Anti-Education Spirit Prevails in St. Clair

The Mt. Lebanon School District has had its share of public troubles over the last couple of years, but nothing in Lebo has been so clearly and anti-child, anti-education, and anti-intellectual as the Upper St. Clair School Board's decision to terminate St. Clair's International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

The decision has all the earmarks of a cabal of adults exercising their mixed-up "philosophic" priorities on a bunch of kids who desperately want to learn. One school board member claimed that the IB program promotes "Marxism" -- because it allegedly promotes an egalitarian distribution of wealth. Another school board member criticized the program because only about 10 percent of the student body participates in it -- in other words, I guess, because the IB program is elitist.



11 Responses to "Anti-Education Spirit Prevails in St. Clair"

Anonymous said... 2/21/2006 2:36 PM

Yet another example of butt-ignorant republicans imposing their fervid fanaticism on our society.

The same wingnuts no doubt deny the fact of evolution and would eagerly impose their faux-christian hypocrisy if they had their way.

In the words of the great statesman Richard "I Had Other Priorities" Cheney, aptly named Dick, these nutjobs can go fuck themselves.

Judge Rufus Peckham said... 2/21/2006 6:07 PM

As this morning's Post-Gazette points out, Vincentian Academy uses the horrid, disputed curriculum. Vincentian, for those who don't know, is run by Duquesne University, and it prominently touts the International Baccalaureate program in its website.
You must understand, Vincentian is scarcely a bastion of liberalism, but it's a good school by any objective measure. This only underscores how far out Upper Saint Clair must be. (P.S. Note all the "Doctors" on that school board who voted against this program. This is what happens when non-lawyers think they can run anything. But that's the way it's always been -- their profession was bleeding people with leeches while mine was writing the Constitution. Upper Saint Clair shows that nothing has changed.)

joe wertheim said... 2/21/2006 10:23 PM

While I do not agree with the action by the USC school board, I must take issue with the comments by Judge Rufus Peckham. Does he truly expect us to believe that all school boards and other governing bodies whould be composed of only lawyers? One need only to look to Washington DC and our elected representatives, most of whom are lawyers, to see that this reasoning is faulty, and dangerous!!

Tim Murray said... 2/22/2006 8:16 AM

Joe, if you want to see "faulty" and "dangerous," look at Judge Rufus Peckham's website. The man is either putting us on or he's seriously miswired:

Amos_thePokerCat said... 2/22/2006 7:08 PM

The "Marxist" quote is yet another typical PG "And Other" non-quote quote.

Here is the paragraph:

Dr. Iracki and other newly elected members of the board expressed opposition to the program on the grounds that it is Marxist, anti-Christian, un-American and too costly.

I like how this article pulled the hair trigger of the hate Bush mob. Check out Andrew Sulivan's entry about The Religious Left, and that he get overwhelmingly more hate mail from the left, than the right.

Jonathan Potts said... 2/23/2006 8:52 AM

Well, in a follow-up story about USC board member Mark Trombetta, the Trib reported that cost was a concern but also:

"Politics also has played a part in Trombetta's criticism of the program.

He has charged that the program has ties to Marxism, pointing to IB's endorsement of the Earth Charter, an international document calling on its signers to safeguard the environment, push for demilitarization and promote equitable distribution of wealth."

So I guess my question is, if cost was the primary concern, why mention those other reasons? It just raises suspicions that the cost was a smokescreen.

Anonymous said... 2/23/2006 1:01 PM

My daughter was in the IB program in USC until the decision Monday night.

My gripe isn't with the outcome so much as the process to get to it--one board member admitted the week before that he wanted the program cancelled because IB students had campaigned against him in the Board election. This is caught on video tape recently run on channel 4 news.

The night of the decision, this reason was never mentioned. Only cutting for fiscal reasons. Further they gave little time for a good examination of the results of the program--basically a week.

IMHO, their opinions of IB were already made and unshakeable and they had it in for the political opponents. They did make the "marxist" comments the week before as well as claiming wanting to get back to "Judeo-Christian Values"--so their ideology is showing as well.

I'm interested to see what next program they attempt to cut--the hubris I saw on stage was breathtaking, and this "victory" will only encourage them. What's that old saw about "Whom the gods would destroy they first exault?" Can't wait.

As for poster number one above-you'll never win elections with that attitude. Which also suits me just fine.

Anonymous said... 2/25/2006 10:36 AM

What a soap opera. Poor little St. Clair rich kids. Where I grew up they had to burn old text books just to heat the building in the dead of winter. In 3rd grade we helped throw them into the boiler fire. Keep warm!

Amos_thePokerCat said... 2/25/2006 11:31 PM

Well, if the Trib can actually attribute the quote to Trombetta, then why not the PG? If you are going to throw out a hand gernade tag like "Marxist" then don't make "and others" unattributed quote. Just lazy and sloppy.

TIM MURRAY said... 2/26/2006 9:39 PM

Read the great Brian O'Neill's column in Sunday's P-G for an enlightened take on the so-called Marxist attributes of the I-B program.

Hooman said... 2/28/2006 11:33 AM

Mike, I posted on this topic on my blog recently. I am a native of Upper St. Clair and absolutely appalled at the decision. Frankly, the whole thing makes no sense. The irony is that they removed a program that will help differentiate their best and brightest in an increasingly competitive global market - in effect making students more equal - because they claimed the program was Marxist.

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