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The Spiritual Worldview of the International Baccalaureate

Prior to school last year, I knew nothing about the International Baccalaureate Organization and its programs. However, when the principal of my children’s elementary school in Fullerton, California, announced the program was her vision for the school, I began my own extensive research. What I discovered was disturbing.

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) programs promise to teach kids "how to learn" and to be "compassionate and lifelong learners" However, beneath the seemingly harmless veneer, lies something that has the potential for real devastation to our kids. Intertwined with their teaching methods and practices, lies an agenda for social engineering through propaganda embedded in the curriculum.

The International Baccalaureate Organization began in the 1960s with the objective of providing a standardized curriculum for families living abroad. The initial funding to start it was provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO is the education arm of the United Nations. The relationship between the IBO and UNESCO was further solidified in 1996 when the two formed a partnership to form what they describe as a "universal curriculum framework for peace education."

The IBO is very clear about its goal to forge a set of culturally neutral values to change worldviews. For example, the leaders of the organization believe global harmony can be achieved when all people view themselves as citizens of the world first, rather than just Americans.

In January 2004, The Washington Times reported the Director General of the IBO, Dr. George Walker, as stating:

The program remains committed to changing children’s values so they think globally, rather than in parochial national terms from their own country’s viewpoint.

 The report went on to further quote Dr. Walker saying:

International education offers people a state of mind: international-mindedness. You’ve got to change people’s thinking.

As I researched the IBO curriculum more, I was troubled by the values it promoted. For example, to promote its international focus, the IBO supports the Earth Charter. According to its creators, this United Nations-initiated document "is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century."

In answer to the question, "What are the sources of Earth Charter values?" its creators answer:

Together with the Earth Charter consultation process, the most important influences shaping the ideas and values in the Earth Charter are contemporary science, international law, the wisdom of the world’s great religions and philosophical traditions, the declarations and reports of the seven UN summit conferences held during the 1990s, the global ethics movement, numerous nongovernmental declarations and people’s treaties issued over the past thirty years, and best practices for building sustainable communities. (See www.EarthCharter.org)

With this as its foundation, the Earth Charter promotes values counter to Judeo-Christian values. For example, it is based on an assumption of evolution and promotes a New Age environmentalism. In a speech to an international environmental gathering, former communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev who helped formulate the Charter referred to an earlier draft of it when he stated:

Our document begins with the words: "We declare our respect for the Earth," we treat her as a living being, and we are grateful to Mother Earth for her gift of life for the numbers of generations of humankind in spite of mistreatment with which these generations paid back to her.

Maurice Strong, Chairman of the Earth Council and Co-Chair of the Earth Charter Commission, explained the purpose of the Earth Charter this way:

The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere. (Emphasis in the original. His statement came in an interview conducted March 5, 1998; see www.ecouncil.ac.cr.)

The Earth Charter also calls for "ensuring universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction" (i.e., abortion on demand); "the equitable distribution of wealth within nations and among nations;" and working to "eliminate discrimination in all its forms such as that based on…sexual orientation."

The Charter reflects the New Age/Eastern philosophy of prana – the idea of universal oneness. It calls for people to:

Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.

More than just being a wish list, the Charter closes with a call for making its agenda legally binding on all nations:

In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development.

The Deputy Director General of the IBO, Dr. Ian Hill, sits on the Advisory Committee to the Earth Charter. To avoid any confusion as to the IBO position on the Earth Charter, I contacted the organization and asked about the relationship between the Charter and the current IBO curriculum. I received a timely response from Dr. Ian Hill himself. He wrote:

We did an analysis of existing topics…with the content of the Earth Charter and found that we already covered much of it if schools took up our suggestions for content….

Dr. Ian Hill went on to close his e-mail by writing,

So, the IBO endorses the Earth Charter and suggests many topics which promote it.

Parents in Fairfax County, Virginia, recently challenged the International Baccalaureate program when they learned that their children were being taught concepts promoting socialism, disarmament, radical environmentalism and moral relativism while attempting to undermine Christian religious values and national sovereignty.

Woodson High School in Fairfax County dropped the IB curriculum after complaints that top universities would not give the same credit to IB graduates as they would give to Advance Placement students.

Although the curriculum has only been implemented in a little over 500 schools nationwide, its popularity is growing (Newsweek magazine, this year, hailed four schools using IB curriculum as the best high schools in America.). This is due, in large part, to grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

In my situation, the journey of discovery began by sifting through the enormous amount of information available. Then I began talking with people currently involved with the IBO and its programs. This included IB teachers, principals, district superintendents, school board members, and parents of IB students. I also corresponded through e-mail with the leadership of the IBO. After all this was done, I was confident in my understanding of the IBO, and I began sharing my information with school staff and other parents.

I was surprised to learn how many in the education establishment were completely unaware of the worldview and goals of the IBO. The responses I received ranged from complete denial of the facts to an intense feeling of betrayal among a majority of parents.

For five months, those in our school district who opposed adopting the IBO curriculum openly and honestly shared information with our school staff and community. We attended every school board meeting and talked individually with board members.

The school board voted against the IB program by a 3-2 margin. However, the victory lasted only a few short days. Within 48 hours an emergency meeting of the board was held to reconsider the previous vote. This unprecedented move by our board president created a forum so she could change her vote.

Unfortunately, the IBO program will be a reality at Beechwood School. However, because of the controversy, this issue was covered heavily in the local newspapers and was the topic of conversation at many community gatherings among local residents who otherwise would know nothing about the stealth agenda of the International Baccalaureate Organization.

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