane Aitken July 19, 2012 at 09:40 PM
If you don't believe Lisa or myself, take it from this UNESCO agent. She wrote this in defense of IB, but in reality, underscored everything we find wrong with it — It is run by an outside political organization with an agenda, influenced by corporations and their foundations. http://www.mvsd-ib.org/ib/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/JeanBernard.pdf Then avail yourself of how this works in practicum by perusing the rest of the site put up by the parents and taxpayers of this district. http://www.mvsd-ib.org/ib/ Finally, I am a 35-year veteran teacher and frankly I would refuse to teach like this. Instead of learning science and math, kids are taught to propagandize for social justice/redistribution of the wealth issues for UNESCO. Behold their projects: http://www.wacoisd.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=428&pageId=38300 Do your homework . Once this program invades your school, it is hard to get rid of.

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