The rigorous International Baccalaureate program, originally designed for college-bound high school students, is moving into grade schools, reports the Washington Post.
The program seeks to mold students, from preschool age on, into “transdisciplinary” and bilingual scholars who can deliver a major academic project by fifth grade and then move into deeper studies in secondary schools and beyond. (IB middle schools also exist.) Critics wonder whether it’s all a bit much for a student demographic that still receives scratch-and-sniff stickers on written work.
IB stresses asking big-picture questions; students also tend to do well on standardized state exams, the Post reports. Some high-poverty schools are using IB programs to attract middle-class students.