As the 2011-2012 school year begins for students in Pinellas County, parents have several options from which to choose in directing their children’s educational track. The international baccalaureate programme is currently being offered for three grade levels. The Primary Years Programme is available to students in grades K – 5 at the James B. Sanderlin IB World School . According to the school’s website “Beginning in 2011-12, James B. Sanderlin IB World School will expand to 6th grade, with 7th and 8th grades added in coming years. Currently authorized as a Primary Years Programme (PYP), the school is in the process of becoming an authorized Middle Years Programme under the umbrella of the International Baccalaureate Organization.”
The IB Diploma Programme is currently being offered at St. Petersburg High School and Palm Harbor University High School.
Before parents enroll their children in these programmes they should research and understand the educational approach of the International Baccalaureate Programme. In a previous article about IB, “Is the International Baccalaureate Programme Co-opting your child?” this programme is directly connected to the United Nations through UNESCO, and is inserting its tenets and philosophies into our classrooms. According to their website “The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”. In addition, “these programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”
An inquiry to the State of Florida regarding their oversight of the IB programme and curriculum brought this response:
IB programs have been available to Florida’s students as an acceleration mechanism since at least the mid-1990s. Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) programs were added some years later. You may access information detailing the intent of the legislature to provide a variety of articulated acceleration options to Florida’s students in Section 1007.27, Florida Statute. You may access information about the funding of these programs through Florida legislation in Section 1011.62 (1)(m)(n)(o), Florida Statute.
The Florida legislature has also enacted statute which permits five paths to a standard high school diploma in Florida. Section 1003.428 FSstates “graduation requires the successful completion of a minimum of 24 credits, an International Baccalaureate curriculum, or an Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum.” This provision provides 3 of the 5 paths to a standard diploma: (1) 24-credits, (2) completion of the IB curriculum, or (3) completion of the AICE curriculum. These programs were placed in statute by the legislature in 2006. Two additional pathways are specified inSection 1003.429 FSwhich provides for (4) an 18-credit “standard college preparatory program” or (5) an 18-credit “career preparatory program”. These programs were placed in statute by the legislature in 2004.
All courses which are part of any of these five paths to a standard high school diploma in Florida must be approved by the State Board of Education and listed as part of the Florida Course Code Directory. (Writer’s Italics) Only courses listed in the Florida Course Code Directory may be offered by Florida public schools. The Florida Course Code Directory (CCD) is provided online at this site:http://www.fldoe.org/articulation/CCD/. Courses listed in the CCD are submitted to the Florida Department of Education for approval and, if recommended for inclusion in the CCD, are annually approved by the State Board of Education. Course descriptions for AP, IB, and AICE courses come directly from those programs to ensure student credits are recognized at our universities.
Instructional materials for AP programs go through the state instructional materials adoption process. Submitted materials are reviewed by content experts and are recommended for inclusion on the state adopted list of instructional materials, or rejected. AICE and IB instructional materials are proprietary and are not required to go through the state adoption process. (Writers Italics) Districts may then choose which specific materials they wish to use.
We hope you find this information helpful. If we may be of further assistance, please contact Ann Whitney, Director of Humanities, at [email protected] or by phone at (850) 245-9965.
Teresa Sweet, Chief
Bureau of Curriculum & Instruction
Florida Department of Education
Many parents in several cities across the country have been outspoken in their opposition to the IB programme being offered in this country.
If you are considering IB for your child, please visit Truth About IB to get more detailed information about the IB programmes across the country and how people are striking back against this educational program that embraces a “global vision” for our children.