What is the International Baccalaureate Program?

What is the International Baccalaureate Program?

Calling all overachievers and would-be valedictorians. There is a new accelerated program circulating through high schools across the United States that’s an alternative, and some might say better choice, to traditional Advanced Placement (A.P.) classes. Although still lesser known, the International Baccalaureate Program (I.B.) can now be found in more public high schools than ever.

The two-year curriculum was first developed in Switzerland in the 1960s. Students are required to devote their entire junior and senior years to the program, which has a more global approach than the A.P. programs, requiring that students read literature from around the world. Currently, 700 high schools in the U.S. offer the I.B. program. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently gave the program a three-year $2.4 million grant.

But, there are opponents to the I.B. program. The website truthaboutib.com is a forum for these opponents to express their views. Many of them are against the program because they feel it is too closely tied with the United Nations and radical environmentalism. But colleges seem to recognize it as an equal of the A.P. programs and hold it to the same standard.