International Baccalaureate in America
Part D: The complex nature of the attack
The philosophy of the attack The notion of ‘culture war’ The attack on the IB in the US is essentially part of an on-going battle between ‘traditionalists’ (e.g. state-supporting suburban conservatives) and ‘globalists’ (e.g. federal-supporting urban liberals) which has intensified over the past dec- ade in its educational format. This (geographical, social, and philosophical) ‘di- vide’ is exemplified in the attack on the IB by Shenandoah (2004), writing in The American Partisan, with the confrontational title: ‘Traditionalists versus Globalists: The War is on’. Shenandoah seemingly draws the dividing line well when saying: While the conservative, right wing, traditionalists and the liberal, far left, socialist, globalists continue to battle it out in the media, the UN directives continue to un- dermine the sovereignty of the US in every area of our lives. (http://www.american- partisan.com/cols/2004/shenandoah/qtr1/0331.htm) In other words, the attack on the IB in the US is as much an anti-globalist (i.e. anti-liberals) one as it is an anti-globalization (i.e. anti-UN) one. In this sense, it is partly an attack by Americans on fellow Americans. It is this aspect of the at- tack that probably comes as the biggest shock to many ‘non-Americans’. One commentator (Hughes, 1993) has even called for the ‘reknitting’ of a dangerous- ly fragmented America, attacking the tribalism of both the ‘traditionalists’ and the ‘globalists’. It is significant to note that Shenandoah was writing in 2004, just as the at- tack on the IB had intensified following the first batch of federal funding (in 2003), and the...
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