Merrimack Valley School District to keep IB program, Concord Monitor, 3/9/12

posted Apr 1, 2012, 4:04 AM by Bill Duncan

Teachers, students defend controversial teaching style 

Published on Concord Monitor (
By Molly A.K. Connors / Monitor staff
March 9, 2012

The Merrimack Valley School District will continue to train its staff in what has become a controversial method of teaching after attempts to end the program failed at the annual district meeting last night.

Established in Switzerland in 1968, the International Baccalaureate program emphasizes the characteristics students should develop - such as being risk-taking and reflective - while also mastering academic material such as math, history and science.

The district has been implementing IB for several years, but it has come under increased scrutiny in recent months after some local parents and officials became suspicious of its costs and ties to the United Nations.

The tension came to a head last night when about 500 teachers, voters and students crammed into the high school auditorium in Penacook.


William West, an 18-year-old senior from Loudon, told parents they were undermining the future of their own children by voting against the program.


The district has spent between $100,000 and $195,000 annually on the costs of International Baccalaureate for the last two years and is projected to spend $190,000 this year. Some of the cost includes the salaries and benefits for mentor teachers. Other costs include $9,500 for each school whose teachers are being trained to teach according to the IB method, or about $58,000 annually.


(Molly A.K. Connors can be reached at 369-3319 or

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