The International Baccaluareate: Notes From The Trenches, Part 2

ib

 

Some explanations to springboard this discussion on education:

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is currently used by over 1 million students speaking 74 languages across 145 countries.  These students attend 3,600 schools, both private and public.  In the US, the IB is present in 700 schools, 90% of which are public.  This brief profile should dispel the misconception that the IB is elitist, or that it is a system created exclusively for and useful only to UN diplomats.  And this fact page might help dispel other misinformation.

That notion of “privilege and exclusivity” and UN affiliation arose from the IB’s origins.  I can speak with a bit of authority about said origins, since our family lives in Geneva, Switzerland, seedbed of the UN. I’ve stood in the buildings and rooms where the IB was designed and first implemented, yes, in conjunction with many of the UN’s lofty and valuable peace-making objectives.  In fact, our two youngest children now attend the very school, which developed the IB in the late ’60’s of post WW II Europe.

You might say we have come to the mount.

Which would explain, I suppose, the dragon (I wrote of in my last post.)

thesun.uk.com.

thesun.uk.com.

My current proximity to the IB’s epicenter and the fact that, when we moved to this area, we specifically (and energetically) targeted this, the IB’s “Urschool,” helps as I discuss the IB in this and my ensuing posts.  I come from a posture of support, even enthusiasm. As global nomads, all four of our children have participated in the IB to one extent or another, and have done so in three different schools across Europe. So while it’s maybe a small sample size,  I do have contextual reference (four children, three schools, over ten years) from which to judge the program, or as least its central European iteration.

In one school, a son took a couple of individual IB courses. This is essentially IB à la carte, and is recognized by educators as similar in level of difficulty to taking a menu of Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

In another school, our daughter graduated with the full IB, more challenging than IB à la carte, and recognized as tougher than even a complete menu of Honors or  Advanced Placement (AP) classes. AP on steroids, some say. The full IB means that in addition to all coursework being college-level, (as opposed to selecting only certain IB classes), she had to complete major additional projects, an extended research essay, service hours and several targeted assessments. Today, our youngest is doing the middle school IB, and the third  of our four children, Dalton, is slogging through his final year of the full IB diploma program, as did his sister.

ib diploma

Again, my opinions of the IB stem from a sample size of only three schools from central Europe.  But from that sample size I’ve noted the consistencies and inconsistencies, and know that experiences vary, as I have noted, not only from one country/cultural context to another, but from one school to another. The overall coursework is administered differently from school to school. Weekly workload, variety and aggressiveness of courses offered, day-to-day and month-by-month grading practices, quality of classroom instruction and consistency of faculty guidance have varied. There have been truly stellar teachers and administrators. There have also been some less-than-stellars.

In these upcoming posts, I’ll focus on what I judge are the outstanding strengths or weaknesses of the IB. Sometimes, as you’ll see today, they are one and the same.

Time and Stress Management

Given the dragon slaying metaphor from my last post, IB students must, above all, learn time and stress management skills. Our high school senior, now in the middle of his second year of the 2-year diploma-targeted arc,  often says that IB success (meaning just completion, not necessarily top scores) hangs on one’s ability to “study while running.” You start your junior year at a dead sprint, and can’t stop running for two years while task upon task gets piled in your arms. You can’t drop one task, or it’s nearly impossible to catch up. You must study and run at once.

Stress/time management is important, even vital. And hear me: I’m all for a program that puts pressure on my kids to effectively govern their use of time.  They will need this in college. They will need this in work, in family, in life.

But I do question what it means for young minds to associate learning primarily with breathlessness, sleeplessness, burned-eyeball revisions until midnight, high-pitched anxiety, gulping down information from a fire hydrant, a 2-year nonstop scramble. As an educator myself, (I have instructed German, English writing and literature, and the Humanities on the university level; my current activities have me lecturing to small and large audiences; I am a writer) I would wish that my kids also associated joy, discovery and creativity with learning.

ib profile

I also question the notion of “balance,” which, as you see here in purple, is part of the IB learner’s profile. Frankly, I’m searching for it, but I’m not seeing balance in the life of my IB student. How can there be when one’s running as this son is just to keep on top of basic coursework?

 

(And what does it mean when students say the IB stands for Insane Burnout, I’m Busy and Intellectually Brutal?)

My oldest son, who took individual IB courses (as one might take AP courses) and not the full diploma, had time to participate in sports and music alongside his academic courses. Our second son, now neck-deep in the full IB, is feeling mostly anxiety because he’s been cast in a supporting role in the school’s upcoming student-directed Shakespeare. He’s wondering: will playing Benvolio be my demise? Can I do theater and run carrying all this coursework?

(I’ll let you know in a few months.  In the meantime, I’m taking it as a good omen that Benvolio is the only character from the younger generation to survive in “Romeo and Juliet.”)

wordsmash

Still, I have to ask: is this program fashioned, as it asserts it is, to prepare young minds for the rigor not only of serious university studies, but further for the demands of a complex, diverse, rapidly shifting, international environment? Are the hot breath and licking flames of the dragon intended to motivate students toward a passion for intellectual rigor, high-level holistic learning, life-long curiosity, a broad (global) world view, and encourage a whole wonderful list of learner’s qualities that is part of the IB’s original charter?

Is the IB shaping minds and spirits that are thirsty, elastic, joyful about the magnificent possibilities and electrifying privilege of gaining an education?

Or is the dragon dragooning students into constant worry and apprehension about keeping up? How to cut corners? Whether or not they can really afford to be so frivolous as to participate in one drama production their senior year?

Are the students finishing an aggressive program with minds that are not thirsty but fried, not elastic but overwrought, not joyful about learning, but  wrung out, wrung dry, and convinced (as is our IB senior,) that he’s bottom rung?

 

10 thoughts on “The International Baccaluareate: Notes From The Trenches, Part 2

  1. Your questions at the end are what I wonder about this program. I am so grateful for your posts and that reading list you provided me earlier! My kids are in grade 2 and 4 at an int’l school and I have loved the interdisciplinary research units with their final projects founded on the IB approach. We just finished the first units this last week. Parents walked through classrooms where grades 1/2 students presented their dioramas of a “How we share our world – Creepy Crawlies” they’d researched and grades 3/4 presented “We All Have a Story to Tell” with a living “wax museum” of impressive people such as George Washington, Queen Elizabeth, Hellen Keller, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, soldier queen Rani Lakshmibai, a famous race car driver, soccer player and so forth. The wax museum participants stood by their poster and you tapped their left shoulder for their speech in English, right shoulder for German. The range of skills this approach to learning emphasizes is impressive but I have heard complaints similar to those outlined in your post from participants and parents from 6th grade on up through the IB diploma. I’m all for challenging kids to their limits, but not squelching a love of learning. Two years seems a long time at a break neck pace – especially for the number of students lacking positive reinforcement and a haven at home.

    And to that last concern of mine, especially after recently reading both Brené Brown’s “Daring Courageously” and Elizabeth Smart’s “My Story” and looking into Smart’s foundation’s work, I was speaking this week with our school’s counselor about if / how the school broaches the issues to different grades about personal safety – from bullying to molestation and abuse. Does the school lead any conversations about how to recognize when one’s inner voice is telling them something isn’t right and what to DO about it even though the child will feel tension with their desire to feel connection with peers or honor their elders? We will bring this up at the upcoming Positive Parenting meeting, but the counselor confided that MUCH of her time is spent talking to parents coming from all over the world about what are unacceptable ways to discipline children in Germany by law and introducing them to concepts in “Love and Logic.” There are many cultures in the world where beating a child is still acceptable as a mode of discipline. While that is not news to me from my background, it did factor in to where I was coming from as I read your posts about the rigors of the IB diploma program.

    • Tracie:

      Sounds as if you are getting a marvelous, multicultural, multiethnic, multidisciplinary education for your family. I say family, because I know that educational approaches necessitate familial engagement, particularly when you are moving from country to country.

      And you’ve hit on the concerns I’m airing: it’s not the lower school program that is stressful; it is the last two years, called the IB diploma. If one chooses to attend a school where there are options (AP, Honors, IB courses OR the full IB Diploma), you might be granted the fluidity to move between courses. You can even enter the full IB, as did one of our children, and if circumstances change or you realize you cannot stay in choir (as has written another blog reader) AND complete the demands of the full IB, you can scale back, still getting IB course credit. If, however, your child is attending an IB school (as we are), there is the full IB. And. . . there is the full IB. Again, the IB courses in and of themselves are demanding. The educators I’ve researched indicate they are equivalent to or more demanding than the US’ AP (Advanced Placement) courses.

      What pushes the full IB to be “a dragon”, “a killer”, or “a gun to the head”, as other readers and I have noted here and in the comment thread, are the additional demands (service hours and journaling about them; an extended 4,000 word essay; a Theory of Knowledge course and its requisite essay; and frequent internal assessments.) These demands, mind you, are taking place simultaneously with a full load of university-level coursework and the consuming college application process, (essays, forms, forms, deadlines, forms) which, though maybe not a dragon, is definitely a bear.

      So it’s serious, even throttling stuff. Will it squelch – or deepen – my two youngest children’s love for learning? We’ll see! Do universities appreciate the program? Umm. . .I’ll let you know.

      For now, our family is catching scraps of joy before this next child launches from home. If “joy” and “the full IB” are oxymorons, then I’ll settle for helping my child catch some z-z-z-z-zs and not catch a cold.

  2. Melissa,

    Great Post and wonderful questions. I have five children, two currently at SUU, a missionary in the field, a Senior in public high school, and an 11 year old son that I am homeschooling.

    I first heard about the IB program in our public school district in Boulder Colorado when my children were babies.

    We made the decision to homeschool off and on during the elementary years and then enrolled our children in a Charter School that was a college prep environment with high expectations and generally advanced coursework that enabled them to advance a year or two academically compared to their peers in the regular public schools. They offered a solid AP Program, but no IB Program.

    I read so many books by educators like John Holt, Rudolph Flesch, Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, and John Taylor Gatto that my attitude as a mother was extremely chill as compared to the other parents, many of whom had set the goal for their kids to be accepted into ivy league schools. Many students from our school did get accepted into top programs all over the country…

    I suppose the question is, “At what cost?”.

    I enrolled my children so that they could participate in the various activities that were impossible to replicate at home; Choir, Band, Theatre, Speech and Debate, and SPORTS! I felt that if they were in a classroom seven hours a day with children who were academically striving, then maybe some of that ordered stretching would counterbalance the extreme Waldorf “Child-Led” everything environment in which they had been raised in our home. We did some level of Attachment Parenting with all five.

    Apprently it did because they all seemed to thrive academically with my oldest daughter making the Deans list and a younger daughter playing five sports her senior year while maintaining a solid GPA and singing in the best choir at the school. My sons were less organized and focused on academics and I was perhaps way too willing to let them stay home from school whenever they wanted. On “sick” days we baked and rented movies and played with baby brother at the park.

    A science teacher informed us that our fourth child, a son, was smart but so unbelievably lazy that he could not in good conscience give him an A. I refused to sweat it. Some of the students at the school were attempting suicide, breaking down in a variety of stress disorders, and my children all reported the various threats that certain parents made if their children did not get perfect grades.

    I told my children that if they wanted to make the sacrifice to get the perfect grades and the 5.0 GPA that came with weighted classes that I would support them, but I also told them that I felt it was more important for them to attend early morning seminary, participate in extracuriculars and be active LDS, WHILE MAINTAINING THEIR HEALTH, Health being the most important factor.

    I do not know if the way we raised them was correct. Lord knows plenty of people were aghast when I would let on how much I let them skip school. And some of my ward friends did not get my casual attitude about grades. I tried to explain it one time during gospel doctrine class on sunday at church. Our ward was mostly made up of highly credentialed professionals and/or married students attending Colorado University in Boulder. I said, “Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that it is our grades that will enable us to enter the Celestial Kingdom. Heavenly Father is concerned about behavior, not educational or employment status, and the Book of Mormon has some pretty clear warnings to those societies that overemphasize educational endeavors at the expense of doing our christian duty.”

    Nobody really said anything after I made my point, so I am not sure how it was taken, but I still feel that way. Too many students lose their health, testimony, connections to family, and precious time spent with siblings when academic life takes over.

    I guess the big red flag in the IB situation would be the sheer amount of time away from hearth and home. Some writers have also fingered a political agenda around the curriculum focus: http://www.trevorloudon.com/2011/07/is-the-international-baccalaureate-programme-co-opting-your-child/

    I do not know much about that, the charter we attended used the Communist Peoples History by Zinn as a textbook, so you cannot get away from the Marxists in our midst unless if you do pure Homeschool. I do not have any advice for your dilemna or questions, but I do believe strongly in keeping them healthy and nourished spiritually, and if grades suffer? So be it…

    Jenny

    • Jenny-

      I appreciate your detailed interest in schooling and in the family as the core organization for cultivating healthy human behavior, and I’m grateful for your copious sharing. So much to consider. I could respond to every paragraph with anecdotal support and/or additional (contrasting) examples.

      For now, I’ll focus on four things.

      1) Homeschooling can be an effective educational scenario. I have much respect for many of the homeschooling families I know. Tremendous parents. Exceptional learning. Homeschooling has a huge (and robustly supported) community in the US. With every move our family has made, I have considered homeschooling one or more of our children for at least a little stretch, if only to help them stabilize. But unlike the US, homeschooling is (or was) illegal in every country I have lived in. It is neither respected nor acknowledged as “serious”, and will not accredit any child to assume an eventual slot in a local school. But those were not the reasons I never homeschooled. Homeschooling would have cut off our lifeline to cultural integration in many different countries. My children always had to learn a new language, as did I, and that wouldn’t happen without organized linguistic submersion.

      2) This struck me: “Too many students lose their health, testimony. . .” If you don’t mind, Jenny, I need to quickly explain the word “testimony” to my readers who might not understand that term. “Testimony” means a deep personal conviction rooted in sacred experience and study; it is what grounds one’s faith.

      I see health and testimony as related. I, too, am concerned for my children’s physical health. As much or more, I am concerned for their mental and spiritual health. Every smart parent knows that too much stress and too little sleep are simply bad for their child’s physical health. Science is only now catching up to how terrible stress is on growing human beings, especially young adults. I’ve sat with groups of parents who have been alarmed by their children’s symptoms of exhaustion and depression, and have yet to find a school system that will address the dangers of such fallout triggered by excessive homework, pressure to excel, etc. A good piece to consider from NPR:
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6221872

      Another from NBC:

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20322801#.UnkGiZSDQXw

      And 15 signs to watch for in your teen:

      http://www.examiner.com/article/teens-and-high-school-stress-15-facts-parents-should-know

      Our child’s “spiritual” illness also has symptoms, though harder to read than the physical ones. Might the bloodshot eyes, anger, reclusiveness, eating disorders, cutting, and the whole list of addictive behaviors be a physical manifestation not of something gone wrong in their cells, but of something going wrong in their soul?

      I also hold, as I understand you do, that serious intellectual training ought to be the perfect complement to serious moral/spiritual discipline. I agree that when revered as an end in itself, however, academic (or professional or athletic or whatever) excellence can threaten things more essential to one’s wellbeing, which are what you’ve noted.

      3) You are concerned about “Connections to family, and precious time spent with siblings when academic life takes over.” I agree. I’ll return to this in my last post in this series, but knowing what I know about how short – how evanescent – the time is we have to spend with those who are most precious to us, especially our children, I am particularly resistant to any program that cheats us of that time. Or that turns the time we do have with them to an anxiety-filled, guilt-burdened, stop-watch-eyeing sprint.

      4) And as for a supposed political agenda attributed to the IB, I’ve read these criticisms before. But this has not been our family’s experience. Every education reflects certain biases, no question, and the IB is (by definition) international, founded in Europe by educators of multiple philosophical and political backgrounds, not primarily or exclusively by any one culture or mindset. So the IB, one might say, has that unbiased bias. This aspect of the education has served our family well. We’ve learned to see ourselves as American citizens as other nations see us, as we’ve assumed the posture of adopted children in each country we’ve been blessed to deeply integrate into. I’ll return to those important political and philosophical questions in an upcoming post.

      Thanks, Jenny!

      • Wow Melissa, thanks for such a thoughtful response to my comment!

        I do not have much to share beyond a plea for all of those who read this for tolerance and big hearted acceptance for all who are making difficult academic decisions for and in behalf of our children until they are old enough to decide for themselves how much they want to invest in educational pursuits. Having tried a variety of educational environments, it has been interesting to observe the various groups need for others to choose exactly what they do and a whole range of defensiveness and even bullying when parents decide to homeschool, send a child to a charter school, private school, or just keep them in the neighborhood public school. I predict many families in America opting out of public school as the Common Core gets implemented these next few years.

        I look forward to reading the additional essays you are planning.

        If your readers are interested, I have been writing a series of essays called Uncommon Lore that is now hosted on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNFV4IC

        I also recently wrote this blog post that contains more of our educational adventures: http://jennyhatch.com/2013/05/04/uncommon-lore-how-can-i-teach-my-seven-year-old-son-math-and-reading-when-i-cannot-get-him-to-take-a-bath/

        Your Blog continues to inspire and edify, thanks for taking the time to write it.

        Jenny

      • Melissa,

        I just had to pop back in with an update. My son who is a senior at the local high school just received an email with his ACT results. Remember the child I mentioned who was so lazy his science teacher just had to complain?

        He managed to score a 35 on his test!!!

        My heart is just bursting with the educational doors that will fling open for him as he moves forward…

        He has had an unusual life from the very beginning. I am a child birth educator and birth activist and by the time I was pregnant with him I decided to take on the challenge of doing my own prenatal care and giving birth at home alone with just my husband attending me. I remember telling one of my friends that I was building a brain when she made a sarcastic comment about the fresh pressed vegetable juice I was making while in my 8th month of pregnancy. I was juicing every green vegetable sold at the health food store along with carrots and apples and then boosted my 100 gram protein smoothie with a bunch of extra nutrients. She said my pregnancy drink looked like vomit as I glugged it down.

        This type of skeptical questioning by friends and family of my motives, lifestyle, and beliefs around nutrition and childrens development and health was a near daily occurance as I danced my way through my pregnancies.

        This son was born after a 45 weeks gestation at home after a three hour labor. He was 11 lbs 12 oz at birth and I was able to birth standing up in the Yoga Goddess posture without even a skid mark and after three pushes.

        After the birth of my dreams, reality smacked hard as we could not resuscitate him and he started turning blue. I also bled my life away as my uterus inverted and the cord snapped right by his navel.

        As we dialed 911 and then transported to the local hospital where he was immediately air lifted to a Denver NICU, I heard one constant refrain from most of the many medical professionals who we rubbed shoulders with. Over and over we were told he would be a “brain damaged baby” because of the lack of oxygen and my obvious screw up as a home birthing mother. The scorn that was heaped on my head during the aftermath of his birth was so traumatic it took years for me to recover. In many ways I am still in a defensive posture as a mother for the choices made and the consequences that resulted. For three days in the NICU they gave him every test conceivable to prove to us that he was brain damaged. When the brain ultrasound came back normal I insisted that they let us go home and we left completely shattered emotionally and fumbling to know how to move forward.

        As we moved through his childhood everyone around me kept looking for signs of the brain damage that had been predicted. We don’t do well baby visits, so after his release from the hospital he never saw an allopathic doctor until he had a sports physical as a teen. I knew he was healthy and whole, but friends and neighbors kept making little comments over the years about the damage to his brain.

        I don’t know that a 35 on the ACT would be considered the final evidence that anyone would need to put to rest the notion that this son o’ mine is mentally unsound because of his lack of contact with Obstetrics and Pediatrics….but I would hope for those Mamas who feel a calling to skip down the alternative healing path, especially while they are pregnant and breastfeeding, that here is just a bit of quantifiable evidence for the power of the work that goes on in our kitchens.

        Jenny

  3. Melissa, this post resonates with me. I attended an international school and opted for several higher-level IB courses instead of the full diploma for various reasons, but one of which was the diploma’s killer reputation. One student at my school said that doing the full diploma felt like having a gun to his head all the time. My school counselor told me that if I took choir instead of IB chemistry I wouldn’t get into the best colleges. I responded that I thought the best colleges would prefer someone who pursued her interests passionately; and even if they didn’t, I was still taking choir because I wanted to. Three Ivy League degrees later, I say the same thing.

    That said, I don’t doubt the full diploma can be a great experience and I’m sure it is for Dalton. In any event, managing his time in college will feel like a cakewalk after this!

    • Ashley,

      That term “killer reputation” says a lot. And “having a gun to [the] head all the time” says the rest. And all of this, coming from someone with three IVY league degrees to her credit. Thank you very much for taking time to come and write this, as I think students and parents, administrators and educators alike need to consider such opinions born of first hand experience. I’m personally tickled you kept up with choir.

      Ask him this month, and Dalton is not sure the full IB is for him! :-) Many of his classmate are not sure it is for them, either! :-) Indication: in one class period last month, the teacher allowed the students to have A Rant Moment. Decompress. Vent. Very healthy. What do you think they all ranted and raged and screamed about?

      Thanks, Ashley. Hope you come back here often.

  4. I’m starting my 7th year as an expat. I have a set of twins who graduated from an international school IB a’la carte and our youngest daughter who is in her senior year –full IB diploma–in a different international school than her sisters did. Overall, we have loved the IB program and believe it to be superior to the experience our oldest child had in the US in an AP/Honors oriented high school.

    Like you, our family has had excellent teachers and poor ones; we have seen variations in how CAS is assessed and administered; we have seen differences between how much/how little the school and teachers are involved in supporting diploma students with extended essay, IA preparation and so forth. Some of the differences we’ve observed have been in our more US oriented IB school in Eastern Europe (CEESA) and our more UK/Commonwealth oriented school in Germany. What has struck me, as woman born and bred in the US, is how far my views about education have evolved from where they were when I started having children 25 years ago.

    The most dramatic change has been in my view of extracurricular and supplementary activities. I grew up in a community that valued the performing arts and sports teams at our high school more than outstanding academics. The occasional student who applied to an elite university and was accepted received notice, but not nearly the amount that the choral groups that won competitions or the football/basketball teams did. What I’ve learned in talking to well-educated Europeans is that when they attend Gymnasium for the Abitur or 6th form for A-levels, the primary focus was academic. Sport, theater and other “extras” were important, but not the focus of a daily schedule and most students participated in one or two extras, not a full compliment of a musical instrument, a sport, student government, theater MUN etc. I knew students in my oldest daughter’s US high school that had one core class–like English because it was required to graduate–and the rest of their schedule would consist of music, theater, art class, early release or late arrival and often LDS release time seminary for religious instruction. I have come to be more European in my view of this US obsession with a “well-rounded” HS experience; I find it unbelievable that students remain in HS until 18 when so many spend half their senior years doing almost nothing remotely academic. This is an unpopular perspective with my US friends–we’ve had good-natured disagreements about the relative merits of US comprehensive high schools putting so much emphasis on “extras.” (Caveat: I am not talking about magnet schools or specialty HS or alternative programs that cater to students with specific needs or interests–I’m talking about the brick and mortar 3/4 grade HS with a full menu of teams, cheerleaders, drill teams, arts, clubs, proms, government etc.) This is one of the reasons I’ve come to appreciate the IB.

    One of the things I love about the IB is that to receive the diploma, the students are exposed to creativity, action and service, but academics aren’t sacrificed. Juggling the extras and the homework load can be crazy (my daughter has MUN next week and she is supposed to be working on her HL Bio IA). However, when my daughter talks to her US peers, she feels like she is getting a better education, in large part because of the IB approach. My belief is that Common Core wouldn’t have been touted as the be-all fix-it for US schools if more US schools had adopted the IB PYP and MYP programs.

    The insanity and intensity of the diploma years can be horrible on mental health. We’ve had a few crack-ups and some stress induced illness. I feel like all our holidays, until mock exams in January, are ruled by IB due dates. Those “6″ and “7″ marks come at high cost. That being said, my daughters who did the IB a’la carte believe they have had a better university experience because of their IB experience.

    I realize this is more relevant to your post on university applications, but one frustration we have is that my daughter is competing, on paper, with US students who might have the same GPA as she has, but don’t nearly have the same academic intensity. Some universities weight the more rigorous classes, some don’t. Yes, they want to see core classes on report cards, but comparing an IB SL class with a US AP can be tricky. I have a niece in an AP English class in Utah. Her teacher sends her out for donuts at least once a week. Whenever she feels like it, she asks her teacher if she can skip to work on her student government job or to go home to nap. She gets an “A” in that class. How do you weigh that “A” against my IB HL English daughter’s “A” with all the IA’s, orals and World Lit papers? Some university admissions are sensitive to the differences between schools, but some are just looking at the numbers. What’s ironic is that she qualifies for the best universities in the UK, including Oxford, St. Andrews and Kings College University of London because of her predicted IB scores, but US universities don’t care about her predicted test scores! These are tricky things about the IB that international school students deal with that US based students don’t.

    Thanks for letting me ramble. I am looking forward to the rest of your posts on the IB.

    • And you, Heather, have just written the IB post to end all IB posts! Many thanks for your intelligent, informed and well-rounded input. I want to repost this not as a comment, but as its own post.

      I doubt I could have articulated the many connected issues better than you have here, and can only say amen.

      And amen!!

      And . . . you know I’ll be back to add to that “amen.”

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