Once again, the LVCSD has found it necessary to run out the clock before releasing this pubic information to TAIB. Due to the pathetic results at great expense to the taxpayers, it is easy to see why LVCSD wouldn't want this information to be public knowledge.
Some interesting observations:
1. Of the 24 IB Diploma candidates, only 21 completed Extended Essays. 2. Of the 21 Extended Essays submitted, not a single one earned an 'A'
3. There were 18 'N's awarded. An 'N' is the equivalent of an incomplete or non-award.
4. Only 28% of the students who sat the AP exams scored a '3' or better (72% FAILURE rate)
221 AP exams administered 3, possibly 4 AP courses actually taught 41% - overall pass rate $19,227 taxpayer money spent
TAIB does not have the enrollment figures for the AP U.S. History course for 2011, if it ran at all. In the past, the number of students choosing this course over IB History of the Americas averaged 15-17 students. Yet in looking at the chart below, we see that 83 students sat the AP. U.S. History exam. A LVHS parent told TAIB that many students were made to sit for the AP exam who were either in IB or the Regents level history class. Only 20 out of 83, or 24%, earned a 3 or better.
What does this prove? Well, for one thing, it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that IB History of the Americas does not provide American students with enough core knowledge to pass an AP exam on U.S. History.
NY IB World School Sends Film Teacher to ... Cardiff, WHALES [SIC]!
August 5th, 2011 - On the 20th business day after TAIB filed FOIL requests for the 2011 LVHS IB Exam Report and its 5 Year IB Review, the district finally complied and e-mailed the information. It will take some time to do a proper analysis of the results, but despite 32 out of 36 students actually earning the IB Diploma, the 'mean' score attained is still only 29 and the highest score, a 35. Not a single student earned an 'A' on their Extended Essay (EE) and despite hiring a consultant for TOK, 24 out of the 36 students only scored a 'C', 'D' or 'E' on their TOK essay.
The 5 Year Review is rather astonishing to read when it comes to the number of boxes checked in "Requires Significant Attention". Teacher collaboration seems to be almost non-existent, as well as a written curriculum and the ability of the public to obtain information about the "programme". At least the district has the intellectul honesty to recognize that not everyone in their community shares its love of IB:
"Our community at large does not all share the goals and values of IB."
Ya think? ;-)
What really made TAIB chuckle, however, was the district's use of the word CURRICULUMS as the plural of 'curriculum'. For this outrageously expensive, hoidy toidy, elitist nonsense, one would expect the educators in charge of administering this snakeoil to at least know that the plural of curriculum is CURRICULA and that Cardiff is in the country of WALES, not Whales. An astute BoE trustee from Arizona noticed that on Pg. 9 of the Review, LVCSD incorrectly identified the work of Ishmael Beah as "A Long Way Home" when the correct title is "A Long Way Gone". Are these just sloppy, careless errors? And why is this review unsigned by either the Principal or the IB Coordinator? Who prepared this mess? Another question - why does LVCSD list the IB membership fee for 2011-12 as $10,500 when the IB website states $10,200? And $11,000 for 2012-2013? Is somebody getting a little kickback?
TAIB, in cooperation with The Leader, hasbeen trying to ascertain the following information for the past two months:
1. How many full IB Diploma candidates were there in the Class of '08? - 31 2. How many IB Diplomas were awarded to the Class of '08? - 20 3. What was the mean score for the IB Diplomas awarded in '08? - 29 4. What was the highest score attained on an IB Diploma in '08? - 34 ** data received 12/23/08 via FOIL A 64.5% pass rate for the Diploma Programme is not very good. Global average is around 80%
This would appear to be a very basic, uncomplicated, request for data. In years prior, a report summarizing the year's IB results was presented to the Board, usually in October. However, since 2008 ushered in an entirely new administrative staff including Superintendent, Asst. Superintendent and all new Principals, everyone except the Board of Education members who originally voted for IB, are completely unaware of "past practices" of the district. It would appear that in 2008, no one asked the IB Coordinator to compile end of the schoolyear IB results. TAIB has learned that The Leader has filed a FOIL request for all of the individual IB student records (with names deleted for confidentiality purposes) in an effort to compile the information. As shown above, the district ultimately relented and rather than providing the individual student records, tallied the results.
Why is such basic data not being requested by Administration in a district that has spent +$1,000,000 on IB since 2003? This sort of stonewalling and obfuscation of data is unacceptable. If the district doesn't have something to hide, why wasn't this information provided willingly? Why did LVCSD remove the 2006 IB data from its website two months ago? Do we see a pattern here?
We know. It's hard to believe. TAIB has endeavored to present accurate information regarding the onerous cost of implementing IB in a school. Based on our read of IB regulations, we were under the impression that the $129 student registration fee only applied to full Diploma students and was therefore, negligible. After a heated discussion with an IB teacher over this very issue, we are actually pleased to announce, we were wrong. IB charges the $129 registration fee for every student who intends to take just one IB exam in addition to the $88 per exam fees.
Now, this doesn't just apply to the DP. It also applies to the MYP where the IB charges a $60 per student registration fee. Apparently at the PYP level where IB requires the entire school to participate in PYP, it couldn't bring itself to tack on this userous fee.
So why is this an issue? Let's take a small public high school like Locust Valley, NY. Last year, the graduating class was 203 students. LV's administration has proudly proclaimed that "at least 80% of the students are taking at least one IB class!" Great! So on top of the annual $9,160 to "belong" to IB, this small district pays an additional $20,640 just for the "privilege" of students being able to register to take an exam. Think about it. $30,000 a year - for WHAT? And that's just for a tiny district. What about districts where there are 400-600 or more students in a grade? That $20,000 becomes $40,000 or $60,000, just for registration fees!
Offering AP instead of IB could immediately eliminate a minimum of $30,000 in superfluous expenses from a budget.
IB or not IB, That is the Question
By Roberta Grant* aka Lisa E. McLoughlin In My Opinion article from The Leader, April, 2004 The recently erected sign in front of the Locust Valley Middle/High School congratulates Locust Valley's acceptance as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Big words, sounds impressive, but how much do the taxpayers and parents actually know about this major change in high school curriculum?
IBO is a non-profit foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1968, IBO currently boasts approximately 1100 member schools in 100 countries. The concept behind IB is to provide students with greater in-depth knowledge of the six core subject areas based on a global curriculum. Only those students enrolled in the diploma programme which consists of three Standard Level (SL) and three Higher Level (HL) courses, potentially qualify for college credits.** IBO also acts in an advisory capacity to United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
On the surface, IB sounds like a prestigious addition to Locust Valley credentials. Unfortunately, there are a number of significant changes and costs involved in LVCSD?s adoption of this programme which were not made public prior to the application process. First and foremost is LVCSD?s decision to eliminate Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses for juniors and seniors. It should be pointed out that this is not the case in some of the other schools which have become IB. The elimination of the Honors track presents underclassmen with a dilemma when planning for their final two years of high school: should former Honors students opt for the rigorous and intensive IB programme leaving little time for other activities? Or should they drop to the Regents level where they can sail through by making A's and having time for sports or other interests? By making these the only two options, LVCSD has thrown the baby out with the bath water and embraced the tacit socialist movement to dumb down America under the guise of improvement.
What makes something prestigious? According to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, prestige is: 1. The power to command admiration or esteem 2. Reputation or distinction based on brilliance of achievement. Ironically, the word is derived from the Latin praestigium which means: a delusion, an illusion, a juggler's trick and from praestinguere meaning: to darken, to obscure. I checked with IBNA headquarters in Manhattan to ascertain the rejection rate for applicants to the IB and was told that "Maybe two out of 50 are rejected". That equates to a 96% acceptance rate. Based on this figure, which definition of prestige appears to be the most accurate?
The reason for such a high acceptance rate into IB is simple: the cost for a public school to become a member of this foreign foundation is exorbitant. The application fee alone was in excess of $10,000. Teacher training is in the neighborhood of $8-9000 per teacher per course which does not include travel expenses to the training sites, none of which appear to be held locally.**
According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (www.nctm.org 10/00) ?Many preservice mathematics teachers in Canada and the U.S. do not know all of the mathematics needed to teach the IB Diploma program.? It appears LVCSD has solved this problem by only offering SL IB Math.** Additional fees are encumbered by the district for registration of each student in the program, textbooks, grading fees and the $54 per test fee which the student will be expected to absorb. Combine these with an annual $8,020 fee for the district to remain in good standing and we are looking at an expenditure in the hundreds of thousands over the course of several years.
In final consideration, perhaps a look into the best practices of four local districts (Jericho, Manhasset, Great Neck South and Cold Spring Harbor, none of which are IB schools) and which were ranked in the top 25 in the nation by Newsweek on June 2, 2003, would be time and money better spent. A proposition is needed. Changes of this cost and magnitude which affect our children's education philosophically and financially should be voted on by the public as a separate proposition on the 2004-2005 budget ballot. The voters should be entitled to line item information regarding money spent to date on IB; fees, training, travel plus a five year projection of program costs. In addition, the district should be forthcoming about any intentions to expand the IB program to the Middle and Elementary levels and any associated costs involved therewith.**
The public has the right to decide if this is the kind of education they want their hard earned tax dollars spent on. In the 8 x 10 color glossy brochure promoting IB just mailed on April 2, 2004, by LVCSD to district residents it states, "There are no set academic criteria, simply guidelines for success"? Smoke and mirrors are difficult to quantify. International Baccalaureate - prestige? Or prestidigitation?
Author's updated corrections to original article 10/11/08 -
**1. Most universities recognize scores of 5-7 on HL IB exams, even if taken as stand-alone courses.
**2. For the 3 Levels of training, the average cost is $4500 per teacher.
**3. LVHS began offering HL IB Math in the fall of 2006.
Analysis of Potential College Credit - AP vs. IB A Decade of Difference
by Lisa E. McLoughlin
On August 22nd, when many families were on vacation, the LVCSD Board of Ed held a meeting at which the 06-07 Regents, IB and AP results were presented. The Regents results were fairly good, but the IB and AP results were......well, see for yourself.
In my files, I came across the same report from the 1995-96 school year. I would like to present to your readers, the comparative data and offer for your consideration a mathematical formula which calculates the value of advanced courses in terms of potential college credit earnings.
In 95-96, only students who had an average of 85 or higher in a subject and received teacher recommendation were allowed to take AP. This process was changed to self-select around 2000. At the Board meeting the other night, one trustee questioned whether the 50% failure rate of the diploma candidates (only 10 students earned an IB Diploma in '07) was an indication that some of those students shouldn't have been in the program in the first place. Good question. It was also asked whether it is better for students to "challenge" themselves with advanced courses and fail, or to take regular level classes. Another good question, but one I believe the answer to is a resounding NO, it is not better.
It is also nearly impossible to compare data from a year when only AP existed with a year with IB and AP. One of the main reasons is that IB has two levels of courses. We have established that stand alone IB SL courses do not receive college credit. Therefore, in making the following comparison, I will eliminate all IB SL courses from the equation with the exception of IB SL Physics which can be used to compare with the former AP offering. In essence, the SL courses would have been former Honors courses and not charted anyway. What we are looking for is to see if IB has IMPROVED student performance and opportunity for college credit.
95-96 # of AP courses offered - 9 # of AP exams administered - 125 U.S. History - 19 students, 78% pass rate (3 or higher) European - 16 students, 75% pass rate U.S Govt. & Politics - 17 students, 82% pass rate Eng. Lang & Comp - 12 students, 100% pass rate Eng. Lit & Comp - 12 students, 100% pass rate French - 7 students - 71% pass rate Biology - 12 students, 100% pass rate Physics - 9 students, 66% pass rate Calculus AB - 17 students, 94% pass rate
06-07 # of HL IB courses offered - 6 (inc. IB SL Physics) # of AP courses offered - 4 (1 student took AP Calc and 2 took AP Art combined with IB Art) # of HL IB and AP exams administered - 199 (+22 for Physics) = 221 AP U.S. History - 17 students, 0% pass rate AP European - 17 students, 51.5% pass rate AP U.S. Govt & Politics - 17 students, 29.4% pass rate IB HL Hist. of the Americas - 62 students, 77% pass rate IB HL English - 58 students, 98.2% pass rate IB HL Biology - 20 students, 30% pass rate IB SL Physics - 22 students, 36.4% pass rate IB HL Chemistry - 15 students, 46.7% pass rate IB HL Visual Arts - 11 students, 36.4% pass rate AP 2D Design - 2 students, 0% pass rate AP Calculus AB - 1 student, 100% pass rate
Comparison of Potential College Credit Earned Although AP considers a 3 passing and IB considers a 4 passing, in my review of most of the better colleges, I have found that they require at least a 4 in AP and a 5 or better in IB to award credit. Therefore, I shall use AP 4's & 5's and IB 5's-7's for my analysis:
95-96 - 58 x 3 credits per exam = 174 potential college credits 06-07 - 70 x 3 credits per exam = 210 potential college credits
Good. Now let's divide the potential credit outcomes by the number of exams administered to determine a value ratio (ie: If all 125 exams taken in 95-96 received a score of 4 or better, the highest ratio it would be possible to earn would be a 3.0):
95-96 - 174 ÷ 125 = 1.39 06-07 - 210 ÷ 221 = 0.95
Clearly, those students in 95-96 who sat for an AP exam stood a much better chance of earning college credit than those in 05-06. This ratio, unlike Mr. Mathews' Newsweek ratio, is determined based on testing outcomes, not the number of seats filled. Therefore, not only have the scores plummeted as a result of IB, so have the student chances of earning college credit, despite the increased number of students sitting for the exams. A 0% pass rate for 11th Grade AP U.S. History?? The district should refund the17 parents of those students their $85 AP exam fees for its failure to deliver the curriculum! If the district truly wants to HELP not HURT students, then based on its own hard numbers it should move to phase out IB by 2009 and establish an AP program that is at the very least, as strong as it was in 95-96, hopefully a lot stronger. Districts like Syosset, Jericho, Great Neck, and Cold Spring Harbor all offer at least 15-25 AP courses. We should too!