IB or not?

<p>Hi parents. if your local high school just was approved as a IB world school, and had plans to start a diploma programme this fall, would you put your child on the track? Our AP program will be scaled back in biology, eng & us history this year. They will be using the same teaching staff at the school. The staff have been IB trained at various locations for 2-3 days in their subject areas. Would this new program be something you'd be inclined to put your 11th grader into? Any expierence with newly appointed IB schools?</p>

<p>I would see whether the option exists to take individual IB courses for certificates, rather than being in the full diploma program.</p>

<p>It takes a while for a school to get used to IB. IB has an intimidating number of rules and regulations, and many aspects of the curriculum differ substantially from those of a typical U.S. high school. </p>

<p>I think it would be extremely difficult for students in a fledgling IB program to complete the IB diploma successfully. This is especially true, in my opinion, for the Extended Essay, CAS, and TOC – all of which are likely to be outside the comfort zones of U.S. educators, at least initially.</p>

<p>On the other hand, it would be a shame for students who don’t choose the IB diploma route to miss out on the opportunity to take the most advanced classes their school offers. Taking individual IB courses in subjects where the AP program is being scaled back, while not being part of the IB diploma program, seems like a good compromise to me.</p>

<p>Our D had a great experience in an IB program, it was perfect for her. The program has been in place for many years. You need a lot more information: what HL classes will be offered? what SL classes? How will the HL classes be structured? How will TOK be taught?</p>

<p>Although IB is a program with set standards, the administration of the program can vary significantly. And that may increase or decrease your options.</p>

<p>D’s school has a very high diploma rate (100% this year). It’s a well performing suburban high school with a varied population, IB is open to all students. The junior year classes are mostly AP (Bio, Math, History) or Honors (Foriegn Language, math for some students). The only IB specific courses are English and TOK. Senior year all classes are IB specific. If your school is following a similar path, you have some time to make a final decision.</p>

<p>PM me if you like. I believe IB is amazing, but not really for every student. And the administration of the program can have a huge impact.</p>

<p>I believe going IB (or AP) is a personal decision based on how the strengths and interests of the kid match either program. For my youngest daughter, we (wife, daughter and I) choose the AP route based on my research and various other factors. Just make sure you choose for a good or strategic reason, not just because it’s IB (or AP).</p>

<p>Good luck!!</p>

<p>I cannot respond to the pm, you have your account set up to not receive emails…can you edit the settings so I can respond? </p>




<p>Good point. But the OP is facing some additional complexities because (1) the IB program is brand-new, and (2) the school is sacrificing some of its APs to offer IB. </p>

<p>All of this makes for a challenging decision.</p>

<p>There is a UWC IB program about an hour and a half away from our home, and we would be thrilled if our child was accepted into the program.<br>
The IB provides not only a great education in academics, but also in a mature understanding of the world they live in. I have never yet met someone from an IB who took anything in life for granted, regardless to how privileged they were.</p>

<p>I wouldn’t do it if it was brand new because IBs are graded in a certain way. They want students to “conform” to their ways of writing essays, labs, tests. If teachers have only been trained for 2-3 days withour years of experience of teaching studnts to get high scores, your kid could end up with low IB scores. This is no different than if your kid took a high school biology course which wasn’t taught for SAT II, your kid could end up with a low score, and it would be no reflection of your kid’s understanding of the subject.</p>

<p>I think D2 is a good student, but she really didn’t like how rigid IB courses were, and she didn’t feel she learned that much. She felt she did a lot of busy work.</p>



<p>That is the basic problem with schools that jump on the latest faddish program. Based on the proposed cuts in AP and a potential replacement with an unproven IB program, one could conclude that this is not a highly performing high school. It is not unusual for the IB program to sell itself to underperforming schools with low AP participation and SAT average well below 1500 on a 2400 scale. </p>

<p>I would look at sticking with the AP program, and if needed, enrolling in online AP classes, or simply self-study. </p>

<p>PS I have never been a fan of the IB program in general, and this includes well-established and comprehensive programs. A new one seems something you should let “other families” discover the positives and negatives.</p>

<p>My kids were in an IB program (the same one as Marian’s), and it was very good for them–but it is a well-established program. I agree that going into a brand-new IB program is risky. I still might do it if the very best teachers in the school are being moved to IB.</p>

<p>Thank you all for your responses. There have been a lot of good points made. Marian mentioned 2 that I had presented. Also, the adminstrators are trying to intice students by adding additional weight (1.10) to all SL & HL classes, bringing up class rank in the discussions. Is weight on SL classes normal? Our AP’s get 1.10 also. Does anyone have knowledge how the students in first year programs do grade wise? Even if they don’t succeed in getting the diploma (don’t they receive that after HS graduation), can they receive high grades? I wonder what impact external moderation has and if there could be any lienancy for new programs to look successful. xiggi you are right on track!</p>

<p>Your IB experience can vary a lot depending on teachers and administration. At our high school (excellent school, variety of programs–not under performing trying to attract students), the best teachers teach IB. There is a fair amount of flexibility, the school works hard to avoid scheduling conflicts with EC’s etc. Great program overall, I would highly recommend it.</p>

<p>That being said–that’s how one high school administers the program. A lot of it has to do with using Junior year AP classes as the first year of IB HL classes. It leaves room in the schedule for other options. Starting foreign language in middle school (most kids do) leaves additional room. You can still do yearbook, cheer, sports, mock trial, etc. I know IB is an international program with certain standards, etc, but how that is administered can make a huge difference in the how a student experiences a program.</p>

<p>If you can get an “A” in AP, you should be able to get an “A” in IB SL. HL takes more effort, but is very doable.</p>

<p>A little more information on grades: The teachers assign the grades, not the IB program. The IB program only scores the tests, EE/TOK points and they review the Internal Assessments. They do not assign grades on a report card.</p>

<p>yeegogirl: I’ve taught IBHL Biology for 12 years, and had 2 daughters earn the IB diploma. It is academically challenging, especially if you are a full diploma candidate, you will have to take courses in your weaknesses as well as your strength. This is actually considered a plus by colleges, and former students attest to this after they go to college. But, as other posters said, even though the program is standardized, schools can vary wildy in how well they implement it, and how good the teachers are. We have a very high success rate, but I know of schools who’ve never had a student get the diploma. I can tell you from experience that it takes a few years to really get the hang of teaching an IB course, and there will be no leniency in moderation just because your program is new. Good luck with your decision, and feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.</p>