The IBO and its constituent schools are masters at public relations, too. Whenever a school applies to become a so-called "IB World School", numerous press releases are issued to herald the news. Schools do, however, drop out of the IB Program. These events don't receive nearly the attention.
Now I don't know if this will be a recurring feature of the ACR Blog, but I want to look at one of the schools that dropped out of the IB Program and the reasons behind that decision. Last week, without fanfare, Monument Academy in Colorado was removed from the IBO's list of schools offering the Diploma Program. Apparently, this decision was made two years ago, but Monument Academy's name has only recently been removed from the IBO's roster. (Monument Academy was a publicly funded charter school.)
Here are the minutes to the Board meeting (.pdf) where Monument Academy decided to withdraw from the IB Program. The relevant section is F-5 on page five of the .pdf. Here are some of the events that occurred at that meeting (names shortened to prevent Google searches on them).
D. Hawk, a parent, made the comment that IB was driven by C. Holt, but our students are not traveling to London to study.
OK first of all, I believe the comment about London to be a prime example of sarcasm. Nevertheless, some people seem to have the perception that the IB Program is exotic since it has the word "International" in its name. I sense that Mr. Hawk finds that position to be preposterous. More importantly in my opinion, is Mr. Hawk's assertion that IB was driven by Mr. Holt. Mr. Holt. was the principal at Monument Academy. It appears to me that Mr. Hawk does not have a high opinion of the International Baccalaureate Program or its chief champion, Mr. Holt. In fact, it is my opinion that Mr. Hawk feels that there was some sort of agency problem at Monument Academy -- that Mr. Holt was trying to implement the IB Program to enhance his career over the academic needs of the students at Monument Academy. Is this why administrators love the IB Program?
L. Gipson reported $50,000 is currently budgeted to support IB, but was not sure if that will be enough to carry the program through the upcoming school year...
Ms. Gipson said dual enrollment is not a monetary albatross. Also, dual enrollment guarantees college credits for participating students.
Ms. Gipson makes two charges in this comment. First, she says dual enrollment is not a monetary albatross. Based on earlier statements in the board minutes, it is clear that the IB Program was too expensive in the board's opinion. But "monetary albatross"? Methinks Ms. Gipson has strong feelings about the excessive cost of the IB Program. Secondly, Ms. Gipson favors a dual credit program because it "guarantees college credits for participating students". As I've observed before, nearly 90% of colleges give higher quality credits to the AP Program. I honestly believe that dual credit programs are accepted at nearly the same rate. And recall, Colorado, Colorado State, Colorado - Denver and Colorado School of Mines all gave IB students inferior credit.
J. Genz stated dual enrollment makes more sense monetarily and academically.
Wow! Can you get any more explicit than that? Mr. Genz clearly thinks that IB was too expensive and academically inferior to dual credit!
The conclusions to be drawn from one example are far from dispositive. Also, Monument Academy has had a history of difficulties. An audit found sloppy documentation of school expenditures. A basketball coach there was convicted of assault for striking a player in the groin. About eight months after dropping the IB Program, Monument Academy eliminated grades 9-12 (.pdf) altogether. Monument Academy appears to have been troubled for some time, but I also believe that the failure of the IB Program help hasten the demise of its high school program.