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Department Sponsors Study of I.B. Progam


The federal Institute of Education Sciences, the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the popular college-prep curriculum used in schools.

The IES has awarded a $700,000 grant to the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education to carry out the project. The study will be the first quantitative study of the relationship between participating in the college-prep program and how well students actually do in higher education, according to IB officials.

The study results will provide "important insights into student outcomes in postsecondary education and how well the IB prepares students for college and university," said Beth Brock, global director of policy and research for IB, in a statement. The IB program, founded in 1968, works with 2,577 schools in 134 countries. The main alternative to it is the Advanced Placement program, which is run by the College Board.

The study will rely on research indicators of academic readiness for college, access to college, persistence in college, among other factors, analyzing 12 years of data from the Florida K-20 Education Data Warehouse and the National Student Clearinghouse. It is scheduled to be finished in 2011.


Stick with AP! At least it doesn't teach the kids allegiance to the UN~!

We started offering IB because it allows for more flexibility in curriculum. Allegiance to the U.N. is not part of our studies. If anything it helps students put things in perspective and appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy.

I'm surprised to learn there has not been a longitudinal study of IB before now. I'm more impressed with the academic rigor of IB over AP.

What a waste of $700,000 of U.S. taxpayer money! But then again, the IB programme is all about wasting U.S. taxdollars to further socialist indoctrination of our most valuable asset - our children. Perhaps during this study UPenn could actually EVALUATE IB curriculum (after they've purchased it from the IB Store, of course) and compare it to AP and actual college intro courses. And we all know that the State of Florida should be held up as the highest standards of education in the U.S., right?


Comment about ObserverNY - Perhaps during this study UPenn could actually EVALUATE IB curriculum (after they've purchased it from the IB Store, of course)

Actually teachers at each school create and write the curriculum for the school courses. This also allows teachers to make sure to address all of the state educational standards. We spent a year and a half writing the curriculum. I doubt the teachers would be very happy that there are those that think this can just be "purchased".

swilfong -

I understand that teachers have to "adapt" IB course syllabi to meet State standards, but that does not mean they are writing the curriculum from scratch. IBO makes schools purchase individual course "guides" which serve as outlines. Why a school would have to spend a year and a half "tweaking" the IB curriculum to meet State standards is bizarre and indicates IB is either severely out of alignment with U.S. State standards or else it is so vague and vapid that it isn't worth the money spent for the course guide, the stipends paid to teachers for curriculum development, and certainly not worth the onerous expense of the programme overall.

In fact, I challenge UPenn to evaluate the content of the syllabi for IB History of the Americas as a substitute for AP U.S. History and AP U.S. Government and Politics.


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