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Curriculum Comes Under Scrutiny

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Students from Bedford High School packed a Senate hearing to show their support for the International Baccalaureate program.

Bedford was the first school in the State to adopt IB, which supporters compare to rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

In March, the New Hampshire House overwhelmingly backed a measure that would effectively prohibit schools from using the controversial curriculum.

Michael Courtney, 17, argued the legislature should yield to local school boards on the issue.

“The IB program was chosen by the people of Bedford, scrutinized by the people of Bedford, voted upon and implemented by the people of Bedford, and it continues to be evaluated by the people of Bedford,” says Courtney.

But critics of IB say the courses have an anti-American slant, and that there is nothing local about the program.

“The IB organization is in Switzerland, and is controlled from there,” says Representative Ralph Boehm, a Republican from Litchfield.

“We are trying to make sure that your local school district is not governed by a foreign organization in a foreign country.”

The Senate is considering amending the bill to put a moratorium on new IB programs while a committee studies the issue.