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Questions Posed on IB for Greenwich Schools

Parents and residents should be asking the Greenwich Board of Education many questions about the proposed International Baccalaureate program:

• IB supporters say IB is not curriculum. If it isn't curriculum, why does IB have its own tests? You don't test students on "frameworks" or "ways of teaching." You test students on curriculum knowledge. Therefore, our current testing should be sufficient.

• IB supporters say IB teacher training focuses on HOW students should learn, not WHAT they learn. What exactly is the teacher training for a science course such as chemistry?

• Why would Greenwich need any IB teacher training? We have already been spending three times as much on mandated teacher training than is required by the state of Connecticut? Is Greenwich incapable of raising teaching standards on its own?

• What has your research shown about the many schools that have stopped using IB? What were their reasons? And what about districts that reviewed IB and rejected it, such as Scarsdale, N.Y.?

• For middle and high schools currently using IB in Connecticut, how has IB affected their CMT and SAT scores?

• It seems you are relying on positive anecdotal comments from parents at the International School at Dundee for support of IB. Why would you use comments from parents of students ages 5 to 10 when we are analyzing IB for students ages 11 to 18?

• Will you release the details of the Theory of Knowledge course curriculum and teaching methods? This course is the most controversial around the United States.

• "IBO At A Glance", an IB marketing document, says that IBO is "providing challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment." Then it says, "IBO is accessible for students in any school – public and private – and with any special education needs." In fact, IB is in a Florida school, which the state graded as an "F" school. Which is it?

• The growth of IB in American public schools has been very recent. How could a foreign-based entity become "the experts" so fast in American kindergarent through Grade 12 schools that vary from Florida's "F" schools to a Greenwich school and from special education to advanced high school education?

• American public schools have spent billions of dollars over the years to be "the experts" for American children. How and why has the American education bureaucracy failed? Why do they need to be bailed out by a foreign-based entity?

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