Posts tagged: Primary Years Programme
It appears that Coeur d'Alene School Board Chairman Tom Hamilton and Trustee Terri Seymour signed an online petition against the International Baccalaureate program on Aug. 8 of this year, only days before voting to phase the program out of Coeur d'Alene schools. The anti-IB petition has been circulating for years. The petition and its wording, with addendum, can be found here. Hamilton and Seymour were part of a unanimous 4-0 vote Aug. 13 to phase out the IB program at Lake City High. The two could vote tonight to end the elementary school equivalent of the IB program, Primary Years Programme, at Hayden Meadows. The addendum of the online petition states, ”
We, the undersigned, request Federal legislation to prohibit the expenditure of U.S. taxdollars (income and/or property taxes)on UNESCO and any of its affiliates, in particular, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) and IB's programs as they pertain to U.S. public schools. We believe that IB programs are unduly expensive, foster anti-American sentiment and seek to indoctrinate American youth in order to devalue their American citizenship and undermine our sovereignty as a nation in favor of global citizenry. Public schools should be apolitical.
In its Sunday editorial, the Coeur d'Alene Press cautions the Coeur d'Alene School Board not to let personal agendas get in the way of overall good during discussions and vote on the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows:
Alas, unlike IB's final days, the executioner's mask has come off with PYP and the real motives have been exposed. School board Chairman Tom Hamilton (pictured) is on the record as saying that one of the chief reasons he disapproves of PYP is because he believes it does not reflect the values he and his family hold dear. While we certainly respect that viewpoint and would understand if Tom sent his children elsewhere, we believe such a pronouncement from the head of the school board ensures that he will not give the matter fair consideration. We also wonder if his judgment has colored the objectivity of other board members, only one of whom has been on the board for more than a few months. Before another lynch mob assembles, further study of PYP at Hayden Meadows is essential. It should start with the hundreds of parents who are happy with the product. Perhaps it should even end there.
Question: How can Chairman Tom Hamilton and the largely appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board ease constituent fears that they are dealing with PYP issue fairly?
On the Citizens for a Positive Coeur d'Alene Facebook wall, someone has posted a comment made by Hayden Meadows teacher Courtney Greene:
I want to make clear, as an IB teacher, a patron of this district, and a citizen of the community that there are things I will not tolerate. There is an absolute truth in my eyes. I teach my kids, both in my classroom and at my dinner table, that if they see injustice in the world they should act. They do every day. They do not tolerate bullying of their classmates. They do not tolerate mediocrity. They diligently work for causes; from helping the hungry with food drives to volunteering to read to younger children, because they will not tolerate hunger or illiteracy.
Time may be running out for the controversial Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows Elementary School, despite support shown at recent school board meetings by parents and educators who laud the program. “My children have blossomed and thrived … We just came here in January and the difference that I have seen in each one of my children is remarkable,” said parent Ashlie Unruh, speaking to district trustees at the Sept. 10 school board meeting. Unruh was among several parents who testified at the meeting, expressing concern about the future of the district's “schools of choice,” especially PYP at Hayden Meadows. Dozens of other parents observed the meeting, many showing their support by wearing pro-PYP T-shirts/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Josh Helwich, a fifth grade student at Hayden Meadows Elementary School, listens to a high school mentor Tuesday during his core math class)
Question: Is School Board Chairman Tom Hamilton saying that the board has decided to rush this through rather than take a measured approach to the Primary Years Programme because unnamed families feel intimidated by the popular support for the program? Really?