Class Struggle: International Baccalaureate


Posted at 10:21 PM ET, 06/20/2012

Quiet teacher changed a school

The teachers we hear about are usually larger than life, but quiet teachers can also have enormous impact on their schools. Take the case of Betsy Calhoon, who died suddenly this month.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:21 PM ET, 06/20/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  quiet teacher transformed a Fairfax County school, Betsy Calhoon, introduced low income students to challenging International Baccalaureate courses, Calhoon died June 11 of a heart attack

Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 07/15/2010

The untruth about International Baccalaureate

I haven't read everything on truthaboutib.com, but enough to report, somewhat to my surprise, that it is pretty good. Its raging paranoia about IB being a threat to American values and U.S. sovereignty is completely divorced from reality, but compared with other overheated ideological Web sites, it is remarkably fair, even balanced in a few places.

By Jay Mathews  |  06:00 PM ET, 07/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  IB critics Web site truthaboutib.com, International Baccalaureate vs. Advanced Placement, Lisa McLoughlin

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010

Readers question Challenge Index

Q. The downside not discussed is that from 1989 to 2009, the percentage of AP exams earning a 1 (lowest score) has doubled, from 10% to 20%. Over that same period, the mean score declined from just over 3 to 2.89. This tells me a lot of kids are being pushed into a AP classes for which they aren't ready or motivated.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Advanced Placement, Challenge Index, Darwin, International Baccalaureate, selective colleges, special education

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/27/2009

Should we inflate Advanced Placement grades?

Erin McVadon Albright, the IB coordinator at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, said the extra grade point for IB was a powerful inducement for one of her most intriguing students. He came from a low-income family that did not even have an Internet connection at home. He wanted to play football, which meant he had to take a government class online over the summer to have time for IB. He was using the computer at the office where his mother was a receptionist, but she was afraid someone would complain. He almost dropped the course until Albright managed to lend him a school laptop which he could take the public library to do his work.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/27/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  Advanced Placement, College Board, Erin Albright, International Baccalaureate, Jaime Escalante, Jon Gubera, Mike Reno, Rochester school board, Roy Sunada, Trevor Packer, grade weighting

Posted at 03:44 PM ET, 07/13/2009

Metro Monday: Should High Schools Bar Average Students From College-Level Courses and Tests?

Fifteen years ago, when I discovered that many good high schools prevented average students from taking demanding courses, I thought it was a fluke, a mistake that would soon be rectified. I had spent much time inside schools that...

By Washington Post Editors  |  03:44 PM ET, 07/13/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  Advanced Placement, Cambridge, International Baccalaureate, classes, high school

Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 07/07/2009

Admissions 101: Are Low Grades in AP/IB Classes Better than High Grades in Regular Classes?

A few weeks ago, Jay Mathews asked readers a tough question in his Admissions 101 - which is better: an A or B in a regular course or a C in a more challenging course like an AP or IB class? Jay sided with AP, saying that all students interested in tier 1 or tier 2 schools should take at least 2 AP or IB courses. Even if that means a C on a high school transcript, Jay argued, colleges will appreciate a student who is willing to take on a challenge. Reader reactions have been pouring in ever since:

By Sarah Mimms  |  11:12 AM ET, 07/07/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Admissions 101 | Tags:  AP Advanced Placement International Baccalaureate IB, Admissions 101, Jay Mathews

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/12/2009

Shocker! Some Teachers Like AP for All

When I got to work Monday, I was certain I was about to be pummeled by e-mails telling me what an idiotic column I had written that day praising high schools that were trying to get everyone, even struggling students,...

By Washington Post editors  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  AP Advanced Placement International Baccalaureate IB

Posted at 03:19 AM ET, 06/09/2009

New Challenge Index Twist: Catching Up

Newsweek unveils its 2009 America’s Top High Schools list today, all online. About 1,500 schools, the most ever, will be ranked by participation rates on college-level exams, particularly Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge. I invented Newsweek’s and the Washington...

By Washington Post editors  |  03:19 AM ET, 06/09/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Advanced Placement, Challenge Index, International Baccalaureate, school rankings