The Owego-Apalachin Central School District (Owego, NY) created a "task force" to investigate whether or not to "have a relationship with the International Baccalaureate Organization."

IBO Task Force
Final Report, November 20, 2004
pdf for download:

Retrieved copy from Internet Archive
Original Link (not available)

The Owego-Apalachin Central School District (Owego, NY) created a "task force" to investigate whether or not to "have a relationship with the International Baccalaureate Organization."

The Task Force recommendation was to "discontinue affiliation with IBO, and not implement the Middle Years Programme and the Primary Years Programme ..:" -- main reasons cited:

"-- Lack of community support, due to issues with the Philosophy of IBO, as well as IBO contractual concerns

-- Further affiliation with IBO will continue to cause division within the community, and school budget support will be impacted"

The report, which includes a list of pros/cons of IB, information on test scores, costs, general program elements; IB vs. AP, etc.

Here are some of the "con" issues cited by the Task Force:

- Budget Concerns
- People must focus on cut backs
- Program costs for 2003/2004 $71K
- Additional layers of management required
  - MYP/PYP coordinators for each school

- Takes Highly experienced teachers out of Programs (High School) to meet IBO requirements
- Grading Issues
- Lack of Homework & Test Scores Brought home

- Governing Law ­ Swiss Law
- IBO can not be held accountable for quality of teaching
- Authorization to teach IB program may be withdrawn if IBO is not satisfied that the school is delivering the program with sufficient quality ­ Decision is final & Not subject to appeal
- IBO is independent from school
- In the case of MYP or Diploma Program: It is the sole right and responsibility of IBO to award MYP Certificate or IB Diploma; NOT the school

- Formal agreement to bind school to full acceptance of IBO Philosophy, standards, principles & practices
- IBO reserves the right to deny participation to any school whose philosophy, policy or practices are judged to be incompatible with those of IBO
- Potential Constitutional Violations of 13th Amendments
- Potential Violation of Federal Law 20 U.S.C. §1232h) Sex or family life education

- Questionable terminology (Why these terms?)
- Homo Faber

[Deb's note: "Homo faber, in Latin means 'Man the Smith' (or 'Man the Maker', 'Man the Toolmaker', 'Man the Fabricator', 'Man the Worker')" -- Source: ]

- Community Colleges currently have no policy regarding IB credits
- AP credits more easily accepted at college level
- There is no consistence policy for determining credit Given for IB courses at colleges that accept the IB program

- IBO conflicts with programs such as AP, and SUPA. If we were to continue with IBO these other programs would be reduced or eliminated.

Excerpts from the report (underline emphasis added):

Task Force Findings:

During the IBO/MYP review, activities of the Task Force were conducted in a variety of ways. At many of the meetings, the committee discussed concerns and issues as a whole. The Task Force also formed sub-committees to study individual topics and report back to the Task Force as a whole. Visitors from the public, in attendance, were asked at the start of each meeting if they had information they wished to share with the committee. The Survey sub-committee created two surveys, one for the community and non-educators and another for the faculty. The surveys were approved by the whole committee and distributed at District Open Houses and to faculty and staff at each district facility by committee members. The number of general surveys returned to the committee and faculty surveys was 150 and 75 respectively.

The following statements summarize the main findings of the Task Force:

1. The Task Force noted a number of educational practices used in the middle school during the one year MYP trial that are recommended by nationally recognized authorities. These commendable practices included use of a flexible scheduling format, team interdisciplinary teaching, and curriculum development based on Understanding By DesignŠ.

2. The Task Force found that some elements of the OACSD middle school program were not part of a standard MYP program and were confused by the public with the MYP plan. (Note: See Best Practices Comparison Chart in Appendix)

3. Teacher members of the Task Force reported that course content during the MYP year was not substantially different from content in the same courses taught in prior years.

4. Adoption of the MYP in grades 6-10 may have an impact on course offerings in grades 11 and 12 (e. g. AP and community college credit courses).

5. In order to become certified as an MYP/PYP school the school district and school board must be willing to cede some of its authority to an extra-national organization. And, according to the terms of the legal agreement between the local school district and the International Baccalaureate Organization, disputes between the school district or its enrolled students would be subject to international arbitration rules whose arbiters would have final authority on MYP.

6. The International Baccalaureate Organization is linked to the United Nations and UNESCO and shares the goals, ideals and objectives of those organizations.

7. The Task Force found the district¹s cost estimates for introducing the MYP/PYP programs during the next five years to be substantial but not extreme. In-service training costs for staff to learn other programs would be similar. (Note: See Cost Table Report in appendix)

8. Based on Task Force survey data the MYP/PYP programs are not well understood by and do not enjoy broad support among members of our community. Faculty support for the MYP is mixed. (Note: Survey data can be found in the appendix).

9. Based on the total experience of our community with the MYP concept, a solid base of support for the program does not appear to exist among stakeholders. Conversely, there appears to be a dedicated and active group of stakeholders who are opposed to further use of MYP program for the foreseeable future.

10. The Task Force concluded that overall, the district¹s plan for introducing and communicating to our community about the MYP was inadequate if not flawed.

Task Force Committee

The idea for creating a task force to study the International Baccalaureate Organization and the Owego Apalachin Central School District¹s affiliation with the organization was conceived in the spring of 2004. A number of parents and community members were beginning to speak out at Board of Education meetings about their disagreements with the Middle years Programme and/or the lack of knowledge of the program. In June 2004, four parents met with Superintendent Dr. Willon where it was agreed that 15 members of the community including parents and educators would review the International Baccalaureate Organization and its programs.

The parents who initially met with Dr. Willon were Dan Cacciaglia, Robert Anderssen, Sandy Williams and Becky Goodrich. The reasons for the creation of the committee were:

•  Poor communication between the OACSD and our community about the Middle Years Programme

•  Belief that the OACSD had failed to investigate the International Baccalaureate Organization thoroughly and without a sufficient shared decision making process,

•  Budget related concerns with regard to the implementation of the IBO¹s programs

•  Parents and community members who were in disagreement about the program¹s teaching methodology

•  Concern over the background and political agenda behind the International Baccalaureate Organization and disagreements among parents and community members regarding the philosophy, ideology, values and terminology used by the Organization.