Eastern High School tries to reinvent itself with IB program

Eastern High School's slogan is "The Pride of Capitol Hill," but much of its student body doesn't actually live in the neighborhood. This fall the school will begin offering the rigorous International Baccalaureate program, which it hopes will both benefit its current students and also attract more families who live nearby, including more affluent families.

Photo by the author.

Eastern has an illustrious past that includes a history of champion athletic teams and award-winning musical groups. But beginning in the 1990s the school fell on hard times, churning through 11 principals in 10 years.

DCPS decided to phase out the old Eastern, so that by the 2010-11 school year it had only a 12th grade. In the fall of 2011, after an extensive renovation and the hiring of a new principal, Eastern restarted with only a 9th grade. This year the school also has a 10th grade, and it will keep adding a grade a year until it reaches its full capacity.

The new Eastern has many strengths. The renovated building is beautiful, the faculty is largely young and energetic, and the principal, Rachel Skerritt, is universally admired for her combination of warmth and authority.

The school has a student newspaper and TV station. And, amazingly, its mock trial team recently made it to the finals to compete against Banneker and School Without Walls, both of which are application high schools with four-year student bodies.

But the school, located at 1700 East Capitol Street on the eastern edge of Capitol Hill, hasn't yet been able to attract many of the more affluent families living in the charming row houses to its west. 77% of Eastern's 500 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and 25% need special education services. Nor is its population racially diverse, with 98% of its students African-American.

In recent years, some middle-class and upper-middle-class Capitol Hill families have been enrolling their children in preschool and elementary school at neighborhood public schools. But as their children get older, they begin to depart for private or charter schools or compete for out-of-boundary slots at public schools in Ward 3. By middle school, almost all of them are gone.

Administrators and area parents push for IB program

For the past several years DCPS and some Capitol Hill parents have been working on a plan they hope will entice more families to stay. Two middle schools that are feeders for Eastern, Eliot-Hine and Jefferson, have applied for authorization to offer a prestigious international educational program designed for 6th to 10th graders, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years program.

With the rebirth of Eastern, DCPS extended that application to include the 9th and 10th grades at Eastern as well. Bob Smith, the IB manager for DCPS, says that the IB organization probably won't decide on the Middle Years application until the summer of 2015.

At the same time, Eastern applied for a separate IB program, the Diploma program, designed for 11th and 12th grades. Just last week the IB organization granted that application, and this fall the school will begin offering it to a hand-picked group of 18-20 students.

The Middle Years and Diploma programs use similar methods and both aim to inspire creative and analytical thinking, but they're implemented differently. The Middle Years program extends to an entire school, with all teachers and all students participating.

The Diploma program, on the other hand, is limited to a subgroup of students who commit to following a challenging curriculum. Students must learn two foreign languages, take a course on critical thinking called "Theory of Knowledge," and write an "extended essay" on a topic of "global significance." At the end of the program students take exams that are graded by outside examiners, and they receive an IB diploma only if they achieve a minimum score. Students outside the program can take one or more individual IB classes, but they won't get the IB diploma.

Overall, the IB approach stands in marked contrast to the current focus on standardized testing, and it may well appeal to middle-class families. But will it be enough to induce Capitol Hill parents to keep their kids in neighborhood schools?

Joe Weedon, a parent of two children at Maury Elementary on Capitol Hill, is part of a group of 20 or so families who intend to do just that. His children, he says, are "class of 2023 and 2025" at Eastern. But Weedon, who has been involved in bringing the Middle Years IB program to Jefferson and Eliot-Hine, has also had his frustrations. He says that DCPS has failed to stick to its timeline for implementing the Middle Years program and has reneged on some of its budgetary commitments. (Weedon is also a contributor to Greater Greater Education.)

Affluent families would obviously benefit from having the option of sending their kids to what they feel is a high-quality local school. But they might not be the only ones who benefit. Recent research indicates that low-income students do better when they attend schools with high-income peers.

IB program will serve existing students, who aren't the typical IB student body

In any event, Eastern administrators say their primary focus is on the students they have now rather than the ones they might attract. Those are the students who will be starting the rigorous Diploma program this fall.

Many of the schools that offer the program are either private schools or public schools serving affluent suburban populations. One DCPS school, Banneker, offers the Diploma program, but it's an application-only school. Will an IB Diploma program work at a non-selective, high-poverty school like Eastern?

Absolutely, says Bob Smith at DCPS, citing examples in Chicago, Buffalo, and Detroit.

But Amy Boccardi, the IB coordinator at Eastern, says that when she saw a video of IB schools at a training session recently, she thought, "Those kids don't look like our kids."

Not that Boccardi was discouraged. Her next thought was, "We're going to have to make a video ourselves and send it to IB," to show that kids like those at Eastern can succeed in the program. Still, the question remains.

And Eastern's challenges continue. With Spingarn High School closing next year, for example, Eastern expects to receive about 50 new students, and it's unclear how easy it will be to integrate them into the student body.

But there are lots of people rooting for the school's success. It has the support of an active alumni association, and a group of local businesses called Companies for Causes has committed to helping the school reach its goal of a 100% graduation rate. Perhaps most important, it has a clear-eyed but inspirational leader in Principal Skerritt.

Whatever Eastern's demographics may become in the long term, here's hoping that by the summer of 2015 there's an IB video featuring a group of graduating Eastern seniors proudly holding their IB Diplomas.

Natalie Wexler blogs at DC Eduphile and is a contributor to the Washington Post. She serves on the boards of DC Scholars Public Charter School and The Writing Revolution and chairs the DC Regional Leadership Council of the Urban Teacher Center. She has also been a volunteer tutor in reading and writing in DC Public Schools. 


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It takes several years to get accreditation as an IB school. It's a pretty major undertaking. If Eastern decides to do this, they have to be all in, but it could be a very nice addition to the schooling options in DC.

by Steven Glazerman on Apr 16, 2013 11:34 am • linkreport

Many of the schools that offer the program are either private schools or public schools serving affluent suburban populations.
Is that true locally?

by selxic on Apr 16, 2013 1:04 pm • linkreport

IB schools around the world fit virtually every profile. There is no single approach in the metro DC area; the dozens of schools are in affluent, non-affluent, public and independent schools. You can find any model you want within 50 miles.

by James Albright on Apr 16, 2013 1:12 pm • linkreport

Thanks for this great update! I take a bit of beef with the whole "attracting more affluent families" angle of this article. While you note that 98% of Eastern is African American and 77% qualify for free of reduced lunch, the aim for the future is to attract more affluent families in the neighborhood? This neighborhood has been under serving and pushing out the exact population that Eastern is NOW serving. Kudos to DCPS for that and providing quality education to children who obviously need it. I happen to not be "affluent" and I barely live "west" of Eastern, BUT my son would add diversity to this school IF that is the aim. I look forward to seeing Eastern grown and thrive and serve ALL populations on the hill whether they be white, black, asian, hispanic...regardless of their income. THAT should be the goal!

by Rosedale MOM on Apr 16, 2013 1:37 pm • linkreport

I was an IB graduate, and found it to be an appallingly bad program that was often times profoundly incompatible with the remainder of the American education system.

I graduated from High School almost 10 years ago, and while I hope that things have changed for the better, there were some really weird quirks. To pick one glaring example, a few of our standardized tests were written in British English, and included unfamiliar colloquialisms that substantially altered the meaning of the questions (Our Comp-Sci case study asked us to design a process for a Draughtsman to design a pair of trainers. What the what?)

The program's often sold as a panacea for improving the quality of education in High Schools, although I rarely hear any coherent explanations of how or why. The program prescribes a fundamentally approach to education and learning, which requires a significant investment in staff development and training (for existing teachers as well as any future new hires).

Implement IB poorly, and you'll end up "stacking" IB's philosophy on top of the traditional American models, resulting in a hybrid system that accomplishes the goals of neither. My school was regarded as one of the better American IB implementations, and yet the entire experience was profoundly stressful as a student. Often times, teachers would stick to their old teaching methods and curricula, and then layer the additional IB requirements on top of those. This resulted in a significantly higher workload, and produced mixed expectations for how we should write our essays (and how they would be graded -- IB's got its own fairly distinctive grading rubric).

I'll concede that the program taught History and the humanities very well, and puts its students through an essay-writing meat grinder. IB graduates can write.

These aren't necessarily inherent advantages or drawbacks of the IB program, but they do present some very serious hurdles toward implementing the system in the US. The program's definitely *different,* which makes it difficult to properly evaluate whether it's any better or worse. It's also got a strong (if not dominating) focus on the classical Liberal Arts; when evaluating IB, DCPS also needs to have a conversation about the validity and applicability of the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century.

There's also the issue of Higher Education. IB is designed to prepare students for the European university system. Most of the skills taught are highly adaptable to a typical American college setting, but IB's intent is very, very clear (I split my undergraduate between the US and UK, so I feel like I can claim a fair amount of firsthand experience). Furthermore, IB "Standard Level" exams are virtually never accepted for credit in the US. Because the US also does not use the tests to determine whether or not students can graduate, these (complicated, laborious, and difficult) tests serve literally no purpose.

I certainly feel like we could adopt IB's "good parts" into our own education system without adopting most of its idiosyncrasies. Perhaps a national curriculum (a la IB) would be a good way to set some standards, but I've always been hesitant about our enthusiasm toward adopting a set of standards that were designed and written for a society that is quite different from our own.

by andrew on Apr 16, 2013 2:02 pm • linkreport

selxic: Here's a link to the page on the IB website that allows you to find IB schools in a particular location: http://www.ibo.org/general/where.cfm. You can't search the whole DC area at once, but you can search by state (DC, MD, VA) individually.

Rosedale MOM: I couldn't agree with you more that Eastern should serve all populations on the Hill (or elsewhere, for that matter), regardless of income level or ethnicity, and I know that's how the folks at Eastern feel too. But when you compare Eastern's current student body to the demographics of its surrounding neighborhood (using the kinds of measures that are available to us), one group that is clearly underrepresented is the affluent. Hence the focus on them in the post.

by Natalie on Apr 16, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

I looked at that before I asked, Natalie.

by selxic on Apr 16, 2013 3:01 pm • linkreport

It takes several years to get accreditation as an IB school. It's a pretty major undertaking. If Eastern decides to do this, they have to be all in, but it could be a very nice addition to the schooling options in DC.

The piece was a bit ambiguous, but Eastern *is* accredited as an IB school. Happened as of April 10...

by oboe on Apr 16, 2013 3:20 pm • linkreport

You say that "students must learn two foreign languages," but I don't think that is correct. My child is in a pre-IB program and is required to take one foreign language. Foreign language is listed under "Group 2" of the IB requirements--maybe that's where the "two" came from?

by Mary on Apr 16, 2013 3:26 pm • linkreport

As a counterpoint to Andrew's comment: I graduated from IB 13 years ago. I think I learned more through IB than anywhere else in my educational career, bar-none. Granted, my high school had been an IB school for quite a while and had a large base of teachers, administrators, students, and parents highly committed to its educational approach, goals, and success. A third of the student-body was enrolled in the IB program (total school size ~2100).

I'm currently a computer programmer and have always had a bent towards the hard sciences so, while IB *does* do well with the humanities, I found it served my hard-science inclinations well, too. One of the best things about IB is the way it demands a student be well-rounded. It's not for everyone, and it's not the most efficient way to churn out specialized high-income-earners, but I support it as a way to create broadly-educated, broad-minded thinkers.

I don't relate to the complaint that the program is too euro-centric. I never really saw that.

Those seeking college credit for a class can opt to take the HL level of a given subject (if offered by the school) or prepare for the appropriate SAT-II or AP exams (I did this for a number of subjects).

None of this is to say that Andrew's complaints are invalid. Like Andrew, I saw IB through the lens of a single implementation. Reading Andrew's post, I can see how an IB program could go off the rails in the ways he describes. I just wanted to weigh in with my experiences and they are such that an IB program would be a big selling point for me when it's time for my kids to go to HS. I hope Eastern makes the investment necessary to make IB a success.

by Aaron on Apr 16, 2013 3:33 pm • linkreport

I see a weird phenomenon where schools try to turn themselves into an IB school because they think that will magically turn them into a "good" school. If students aren't performing well with a standard curriculum, they're not going to perform well in an IB curriculum-- possibly worse because the IB curriculum will be more taxing and the students will be unable to handle the work.

by JustMe on Apr 16, 2013 3:35 pm • linkreport

Mary: the IB website says that for both the Middle Years and Diploma programs students will study "at least two" languages. For the Primary Years program (ages 3-12), it says all students "have the opportunity to learn more than one language from the age of seven."

by Natalie on Apr 16, 2013 3:46 pm • linkreport

Mary and Natalie: I'm thinking the two languages studied are English + one foreign language. That was my experience in IB, at least.

by Aaron on Apr 16, 2013 3:48 pm • linkreport

Aaron: that could be it!

by Natalie on Apr 16, 2013 3:56 pm • linkreport


I don't doubt that there are great IB implementations out there.

However, my school was consistently lauded as one of the better IB programs, and they really did seem to pour their hearts and souls into making the thing work. I'm also vaguely aware that quite a lot of money was spent. Given this, the poor quality of the outcome was alarming.

Aaron's school was twice the size of my own, which undoubtedly helped things. IB's probably a bad choice for small schools. I'd probably have a better opinion of the program if my school was larger, and had a larger portion of its staff dedicated to the program.

I too majored in the hard sciences, and work as a programmer (hey!). I won't disagree that the quality of the instruction can be incredible *if* you have a teacher who's willing to go along with it, and has the appropriate extra resources at their disposal. However, the great IB instructors that I had all seemed like they'd still be great teachers with a more traditional curriculum.

I should note that Aaron's comment on IB demanding its students to be well-rounded is quite literal. The program is very often sold as an all-or-nothing affair, and students are indeed required to take a full portfolio of IB classes. If a student does not excel at math, they will still be required to sit in an IB math class (for better or for worse).

The HL/SL thing is interesting, because we were flat-out told that there were a number of HL exams that American students rarely passed, and were more or less forbidden from taking them. I also ended up taking a number of AP exams, which was an expensive and time-consuming ordeal. I'm pretty sure I spent about 6 months doing nothing but preparing and sitting for standardized tests. (These tests aren't free, by the way -- IB exams cost $96 a pop, on top of the fixed per-student fees -- the total cost is around $750 to take the full suite of tests to get the diploma, plus whatever AP tests you need to take).

My question is whether or not DCPS has the wherewithal to actually make a wholehearted commitment, or if there are even all that many kids in the system that would even be eligible for IB. My school struggled, and we were a very wealthy and well-funded suburban district -- by contrast, DCPS has a 56% graduation rate. Admittedly, I don't keep very close tabs on the education reform debate, but I'm not sure that IB is going to help with any of the problems that DCPS currently faces.

My argument isn't that IB is bad... just that it's unnecessary, and could distract from bigger issues that DCPS faces.

by andrew on Apr 16, 2013 4:43 pm • linkreport

(I distinctly remember the "two languages" thing. One "native" language, and another "foreign" language. Given IB's international nature, neither of them explicitly needs to be English.)

by andrew on Apr 16, 2013 4:46 pm • linkreport

Eastern just doesn't represent Capitol Hill students, the boundaries embrace Benning Heights, River Terrace, Potomac Gardens and other areas. There's not enough children from the 10 square block of Capitol Hill to make Eastern viable. Clearly, we all know that small schools can't survive, so to have a large school with a single population in regards to having a small school with a diverse population would not be supported by DCPS. We did not turn ourselves into an IB school, this is what the city-wide panel wanted Eastern to become, again this transformation went beyond the Capitol Hill neighborhood. There were about a gazillion citizens involved in this transformation/relaunching of Eastern. We are all hoping that the guinea pig phase for Eastern is over and done with and we ALL can move forward to seeing the class of 2015 graduate with ALL types of honors.

One glaring item that was missing from this article was a quote from the Ms. Skerrit, principal. Again, she was selected from a nation-wide search and chosen by a city-wide contingent who are invested in Eastern. That says an awful lot about Eastern High School in so many positive ways.

The success of Eastern will not come from the children from the 10-square blocks of Capitol Hill, that's too much added pressure for such a small group. The success will come from the support of the children who come from all over this city to attend a high-school that was relaunched by the enitre city.

Just to make a point...Rosedale is a neighborhood that's diverse but the Rosedale Recreation Center has an overwhelming single-race majority using the facility. It is what it is and if it changes, then it's a good thing but if it doesn't then don't make it so gloom and doom.

I love Capitol Hill but they ain't all that in a nutshell.

by Rambler too on Apr 16, 2013 4:56 pm • linkreport

@ Andrew: I agree that IB could serve as a distraction, and I also agree that it's not strictly necessary.

Best case scenario: the IB "brand" lures a group of teachers, parents, and students to the school who will work to make the IB program and (hopefully) the overall school more successful. But it's not a panacea and it will not work without real investment and the long-term support of DCPS.

A significant risk, if the IB program is successful, is that students/parents not in the IB program will feel like second-class citizens. This complaint was sometimes levied against the middle-class suburban HS I went to and I can only imagine the class tensions would be magnified in Eastern's context.

by Aaron on Apr 16, 2013 5:10 pm • linkreport

This us versus them doesn't need an IB program to have wings. Just take a glance at Wilson they have the us versus them syndrome and they are supposedly the school of choice for many of our Capitol Hill residents. Let's see Woodson experienced it with B&F program. Dunbar experienced it with their Pre-engineering program. Why heck the us versus them is a neighborhood issue and that's a whole other story.

It shows that DCPS didn't wait for diversity to have IB programmes offerings at two high-schools that are predominantly one race. I do believe the percentage of students who will be inaugural group for Eastern's will do phenomenally well and/or beyond all of the nay sayers expectations.

by Rambler too on Apr 16, 2013 7:26 pm • linkreport

As another IB graduate I would agree more with Aaron on the program. I did it as part of a magnet school in NC and thought it was a great program. The level of the classes and what I learned not just facts but how to think were invaluable. I got my IB diploma and my school did not charge us to take IB exams- although we did have to pay for the AP exams that we took. I will say my major complaint was that colleges in the US did not understand IB or give credit for classes. Since it was awhile ago that I graduated I hope that has changed so IB grads don't have to take placement tests or AP exams like I did.

Since moving to DC I have not understood why they did not implement public magnet school programs in schools instead of having separate public charter schools. The whole lottery system here baffles me and really makes me wonder what I will do when I have kids.

by Sally on Apr 16, 2013 7:34 pm • linkreport

Eastern is the closest high school to Trinidad, geographically, now that Spingarn is closing. I hope that we get pulled into its boundary if the city actually goes through with the boundary changes (that NEED to happen).

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Apr 16, 2013 10:11 pm • linkreport

Is there any data on the success of IB programs in underperforming, predominantly poor urban districts?

While my experience wasn't as positive, I agree with almost all of what Aaron's said.

Magnet schools seem like they would be one of absolute worst possible things that DCPS could do right now. Despite my reservations, IB is a *vastly* preferable option for supporting the high-performing students in DCPS, while hopefully also having some "trickle down" effects on the remainder of Eastern's student body.

While the successes of Wilson and DC's charter schools should not be ignored, segregating the system even further is going to pre-doom any students who aren't initially selected as being "high performing," and give them virtually no chance of catching up.

by andrew on Apr 17, 2013 11:16 am • linkreport

@Geoffrey, I believe the Trinidad community has Dunbar as their neighborhood school due to the school boundaries.

@Andrew, I beg to differ about the success of Wilson, they are falling off the radar in regards to their achievements. The only steadfast argument for them is that they are the largest comprehensive high-school. We all know that the largest doesn't equate that you're the best. Now the counterpart to Wilson in the high-school charter format is Friendship and they too have a large population.

I beg of you to talk with our Principal and let her share the data with you about our current 9th and 10th graders. The "trickle down" theory is not an urgent worry/need because our current freshmen/sophomore are doing some amazing things in comparison to schools that are fully operational.

Let see not to brag but our 9th and 10th graders are outshining the traditional high-schools, the only other schools that are ranking higher are the applications schools e.g., Bannker, SWW, Mckinley, Phelps and Ellington.

So at this rate our IB incoming class should be a contender in all things that are wonderful and one thing for sure Eastern is strong on continuing a tradition.

We are doing great things being from a poor urban district, don't cha think?

by Rambler too on Apr 17, 2013 12:49 pm • linkreport

Rambler too: The western part of the neighborhood is in Dunbar's boundary. The line runs down Trinidad Avenue, and everything east of that is currently Spingarn Territory.

Like I said, lines needs to be redrawn. I assume that all those kids on the eastern side of Trinidad will be assigned to Eastern. I hope that the entire neighborhood can be brought together in one high school district.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Apr 17, 2013 12:53 pm • linkreport

I have taught in an IB school for the past 10 years, and I taught AP at a school abroad for 2 years before that. My experience is a bit different from Andrew's and more like Aaron's, but I have been teaching at private school during those times, and my tenure in public school (DCPS) before all that was at Deal JHS, which is not IB and, as a jhs, doesn't have AP.
With all that as background, (my subject is English, by the way, and that's language A1, so for mother tongue speakers (they study another language as A2 and at our school that's generally either French or Spanish; many study a third language as B, but that's not required)) I find my teaching for AP and IB is not much different. In English, in both programs, students are required to analyze texts in a complex way and to support their arguments clearly, cogently, and persuasively. The big difference is that the IB requires that works in translation be studied. So my students read South American texts, Japanese texts, Russian, German, etc. That's a lot of fun as a teacher. Obviously, I don't really know how the sciences and math classes work, but graduates come back and not only have they gained at least some credit at their universities, but some say they are so well prepared in all their subjects that they are sometimes a bit embarrassed. This is especially true in language, as they essentially graduate as bilingual.
I think that the IB's gaining acceptance in the higher education world in the US and so students get more and more credit for their hs work. Many of our students graduate university in less than 4 years. So exams are no longer literally meaningless, especially for the students who want to go to school outside the US.
And I like AP, too, but it doesn't have, as Andrew said, the global aspect that IB does, though that's somewhat up to the English teacher, too. As for Britishisms, I haven't experienced any of that in the IB exams in the last 10 years, at least none so glaring that it sticks out in my mind right now.

by nloewen on Apr 18, 2013 9:29 am • linkreport

Good assumption but many of the Trinidad kids don't attend feeder schools that support Eastern.

by Rambler too on Apr 18, 2013 9:40 am • linkreport

If lines are redrawn in regards to neighborhoods, I will think if the Trinidad area have their way, Dunbar will win out.

by Rambler too on Apr 18, 2013 9:43 am • linkreport

Rambler too: Well, we're both just speculating, so we'll see how it plays out over the coming decade. Check in with you in 5 years or so!

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Apr 18, 2013 9:44 am • linkreport

Trinidad home prices have risen $134k to $300k in the last decade, and by 20% in the last year. So it's likely the in-boundary cohort heading to Eastern will be radically different in the next decade or so.

by oboe on Apr 18, 2013 10:29 am • linkreport

True the speculation is almost similar to the scenario about Capitol Hill changing the face of Eastern. Not. Let's see that was about 10 years ago to the present. Again, there's not enough children in one neighborhood to make a school boundary worth of children a percentage blip in regards to the overall school population. Look, at Wilson it takes about 5 Wards to make Wilson diverse, they couldn't survive with solely their own neighborhood demographics. I will stand firm an urban city school can't survive of a one-source neighborhood attraction of the population.

As for the housing prices it shows riches but not occupants. One house with a married couple will have one child per year. But an apartment with a single mom, will likely have twice as many moving in at school age readiness.

by Rambler too on Apr 18, 2013 3:25 pm • linkreport

Why IB is not a good fit for most schools

1) Compared to AP, IB will increase college costs for most students.

2) IB will not improve student performance.

3) IB's pedagogical method is one of constructivism and inquiry based learning to promote a specific ideology.

4) IB is extremely expensive.

5) Many schools drop IB. The reasons most often stated are: a) Cost, b) Lack of student improvement with IB, c) Less flexible than AP, d) Lack of participation in IB classes, e) Lack of college credit for IB.

6) Some people object to IB on religious grounds.

7) There is no record of a school ever being turned down for IB, so long as the money is available.

8) At the elementary level IB is required for all children in the school and the stated goal is to "develop attitudes," and to get students to "take action." At the middle school the IB suggests IB be implemented school wide. Children of parents who object to the IB ideology are sometimes forced into IB.

9) Many international teachers and former IB teachers are against the programme.

10) IB is an NGO of UNESCO (UN), IB’s goal is to promote the UN ideology.

11) IB has little to do with real education and more to do with ideology; specifically the UN’s ideology and Agenda 21.

12) With IB schools give up some local control. Any disputes are handled in Switzerland with Swiss law.

13) Some states and political parties are trying to eliminate IB.

14) The IB diploma required TOK class is composed entirely of questions like, "When can it be right to disobey the law? Can suicide bombers be right?"

15) AP is the best fit for gifted students.

16) For the IB diploma students must complete: six required classes in two years (three one year classes and three two year classes), a UN influenced philosophy course, write an extended essay, and complete 150 hours of community service.

17) IB is implemented in a deceitful way over and over throughout the United States. Once someone questions IB an open and honest discussion is never allowed, and the community becomes divided.

To find proof supporting all the points above,

There are numerous active IB battles going on in the US,

by Almost An IB Parent on Apr 20, 2013 10:08 am • linkreport

The IB Organization specifically targeted low-income, low achieving schools so it could access the Title I money appropriated with the 2009 ARRA. This is why this school is already authorized (not accredited). There is no evidence of a single American school being denied IB authorization, as long as the checks are good.

Millions are spent on this unvetted, inferior program each year. IB is superfluous.


by ObserverNY on Apr 20, 2013 1:51 pm • linkreport

10) IB is an NGO of UNESCO (UN), IB’s goal is to promote the UN ideology.

11) IB has little to do with real education and more to do with ideology; specifically the UN’s ideology and Agenda 21.

12) With IB schools give up some local control. Any disputes are handled in Switzerland with Swiss law.

Man, couldn't you have put the Agenda 21 bullet-point at the very top of your comment? At least then we'd know the anti-IB movement is tied to the far-right.


by oboe on Apr 20, 2013 1:55 pm • linkreport

But those of us opposed to IB (and Common Core) are NOT all "far-right". Here is an excellent article by a former IB teacher who is a lifelong Democrat:


by ObserverNY on Apr 20, 2013 3:07 pm • linkreport

AP is the best fit for gifted students.

That I must agree with.

Had an extraordinary student, the best I ever had, who was a graduate of the TJ IB program. He said it was a straightjacket, filled with needless requirements that interfered with other, more relevant scholarly interests.

This guy was awesome, truly awesome; I got two publications out of him in only one summer.

by goldfish on Apr 20, 2013 3:28 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Almost An IB Parent on Apr 21, 2013 8:32 am • linkreport

Indoctrination aside, U.S. taxpayers (especially those of us in NY and NJ) are getting slammed with over the top school taxes. In case after case in public schools, I have found IB supporting administrations go to great lengths to obfuscate and deny the actual cost of IB. This is a major problem. Additionally, IB is proprietary while AP's syllabi are available online for free. I think the question people should be asking is: Exactly what is it we are paying for with IB?

by ObserverNY on Apr 21, 2013 9:51 am • linkreport

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