Improvements to the Model:

Improvements to the model can be based off of South Forsyth High School's implementation of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. It is described under the Real World Application tab that South Forsyth that the students part of the program must take six IB classes during their Junior and Senior years. Of these six classes, it is required that three are Higher Level and the other three are Standard Level. The main improvements that I believe can be changed about the program involves when the students can take IB classes. It seems that cramming in the program into the last two years of high school does not always bode well for performance. I think that it would be more beneficial to the students if they had a longer time to complete the six courses necessary for the IB diploma. If this is not an option, I believe that there should be more preparation provided from the school to get the students ready for mastering the rigor that comes from the IB courses. It is stated by South Forsyth that they recommend taking Advanced Placement courses offered Freshman and Sophomore years in school to adequately prepare for the upcoming IB program. I think this will suffice, however, I believe there should be a more structured "pre-program" leading into the IB program that will allow students to know what it takes succeed at it.

Another improvement could involve the amount of Higher Level and Standard Level classes that need to be taken. The catch with this is that some colleges will only acknowledge the Higher Level classes, but students can only take three of these, the other three have to be Standard Level. I understand the greater rigor involved with the Higher Level courses and that it needs to be balanced out with the Standard Level courses, but it seems that there could be some way the program could involve students taking all Higher Level courses. This might require spreading the program out over three years rather than two.

Connections to Other Models

The best comparison of the IB model to other models is the Advanced Placement Model, in terms of rigor and what can be a result form the type of courses. Most high schools in the state offer some courses in Advanced Placement (AP Physics, AP US History, AP Calculus, etc.). Advanced Placement courses are typically a year long and require an examination at the end of the year in order to receive college credit. This is similar to the Higher Level IB courses in that students can receive college credit after taking certain courses for a year. The large difference between these two programs is that instead of IB programs testing at the end of the year, they are continually making assessments throughout the course to see if the student have made the progress necessary in order to receive credit.