September 16, 2010 - American public schools which make the unwise decision to infiltrate their hallowed halls with the insidious IB programme, often find already stressed out students at their wits end when trying to schedule IB courses alongside their State requirements for graduation.
THIS ARTICLE out of Granite Bay, CA, reveals typical problems smaller public HSs encounter when trying to implement IB.
Let us be clear. These are not "growing pains". The IB Diploma programme has been around for 40 years. This is sheer waste and incompetence on the part of administrative zealots whose desire to push an expensive ideological program takes precedence over the actual student needs. The problem IS the IB program as it is not a good fit in American public schools and does not align with most State required graduation requirements. Note how the administrator claims the "problem" will be fixed while denying that the administration was in any way at fault: “It’s not a flaw in the program that creates (this issue),” McGuire said. “It’s a decision of students to not follow the program and try an alternate pathway.” Roth had a different perspective. “You have to directly follow the structure they laid out… (or) you can’t do it properly,” Roth said. “The program is not supposed to limit you to certain requirements.” Despite the opposing opinions, both sides agreed on one thing–these schedule issues won’t resurface in the future. “The government (conflict) will go away next year, it’s not going to be a problem,” Colnar said. “It will either be resolved or it will be very clear that you don’t get yourself into that glitch.”
An IB Student's View
TAIB recently received an e-mail from an IB graduate who was kind enough to write and give us a little more detail on how block scheduling worked in their school. Here is what he had to say:
Comments: Hello, this is in response to the page on IB Schedule Requirements, as requested. In my school district, we have "block days" twice a week, which extends each class by about 40 minutes (And separates the days into periods one, two, and three; then two, four, and six the next. This is designed to give teachers more time to do more lengthy tasks, such as administer lengthy tests or carry out experiments/labs. Without this, my IB education would not be quite as superior. Sometimes we need that extra time to take a test or do a lesson, and it has been nothing but help to us. Sure, it is not very fun since we have to be in one place for much longer than usual, but it is one of those things we complain about, but know it helps us. Look at homework, for instance. Very few students will agree they like it, but it really is valuable for us. The students/parents of Columbia High School didn't like the schedule change, but if we really took the time to look at the effects of it; it is obvious it does actually help students get a better education which will in most cases lead to a more successful, happy life.
It is now a district-wide practice (Not mandated by the district but used in every high school) because other schools saw how well it was working and what tremendous benefits it had. In this case, IB brought something to an entire city that we would have otherwise unknowingly suffered without.
TAIB appreciates this student's feedback which seems to make a very strong case for block scheduling. Could some of the controversies and problems in the United States have been because the program was not run under block scheduling? And is the block-scheduling conducive to non-IB classes?
Confusing and Chaotic
When schools are authorized to fly the IB banner, it is up to the individual school as to what sort of class schedules should be established. Apparently in Columbia High School in Huntsville, Alabama, the choice made by administrators is not being viewed as popular. An article written by a student provides excellent insight into yet another arrogant disruption of student life, all in the name of IB:
"The cause of this change is Columbia High School's International Baccalaureate program. I was told that the baccalaureate program students needed the modified block because of the way their class schedule works. That meant everyone would have to change to accommodate them."
Terrific. Create resentment of IB students by non-IB students whose schedules are forced to change for the program. Great idea. But maybe there is a silver lining. Maybe students actually learn better in a modified block schedule:
"they forget most of what they have learned by the next class day. I have seen many students bring the wrong books to class because they've gotten confused about the date. Some have forgotten homework."
Well, there goes that theory. TAIB is interested in hearing from readers how IB is scheduled in your schools. Please e-mail us with details as to whether you believe the scheduling used in your district is beneficial or detrimental.
IB scheduling controls the school's Master Schedule
The non-IB courses are scheduled around IB courses.
IB classes must be offered, regardless of student enrollment numbers.
IB students must be scheduled first to ensure completion of required classes.
IB classes have fewer students (sometimes one or two), therefore non-IB classes are often larger than average.
Students who miss the IB exams at the end of the school year are not permitted to take any make-up exams.
Electives take a back seat to required IB classes.
The IBO program affects the entire school:
"It must be made very clear that the programme does have a major role to play in the school and that the intrinsic values espoused by the IB DP are relevant to the whole school, are firmly embraced by the published school mission statement and will have an influential role in any sections of the school that do not have an IB Programme."
If you are scheduling both IB and AP in the same high school, in the words of Dr. Ralph Cline, Deputy Director of IB North America, "you are going to be knee deep in scheduling problems." Click HERE for full transcript.
It must be noted that Dr. Cline objected to the transcription of his interview. In the attached letter to the Superintendent of the School he called the writers of the Alternative Perspective "subversive".