Sunday, December 30, 2007

Huckabee, IBO and Global Citizenship

In previous articles I have focused on homechooling, state reform, and the role of the federal government in education. In this post, I will examine international involvment in US education.

Prior to the HSLDA-PAC endorsement, Michael Farris interviewed Mike Huckabee. Here's an excerpt on international law,

Mike Farris: International law is becoming a pervasive influence in the United States and a major concern, for our constituency, is the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Governor Huckabee, how would you guard Americans’ rights in the face of this international legal threat?

Governor Huckabee:It really is of great concern that there are people who believe that the United States should subject itself to treaties in which some international government or international government organization would dictate how a parent raises his or her child, including the disciplining of a child. If we were to adopt the policies of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, we essentially have done something that I personally think is not only unconstitutional but I think is unconscionable. That is, we have sacrificed the rights of mothers and fathers in this country to some international entity that is simply unacceptable and it is of utmost concern to me.

Huckabee's "utmost concern" sounds impressive and obviously persuaded Farris, but can we trust him to keep the UN and international law from influencing our lives? I have my doubts given that Huckabee already submitted students in the Akransas schools to an international entity associated with the UN.

With the approval of SB 1024 now Public Act 2152 (PDF), Mike Huckabee officially brought the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to Arkansas high schools and gave control of the education of many Arkansas school children to an international entity based in Geneva, Switzerland. The IBO is part of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). This organization teaches the very principles, beliefs, and values of the United Nations that Farris is rightly worried about; values which conflict with the very founding of our country, our parental rights, and our faith.

IBO undermines the beliefs of our nation's founding fathers and endorses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Alan Quist of EdWatch,
This means that IB promotes the view that the United Nations has higher standing than the United States Supreme Court on issues of human rights involving U.S.
The IBO also undermines Christianity by calling upon students to engage in a more spiritual education using the principles of the Earth Charter, international law, and the Theory of Knowledge to create a global citizen where a common morality supersedes any specific culture's view of right and wrong. The goal of the IBO is to get the children into its schools early, preferably before age seven, because soon after that age they become much too questioning to accept a common view of morality and ethics.

International law could include teaching such things as the UN Rights of the Child. The very principles Farris has worked hard to prevent from being ratified in the US are taught to Arkansas children so that they can become global citizens who will participate in the global economy. It's not hard to figure out where parent-led directed home education and training fits into this philosphy. it doesn't.

In 2005, then IBO President George Walker described a global citizen,

So, I have learned that to be on the first rung of the ladder of international education is not enough. The best educated workforce is no longer just internationally aware. It has an understanding of the major influences that have consigned the concepts of the independent nation state, national company and national economy to the history books. I have learned that students need to be globally aware...

At the heart of global citizenship is a lively mind but a mind that will be operating within boundaries defined by truth and falsehood. The sky is not the limit when it comes to exercising the intellect: our concept of truth will define the limits and that will need refocusing depending on the particular area of knowledge – scientific, mathematical, artistic, literary, ethical, religious and so on. That is why I have learned to appreciate the value of the Theory of Knowledge course in the education of the global citizens." (emphasis added)

A global citizen is one who understands the influences that have consigned the concepts of indpendent nation state, national company, and national economy to the history books? Last I checked the United States was still an independent nation state not a by-gone concept to read about in a history book! But that's the guiding philosophy of IBO.

World Magazine culture editor, Gene Edward Veith, wrote about IBO in an article titled, One World Education. Veith does not share Walkers appreciation for the IBO or the Theory of Knowledge,

The IBO goal is the formation of students "who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.” Not just that other people can be right, but that people with differences can “also” be right. At the heart of the IB approach is a view that no actual culture holds truth. The keystone course for the International Baccalaureate diploma is “Theory of Knowledge.”

Not “theories,” but “theory.” While it is fine for high-school students to study epistemology, this is a course in postmodernist epistemology. This theory employs a “hermeneutic of suspicion” that undermines the very possibility of accepting any kind of objective truth.

It does take a certain kind of braininess to convince oneself that it is true that there is no truth, and it is no wonder that major universities—the patrons of postmodernist theory—are impressed with all of the young relativists clutching their IB diplomas. But this philosophy does not produce a good education; rather, it produces a mindset in which good education is impossible.

The international diploma is well known and given Huckabee's leadership in education organizations it is hard to believe that he didn’t know the goals and agenda of the IBO when he allowed the organization into Arkansas.

In fact, IBO had already been in Arkansas for two years before Huckabee signed the bill. Here's a photo of the first group of students receiving their IB pins in 2003. Dr. Raymond Simon, director of the Arkansas State Department of Education, was the speaker for this momentous event. He spoke about the excellence of this program, and commended the students for participating in something challenging and new. Dr. Simon was appointed by Governor Huckabee. There are now 7 publically funded IBO schools in Arkansas.

The idea of global citizenship undermines the principles set out by our founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I do not want a President who believes that one world education is appropriate for our nation's children. Unfortunately, George Bush already signed up and is helping to fund the international education effort.

The Bush administration has begun issuing grants to help spread a United Nations-sponsored school program that aims to become a "universal curriculum" for teaching global citizenship, peace studies and equality of world cultures. The U.S. Education Department has issued its first $1.2 million grant to implement the European-based International Baccalaureate (IB) program in middle schools..."
Bush also incorporated IB into the Amercia Competes Act signed this year (2007). The IB universal curriculum is sold as an "elite" education to compete with advanced placement exams. Tony Blair, in on of his final acts as Prime Minister, made the IB Diploma the "elite" diploma in the UK. The IBO is truly seeking to create a universal curriculum and standard to prepare workers for a global economy. Huckabee, Bush, and Blair have all signed up.

Huckabee promotes "local control" to persuade and pacify conservative voters but legislated to allow an international organzation of the UN to control Arkansas schools. It's up to him to explain why he ceded control of Arkansas schools to an international government organziation that promotes global citizen over national citizenship, international law over the US Constitution, and common morality over absolute Truth. Until he provides an adequate explanation, no conservative Christian should consider him a viable candidate for office of President of the United States.

It has been said that the rise and fall of a civilization rests in the education of its youth. In the long run, no other issue will matter if the next generation does not know or understand the principles that distinguish the United States from other forms of government.

We are a people founded on the belief that we are "one nation under God" not one world under the United Nations. Let's elect someone who will keep it that way.

My previous posts on Huckabee and homeschooling
Part One. The Huckabee Homeschool Hustle
Part Two. Huckabee and state reform
Part Three. Huckabee and federal policy
Part Four. Huckabee and global citizenship
Huckabee responds
Ned Ryun's statement on homeschooling.
Ned Ryun's statement on HSLDA.

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