Makeshift Marxism

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The International Baccalaureate program being implemented in MISD, now gives students another option on how they wish to be educated, now allowing students to tailor their particular interests to their individual aspirations and wants.

Arguments about certain philosophies have been tossed around in regards to being Anti-American, in particular Marxism.  

Marxism is the political, economic, and social principles of German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

These philosophies essentially say the inevitable class struggle and development of a higher class of citizens, that oppresses lower class in a capitalist country, would eventually lead to socialism and a classless society.

The new and developing IB program has been accused of being a ‘Marxist’ program by outsiders.

This article accuses the program of being ‘Anti American/Anti Christian.’

The religious accusations against the IB program are of no significance to how it will be taught or implemented in.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government action to advance, coerce, or endorse religion in public schools, although these laws still protect private religious expression.

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) that it is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools.

The court established that the slightest promotion of a religion is sufficient enough to warrant a violation. The first amendment applies to public school districts as a political subdivision of the state through the fourteenth amendment.

This means that even if the IB program had a specific set of religious values, beliefs, or guidelines, it would not make a difference to students in their personal religious beliefs or values because there would be no action taken to try and convert them, change their values, or encourage the worship of a new religion or values.

Our district itself has no association to any specific religion nor does it have a belief system as that would be against the law. Therefore the implementation of IB in Magnolia ISD cannot be accused of being ‘Anti American/ Anti Christian,’  because IB does not associate itself with any particular religion.

Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, IB is a nonprofit educational foundation, which is implemented in schools around the world and helps educate students to their full potential on the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to work and live in the world today.

In a fact sheet issued by the district, IB helps students, “develop a strong sense of their own identity as Americans, and understand the importance of local community.”

The class of 2018 will be the first class at Magnolia West to participate in this program. Currently the class of 2018 are sophomores, and next year those who have chosen to be in IB will start their adventure on this path.

Jeremy Day is the IB coordinator at Magnolia West High School. In the fact sheet issued by the district about the IB program, it is assured, “The IB is not under any control of any ministry or government, including the UN.”

This program is completely optional and promotes students to think differently about the world and current events. The topics covered are completely optional “we can choose to cover this [topic]; we can choose to cover the topics that are taught,” said Day. 

“The decision [on] how to implement the program is 100 percent up to the school to decide,” as stated by the fact sheet.

The reality of the situation is that the IB program is just another option to students and that in itself defies the allegations that the district is promoting a “Marxist” program, as allowing options is a direct contradiction to Marxist principles.