A letter of explanation has been sent to heads of International Baccalaureate schools worldwide by Jeffrey Beard, executive director of the IB Organization in Geneva, about recent media coverage of an incident in the US in early August 23.

Heads of IB schools worldwide have received a letter of explanation from Jeffrey Beard, Geneva-based director-general of the IB Organization, about recent media coverage of an incident in the US in September.

A reference to his speech as well as the speech itself was removed from the institute’s website. Chautauqua’s statement after Beard’s apology states, “Mr. Beard’s behaviour is not characteristic of what is done here at Chautauqua and violates your expectations of the work done here. We sincerely regret this incident.”

Especially the IB Diploma Programme, which is the university entrance exam for the International Baccalaureate, is very strict about plagiarism and honesty in work. Last week, The Times Education Supplement, UK, a popular education publication for those in international education, questioned whether Beard’s speech smacked plagiarism.

It is the first time the Chautauqua Institute has faced such a problem. Their director of institutional programmes, Michael Sullivan, explained whether or not he plans to release it.

Speakers “use the words and ideas of other thinkers without citing specific references.”

His letter to school directors notes that Beard was “working off note cards,” He began his speech by saying he would integrate many ideas he had heard from others.

In the letter Beard sent to schools, ISG’s Tate explains that Beard “drew on other writers and thinkers without citing every specific reference. He did what many conference speakers do, drawing on other writers.”

Various standards and customs are observed when it comes to scholarly papers, exam answers and comprehensive talks during conferences.

It is not logical to apply the rules governing the first two situations to the third. I am sincerely sorry that I failed to cite Ken Robinson’s critical insights into modern education, but I have apologized and accepted my mistake.”

“This is an unfortunate incident, and I regret deeply the fact that it has occurred both personally and institutionally,” Beard wrote in his letter to schools.

The issue has now received appropriate and sufficient consideration. The issue may be covered negatively in the media in the future. Despite the International Baccalaureate communications department’s commitment to responding to this matter as necessary, I nonetheless wanted to clarify some issues directly with you.

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