Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And if you want to pretend you're an international player...

...it's not a good idea for the Legislature to accuse an esteemed international training program of being a Commie plot.

The International Baccalaureate program is a rigorous, uniform program designed to prepare our kids for the global economy and create at least some modicum of an international diploma standard. In effect, it allows our high school students to say, "See, I really do match up with kids from other countries."

Relatively few Utah schools offer the program, and the cost isn't that great compared to the whole state eduction budget. But when proponents sought funding from the Legislature, Sen. Margaret Dayton of Orem decided the program was "anti-American" and got Sen. Darin Peterson of Nephi and my own Sen. Howard Stephenson to vote with her to shoot down the funding. After a general uproar, the Legislature agreed to provide some token funding, but Stephenson is still pushing for an investigation of the program because he's "heard some concerns from teachers and parents."

There are those who believe that teaching anything other than American Hagiography is treason. Folks, such a course does our kids no favors. The IB program introduces kids to different points of view. Given the world they are marching off into, that's a good thing. Even if they never leave Utah, the odds are getting pretty good that their co-workers and even their bosses will be from someplace else and hold opinions vastly different than theirs. They might as well get used to that reality now. And so should the Legislature.


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