History of the IBO
Source:  IBO

What interest has been shared among the League of Nations, United Nations,/UNESCO, 20th Century Fund, Carnegie Endowment, Ford Foundation, OECD, Ralph Tyler (Ford Foundation consultant and a "diehard socialist" who "believed in a soviet-based society on a global scale"[1]), Alec Peterson (Oxford Dept. of Edu.) [2], and the Council of Europe?

Answer: an international system of education (steeped in U.N. political agendas). The system is spreading in the form of International Baccalaureate programs (see below for the history of IBO) which, at the high school level, is only accessible to select students. For the rest, there will be emphasis on vocational training -- a focus which entered into U.S. public education under titles such as School-to-work, School-to-careers, Career pathways, Career technical training, Job Ready, Joint Technological Education, Regional Vocational Education, etc.

(Note: For those who may not recognize what's wrong with an international system of education created by proponents of international socialism, I urge you to read "Redefining Education for Global Citizenship"[3]  

[1[ < http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/august_2002/school_to_work.htm >; also see Charlotte Iserbyt's book -- the deliberate dumbing down of america: A Chronological Paper Trail: -- for numerous entries mentioning Ralph Tyler < http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/ >
[2] < http://universities.ibo.org/ibo/index.cfm?contentid=5F1C01E7-93EB-DEBD-A48DF4C41F2A0DE5&method=display&language=EN >
[3] D. Niwa, 2006 'Redefining Education for Global Citizenship',  two sources for this article http://www.newswithviews.com/guest_opinion/guest85.htm 

Excerpts from the International Baccalaureate Organization webpage:
"History of the IBO" (accessed 1/29/2005 -- captured webpage from 2005 because webpage on IBO website has been edited):

The International Baccalaureate Organization was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation. Its original purpose was to facilitate the international mobility of students preparing for university by providing schools with a curriculum and diploma recognized by universities around the world. Since then its mission has expanded, and it now seeks to make an IB education available to students of all ages.


IBO was funded by Unesco, the 20th Century Fund, and the Ford Foundation until 1976. From 1977 the Heads Standing Conference (HSC) of Diploma Programme (DP) schools was formed and they began to pay the IBO an annual registration fee. In countries where state schools offered the DP, the governments made financial contributions, and some continue to do so on a reduced basis. In return for these fees, the IBO helped schools implement the DP, offered training workshops and teaching materials to IB teachers, and managed a system of external examinations for IB diploma candidates.


... The IBO is popular among US public schools because it is seen as an answer to a perceived decline in the quality of public education. ...

(My comment: The pathetic irony in the above statement is that U.S. education is in decline because they are accommodating socialist education [sic] philosophies. For that, we can point  at decades of U.S. leadership (and useful idiots throughout the education hierarchy) who have used U.S. taxpayer funds to establish the dumbed-down globalist system promoted by the U.N., OECD, education-meddling foundations & various other comrades.)


In addition to serving schools, the IBO has, since its founding, helped governments in the development and reform of state education systems. In 1978, the IBO formed the Standing Conference of Governments (SCG) from countries that contributed to the IBO. SCG existed until 2000 and a new Government Advisory Committee was established in 2000 to meet with the director general of the IBO on a regular basis. . . .


A more detailed IBO history can be found in IBE's Experiments and innovations in education No. 14, published in 1974 by Unesco Press, Paris, France (below). Note: the term "international school" does not automatically imply the presence of IB. I attended (2 yrs) and graduated from an international school whose college prep high school curriculum was geared towards U.S. higher education enrollment requirements. IB did not exist when I was there in the mid-70's, but has since been brought in as an option. My experience has given me a point of reference with which I have scrutinized and consequently come to object to the particular brand of international education that is embodied in International Baccalaureate programs.

Experimental period of the International Baccalaureate:
objectives and results
by Gérard Renaud, Director,
International Baccalaureate Office in Geneva
Study prepared for the International Bureau of Education
Download pdf:


Excerpts (emphasis added):

[Page 1:]

I. Origins


Although the disparity among education systems had for long been a serious handicap to effective international exchange in educational matters, increased family mobility since the First World War has made the problem even more acute, for the first victims of this state of affairs were the displaced children themselves.

It is therefore not surprising that schools responsible for accepting students of diverse origin should have been the first to show a realistic awareness of the need to harmonize education systems and methods of assessment. Later on, the realization of the problem and its adherent educational needs, became much more widespread, but it is important first to follow the path of the  idea, and the experiments to which it progressively gave rise.

Because syllabuses and methods designed for a national community are ill-suited to the socio-educational needs of an international community, a certain number of schools were founded to meet the needs of such a community during the post-war years, in various parts of the world, usually under the name of international schools. The first was the International School of Geneva which, from 1925, by a convention drawn up between the State of Geneva and the League of Nations, was officialy charged with providing primary and secondary education to meet the needs of the international community. But these schools were inevitably confronted by the difficulties mentioned above.

Despite their intention to provide a special form of education and to aim at the social integration of the students, they had no alternative but to follow either the local school curricula or a number of national programmes. While integration proceeded relatively smoothly at primary and lower secondary levels, at upper secondary level the necessity of preparing students for different terminal examinations in different 'streams' had an undesirable, divisive effect, as well as creating financial and administrative problems.

[Page 2:]

Wishing to facilitate scholastic mobility, the initiators of the International Baccalaureate considered three principal situations.

(a) The student living abroad
The assimilation of foreign students into their new environment poses only limited problems provided that the number involved is limited, particularly if they are likely to establish themselves in their new country of residence indefinitely. Special introductory classes and complementary instruction usually offer a satisfactory solution. The situation changes, however, when the number of foreign students and foreign national groups increases so as to encourage the formation of linguistic and cultural pockets, especially if such students expect to be recalled at relatively short notice to their own country, or to move to yet another country, and thus have a certain resistance to assimilation. Professional mobility is tending to increase, involving a stay of less than five years and thus increasing the difficulty of integrating children into each successive social and school environment.

(b) The native student returning from abroad
Such students usually readjust easily to their own country if, during the course of their period abroad, they have maintained comunication skills in their own language and have remained in contact with their native culture and national teaching methods. If, on the other hand, such students have been educated almost entirely in a different education system, their reintegration in the national system becomes a more delicate matter.

(c) The native student likely to go abroad
Since the end of the Second World War the mobile school and university student has become more and more common, and the problems to which this gives rise cannot be ignored. If it is the secondary school's main role to teach the children how to learn, is it not part of our contemporary responsibility to see that the adolescent should be prepared to confront new situations, and that the school should therefore make him aware of ways of thinking differing from those peculiar to his particular culture?

In these situations none of the varied, more or less empirical, models adopted by the schools in question, based on necessity and local possibilities, had proved to be entirely satisfactory.

Mention has been made above of the international schools, which had to divide the student body into syllabus streams since

[Page 3:]

no common acceptable syllabus was available. Not only did this arrangement lead to inevitable administrative problems, but it also caused rifts between the streams, which were necessarily adapted to the ethos of the national system whose programme was being followed. The partitioning also accentuated the formation of cliques and objectionable rivalries to which the adolescent is in any event easily prone. Obviously this resulted in an atmosphere far from desirable in any school, particularly in those trying to create a spirit of internationalism.

National schools with international sections did not present the same problems because each national section only contained a minority group which, after a few years, was expected to become a part of the school's normal programme. A typical case is that of the Lycée de Sévres in France, now an IB participating school, in which the international sections exist for some classes in the lower secondary school. Foreign students entering at this stage of their education are given special courses to permit their assimilation into the regular four lower secondary grades. When they enter the upper secondary school they are then ready to be prepared for the French baccalaureate, although now there is also an International Baccalaureate preparatory stream at this level.

Schools with parallel national sections. Another French lycge, the International Lyc6e at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which is also an IB participating school, offers foreigners the French programme but supplemented by extra instruction in the language, culture and history of their homeland, organized in seven 'national sections'. This is undoubtedly a flexible and interesting idea but it has given rise to a patchwork effect in the heart of the school, and results finally in the French examination system with minor modifications.

The multi-national (e.g. European) and bi-lateral schools (e.g. Franco-German lycges) certainly respond to a precise pattern of needs, and the patterns of instruction associated with them have made a step forward in the harmonization of national syllabuses. By definition, however, these establishments are intended for limited and specific communities, and their programmes are related to the cultures concerned.

The initial objectives were, therefore, centred around rendering a service to the international community, because existing models were inadequate to alleviate the
heterogeneity of national systems

[Page 4:]


From 1951, several schools shared their educational concerns and at Unesco headquarters founded the International Schools' Association (ISA), a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status at Unesco. This association was given three succesive contracts by Unesco to study practical ways of harmonizing curricula and methods for the development of international understanding.

The first experiment involved the drafting of a modern history syllabus leading up to an experimental examination, first held in 1964. Several universities expressed interest in this initiative, notably Harvard, and this encouraged the promoters to extend their investigation to other subjects with the ultimate aim of producing a complete secondary course which would meet the needs outlined above.

In 1963, the Twentieth Century Fund gave ISA a grant spread over three years, to establish machinery for the development of a common curriculum and examination programme for the international schools, which would facilitate pupils' admission to the universities of their choice. Thus it was that in 1965 the International Schools' Examination Syndicate (ISES) was set up, a body which later became the International Baccalaureate Office (IBO) with the status of a foundation under Swiss law and with headquarters in Geneva.

At the same time an international board of examiners was constituted with the collaboration of inspectors of education, university professors and secondary school teachers from various countries. The fundamental composition of the board has varied little since (See Appendix 1).


The University of Oxford first showed its interest when Mr. W.D. Halls, one of the comparative educational specialists, who was working under the aegis of the Council of Europe and who had taken part in several curriculum development meetings, prepared the way for a co-operative project between Oxford and Geneva, while Mr. A.D.C. Peterson, director of Oxford's Department of Education, became a member of IBO's Council. Under his leadership an IBO Research Centre was set up at the University of Oxford, working in liaison with the IBO administrative headquarters,

[Page 5:]

established in Geneva. As summarized in a document in 1967, the tasks of this Centre were :

to validate the International Baccalaureate examinations;
to assess the current programmes and syllabus;
to develop and assess new examination techniques;
to develop alternative means of assessment of fitness for entrance to higher education;
to innovate and evaluate new courses and programmes for the two terminal years of international secondary schools;
to undertake comparability studies in this field of secondary education.

The Centre was to collaborate closely with the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and the Oxford/Council of Europe Study for the Evaluation of Curriculum and Examinations (OCESCE) .
The Research Centre was formally to assume responsibility for research projects already begun under the auspices of IBO. As regards organization, it was attached to the Department of Education of Oxford University, and initially consisted of a director, research officers, research assistants and supporting administrative and secretarial staff. The Director was to prepare yearly budget and an annual report for submission to the Council  of IBO.

Following up the assistance afforded by the Twentieth Century Fund, the Ford Foundation expressed interest in the experimental work undertaken by IBO in the field of harmonizing national systems and made an initial grant spread over the years 1966, 1967, 1968. Two Ford Foundation consultants, Dr. Frank Bowles, who in 1963 had undertaken an extensive study for Unesco on 'Access to higher education' which revealed the divergencies between national systems, and Dr. Ralph Tyler, in 1967 stressed that:
'...the project should be seen not merely as an attempt to meet the problems of the international schools outlined above, but as an opportunity for experiment and research in curricula and examinations which could have an innovatory influence on national systems, The international schools could be used as a living laboratory for curricula or examining innovations, which directors of national systems might be happy to see tried out, but unable to

[Page 6:]

introduce on a national scale,¹ [1]

Other foundations which were interested in the field of international education and which agreed to give their support to the project during the following years included the Agnelli Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, the Gulbenkian Foundation, the Hegler Institute, the Stifterverband and the Wennen Gren Foundation.

From 1968 a network of exchanges was established with international institutes and organizations (viz., the Council of Europe, OECD, the Unesco International Institute of Educational Planning), and also with various national commissions, each working for the reform of their secondary education. Among such commissions were, in England, the joint working party of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of Universities, Schools Council and Standing Conference on University Entrance; in France, the group set up at the Institut pedagogique-national to investigate upper secondary reform; in Switzerland, the commission of experts for 'secondary education of tomorrow'; in the Federal Republic of Germany, the commission for the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education of the Lander. It is interesting to note that the fundamental principles established for the IB in 1965, especially the structure of subject options, show quite a startling resemblance to the conclusions arrived at by several of these national commissions. Other countries, notably Morocco, Romania, Hungary and Spain, informed IBO that they were interested in the project as suitable for eventual application in  certain sectors of their national education.

In 1969, CERN called upon the IB Research Centre to advise on plans for a multinational school which would be needed to educate the children of staff recruited for the projected CERN 11, whatever European country might eventually be chosen for its site.

Finally, Unesco's interest and support took the form of a contract from the Secretariat to study 'the comparability ... of secondary school leaving examinations and certificates, in order to arrive at the application of international equivalences in connexion with access to higher education', followed by other contracts during the period 1970-1974, while some Unesco National Commissions expressed their support in the form of draft resolutions:- at the General Conference in 1962, the United Arab Republic submitted a

[1] As reported in Peterson, A.D. C. The International-Baccalaureate. London, Harrap, 1972, p. 14.

[Page 7:]

draft resolution requesting the study and implementation, in consultation with international schools, of interchangeable or coordinated curricula to be taught in schools in various countries; - at the General Conference in 1964, Switzerland and Belgium submitted a draft resolution taking note of the constitution of ISES (first denomination of IBO) and requesting the Director-General to maintain his support of the International Schools Association and  the newly created organization and to recommend to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the inclusion of the International Baccalaureate project in the programme of International Development Year (1965); - at the General Conference in 1968, Switzerland, Cameroon and Chile submitted a draft resolution, referring to the work and research carried out by IBO and its Research Centre and requesting the Director-General to associate IBO closely with the general project of comparability, equivalence and recognition of diplomas.

The Director-General' s note concerning the draft resolution stated:
'The Director-General is following with interest the activities of the International Baccalaureate Office. One of its projects has been carried out with the help of a Unesco contract, i.e. the comparability and the methods of determining the qualitative and quantitative comparison of secondary school leaving certificates. The Director-General considers desirable the continued cooperation between the two organizations in the study on the equivalence of diplomas. '