Sunday, October 18, 2015

IB vs IBx

Per a parent's request:
"There was an interesting meeting last night at Ingraham for new IBX ninth grade parents. IB Administration is asking parents/students in IBX to seriously consider delaying start in IB until 11th grade rather than starting in 10th grade. My takeaway was that they believe many (if not most?) IBX students would be better served by not accelerating (although acceleration will continue to be available for this year's cohort).
This actually makes a lot of sense to me but, of course, for the students it will come down to what they already have in mind about the program (are they being slackers if they delay, etc) and what their friends are planning.
Can we have a new thread on this subject?
I would be curious what other 9th grade IBX families are thinking and what wisdom IBX families already in the program can offer.
For context I most recently posted on the same topic as part of the summary of the HCC Advisory Committee. Changes are probably underfoot in the program. This seems to be coming from feedback of current cohort parents as well as the staff.

So what advice do you have for the ninth grade cohort?


Anonymous said...

They are considering changing the HCC/APP participation in the IB program to start in 11th grade in the future, which I think is a good idea and I wish this were already true for our student, who is in the first year of IBx. It makes the program more attractive in my mind.

IBx students who were expecting to do anything out of the ordinary their senior year, like a gap year, travel, or an internship, are hearing that universities want to see they are not reducing their academic course load in their senior year... so after a very intense two years, their potential reward is that they may be judged less successful than normal IB students if they do an internship, a gap year, a partial course load, etc. This is after they've graduated, and it really isn't fair to them. Doing IB their junior/senior year would eliminate this, and give them another year to prepare for it.

I also wonder how much time IBx students have to be kids in high school, and do all the other things besides academics, given the way their senior year is going. Moving it back a year would give them more time to have a life, IMO, before starting the IB diploma.

Anonymous said...

What is the plan for the sophomore year at Ingraham for HCC students? I would be hesitant to enroll my student at Ingraham if there wasn't a plan in place for either the sophomore or senior year. (Whichever year would not be IB.)

Anonymous said...

I was at this meeting and I thought the sophomore year sounded pretty solid. For math, those who finish calculus their freshman year (not sure how many this is)would likely be counseled to take AP statistics, there are honors LA and SS which would give students an opportunity to further hone their analytical/writing skills - which seems to be key in IB, for those who have completed biology and chemistry, there is environmental systems (something like that) or (and I may be wrong about this)I think they can take regular physics in prep for IB physics. They talked about adding IB film studies - which would likely require a film prerequisite, and for those who don't enter their sophomore year in Spanish 4, there is a chance to complete that in school. I think now, students need to get up to speed on their own time and dime. I know lots of kids who entered in at Spanish 2, not 3. They also talked about having time to take things like AP Computer Programming/Java(?), theater, art, etc. Just going by memory on some of this, so happy to be corrected! I thought it sounded somewhat appealing and definitely something to mull over.

Anonymous said...

Making it more of a standard IB option probably makes sense for most kids, but I'd hope they'd still allow some to go the early route (IBX) if they were ready and really wanted to. Not all HC kids need--or will benefit from--four years of high school. If they can be done in three and then do their senior year as full-time Running Start, they'd probably be happier, not to mention in good position for college applications.


Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that this decision seems driven by the district's failure to support IBX at IHS. The senior year plan (supposed to be modeled after Interlake) never materialized, and seniors couldn't get 4 years of English, internships weren't in place, students had to scramble for online classes, etc. It makes sense to move it to traditional IB, but it's a total failure of an HCC pathway. Not sure why it would be any different than any IB program (which is a great program, and should be available to anyone). Again, it seems to me the district launched a program with no follow through, and it's going back to what it was before, after only 1 or 2 IBX cohorts. The IHS staff is amazing, but they can only do so much. On a larger scale, it's another reason to kill HCC...why have a separate pathway for them in high school if they are well served with IB? It's an easy way out for the district.

8th grade parent

Anonymous said...

The science and math pathways are unclear. AP Calculus before IB math? Physics (honors or non-honors?) and then Physics again?? If choosing IBX now means senior year is Running Start or early graduation, that's simply acceleration, not providing access to 4 full years of appropriate level coursework. Without IBX, will the sophomore year be more defined for HCC, or just a holding place before IB?

Is there a possibility of Ingraham holding a meeting this fall for current 8th grade parents? It would be nice for this cohort to get the heads up for once.

Anonymous said...

I have an IBx jr. My kid has done internship in the summer, plans another this year. Has no interest in shortening the academics to race into the work world so won't graduate early. The planned senior year classes could have been taken in sophomore year, like AP stats & JAVA. And taking IB classes a year later would have added flexibility for more HL choices. The dozen colleges I've spoken with don't seem to care that the diploma was finished a year early. So for us, IBx was no advantage.

Also, you can't just keep taking IB exams after finishing the diploma, the way you can take more AP exams.

For students who want to study abroad, it seems to work better to go ahead & graduate, apply for colleges, then ask for a deferral to have a gap year. Doesn't matter if that is a year early or not.

For a surprising number of my kid's friends, IBx has been more demanding emotionally & organizationally than they could handle, even for academic outliers. Also, teachers are saying that the writing of IBx sophomores is not where it should be for IB. Many are not completing the program.

I understand why the staff is rethinking this.

-IHS parent

Anonymous said...

Also, teachers are saying that the writing of IBx sophomores is not where it should be for IB.

Can we acknowledge that part of the problem is with middle school HCC? A strong freshman year can go only so far in making up for the years of poor writing instruction (or lack thereof) and weak curricula. The same goes for math and science.

As a side note, I've been told Interlakes's program prepares students to take both the AP and IB exams. It's a very different program from Ingraham's, and the students probably had more challenging pre-IB courses through middle school.

Anonymous said...

Can we acknowledge that part of the problem is with middle school HCC? A strong freshman year can go only so far in making up for the years of poor writing instruction (or lack thereof) and weak curricula. The same goes for math and science.


RosieReader said...

8th Grade Parent said "I am disappointed that this decision seems driven by the district's failure to support IBX at IHS. The senior year plan (supposed to be modeled after Interlake) never materialized, and seniors couldn't get 4 years of English, internships weren't in place, students had to scramble for online classes, etc."

I'm not sure where 8th Grade Parent got this info, but much of it is wrong. Last year's IBX seniors had a really terrific English class taught by a North Seattle professor that those who took it raved about. Ditto the reviews for the sociology class most of them also took. There were certainly some who opted to do an on-line english class, which, in part, covered books they had read in previous years. I've never heard from any of those participants how that went, but it would be interesting to find out.

There was definitely a slow start on figuring out the internships, but lots of students had terrific internship experiences.

And while the program was modeled, in part, on an approach once used at Interlake, it was never meant to be an exact replica. Even if it had been, it's important to note that Interlake moved away from that approach in the past 2 or 3 years.

And from everything I've heard, the IBX kids did just fine in the college admissions process.

I'm curious about the basis for your comment that the District hasn't supported IBX at Ingraham. I would certainly agree that SPS is not adequately supporting IB at any of the three IB high schools, but I haven't heard anything about a failure to support IBX at Ingraham.

Certainly, there were growing pains/a learning curve with the first IBX cohort. And some of the things that worked very well (the English and sociology courses) are no longer possible because of changes made by the legislature, but it looks like the IB team at Ingraham is trying to figure out how to best structure the program to achieve the best outcomes for those students for whom IB makes more sense than taking APP classes.

Anonymous said...


I got my information from a senior who graduated from IBX at Ingraham last year, and I heard all about the trials they had as the first cohort. The staff were great - and all the teachers are fab and overworked, but no, not everyone had a peachy time and not all got the great English class. The online class was not a huge hit with everyone as well - and seniors should not have to take online English. It should be a basic class to be provided by the school/district. It was all a scramble, as it was clear there wasn't really a senior year planned beyond internships and a few electives. I blame the district because IB and IBX are expensive, and they can't put it all on the school. Either start the program and support it (parents shouldn't be responsible for doing everything from finding internships to online classes). And as far as college, that is a tired argument that everyone has used to justify APP/HCC's efficacy for years. "Because Student X got into Williams, the program must be amazing!" - those kids are amazing, and the ones that got into great schools all earned it. But I would say it was not because of the school or the District - it was in spite of. The kids who are stars are always going to shine. But what about the ones who aren't in that top 25%? No one mentions them. Not everyone had a stellar experience - and I know this first hand from a class of 2015 grad. I will definitely say this - the ones whose parents were there all the time, volunteering and advocating every step of the way, in Floe's office and otherwise, did better. They were also a tight group. Not everyone was in it. I'm sure they were even aware of the kids more on the edges.

-8th grade parent

Anonymous said...

^I meant I am not sure they were even aware.

8th grade parent

Maureen said...

8th grade parent, You do know that the ones who took the online class chose that in place of the North Seattle College class because they thought it would be better?

I understand that it was stressful for some of that initial cohort. It can be really difficult to break new ground like that (for the students and the staff.) Overall, I have not heard that the graduates fared any better or worse in college placements than they may have at Garfield (which is the apt comparison). Of course there is no real way to tell.

My kid is a senior, 2nd year IB student (not IBX). Some of her IBX classmates have fit right in with the students a year older than them and will make really good use of their time at Ingraham. Others might have been better off taking some more electives and writing/analysis oriented classes their sophomore year. I'm glad the Ingraham staff is willing to examine the effectiveness of the program and find a way to make it the best experience for as many kids as possible.

One plus of IBX over IB is that seniors are done with their Extended Essays and Theory of Knowledge class so they aren't trying to balance those (and keeping their GPAs up) with writing their college apps and taking additional SATs or ACTs if necessary. That gives them an advantage in the college application process over the IB seniors. They also have the time to study abroad or do internships which IB seniors cannot. Whether that is worth the (not insignificant) stress of doing IB as a 15-17 year old instead of as a 16-18 year old really depends on the individual. And, of course, full IB is not a good fit for everyone anyway.

RosieReader said...

Not to rehash the English issue, which was a fervent topic of conversation last fall, but I think it bears clarifying. Some members of last year's cohort felt that they would not get into good colleges unless they took "a full year of English" in their senior year, which they defined to mean a class that was called "english" or "language arts" or something similar. They did not feel like the classes taught by the NS professors at Ingraham met this requirement, despite reassurance from Ingraham staff and counselors that no colleges were going to impose such an arbitrary requirement on students who were obviously incredibly accomplished, to the point where they had completed all their graduation requirements by the end of junior year. These students felt their needs would be better served by taking an on-line course and found one for themselves that they all felt would better serve their needs.

There was room in the classes taught by the NS professors for all the students who opted, instead, for the on-line class. But again, they didn't want to take those classes.

I'm sorry I didn't speak clearly on the question of getting into schools. I certainly wasn't suggesting that the fact that they're all in colleges now means that all is well. I was just responding to the argument made by the students last year (and their parents) who insisted that they would be rejected by good colleges if they took the NS offerings (which, to repeat, they viewed as failing to meet what they believed to be a requirement that they take a full year of English.) My point was, that of the students I knew who chose to take the NS courses, they seemed to all get into the high quality schools of their choice. So the concern of the students who opted for the on-line class, that the NS courses were going them back from admission to high quality schools, appears not to have been validated by the actual results.

Anonymous said...

Rosie Reader,

You said " And some of the things that worked very well (the English and sociology courses) are no longer possible because of changes made by the legislature . . ."

What are these changes, and what now is the plan for LA and SS options for senior year for IBx students? I am the parent of an IBx sophomore, and this is the first I've heard that these courses are no longer possible.

Wondering RamMom

RosieReader said...

I don't know the details, but my understanding is that community college teachers can't teach at the high schools any more. Many if they offer those sorts of classes (college level) the educator needs to be qualified, which I think means they have a Ph.D. In the appropriate area. I believe that Mr. Ferguson, who I'm pret sure has a Ph.D., is teaching a language arts class that is directed primarily at the ibx seniors, though it's not limited to that cohort. I don't know I any more details than that. Maybe the parent of an ibx senior can clarify.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. I can see the concern about program quality and support. But this discussion is diving into concern about getting students into ivies, Stanford, or similar ilk. Can any one school send more than 10-20% of its graduates to these schools? Is there a % people are expecting IBX to reasonably deliver? Can Interlake set its own quota? I doubt it. Interlake sends it graduates all over, some ivies, many not, and it has the highest number of National Honors in the area.


Maureen said...

I think most HCC parents would say that their goal is to have their kids engaged in learning, to be challenged and not to have to relearn material or move slowly because of their classmates. I'm sure there are some who aim explicitly at Ivies (HYPS... for those in the know ), but they probably know that those are "lottery schools" even for the top X%.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Maureen. In fact, one of the things I was referring to is that the top, top IBX kids didn't mind so much about the English thing because as RosieReader pointed out, those schools wouldn't penalize you for not having the full year because they are taking a pretty close look at the application. Where it hurt was bigger schools (UMich, BU, Berkerley, etc) where they are getting tens of thousands of applications and it's a box to check, with no explanation. And again, I really don't like the position that an Ivy or top school is either a) the goal of advanced learning or b) proof that the program is working. I need my kid to have 4 years of engaged learning in high school, without trying to cobble pieces together, and I can't be a full time (or even part time) volunteer at the school like some parents can. (And it is great if you can - it's just hard to hear, "just do it online, or outside school, or in the summer or find an internship!" because they made that happen for their kid. I wished the district had provided more support so parents didn't have to pick up so much slack in the IBX.

8th grade parent

Maureen said...

8th grade parent, you say Where it hurt do you know of cases where IB diploma students were rejected from UMich, BU, Berkerley explicitly because they didn't take English for two semesters in 12th grade? I can't understand how they could be, since those kids actually had an IB diploma in hand when they applied (if they scored well enough to get one, which virtually all of the candidates did.) They finished HS early. Schools like that must get students like that all of the time (let alone home schooled and foreign students.) True, the box has to be checked, but there is also another box to describe your circumstance (a UW admissions director said exactly that at an info session at Ingraham last year.)

Note that UMich and Berkeley are super hard to get into from out of state, maybe up there with HYPS? I haven't done the math. (BU is a private school and doesn't have formula based admissions.)

I need my kid to have 4 years of engaged learning in high school, without trying to cobble pieces together I absolutely agree and think your kid is much more likely to get that at Ingraham than at many other Seattle High Schools. Garfield has a history of doing that to students (especially if they want more than two years of a foreign language.) We've been at Ingraham for four years now and the only class I have heard them advise to take online is Health (and that is when kids want to keep their schedule clear for more academic classes.) I have never heard of a case where a kid was required to take a core class online (the AP English class was a choice of the families.) Ingraham has been really great at moving schedules around to make room for the kids who want or need a class. I hope you land at a place that works well for your family!

Bruce B said...

IBX has worked well for my kid (now a senior). It was a huge amount of work but I don't think postponing it a year would have helped, especially with the need to take a bunch of intensive IB exams in May of senior year.

I wish Ingraham offered more help with internships, more college courses (surely the rules about location of college courses can be changed or evaded), and more IB or AP courses (political science? economics?). She came up with a good set of post-IB courses, but more choices would have been better. On the other hand, coming up with a set of pre-IB courses for 10th grade -- at least from the current Ingraham offerings -- would have been even harder. In particular, a year with no math except AP Stats (which is seemingly what most IBX kids would take in 10th grade under this proposal) seems bad for kids who are into math. Also even though IB math is solid, it unfortunately doesn't prepare kids for the Calculus BC AP exam, but at least now those kids can take Calculus C online in 12th grade.

Anonymous said...

So what IS IB math? Does it correspond to the regular math track? My 8th grader is taking geometry, and I would guess Algebra 2 as a 9th grader, then precalc then calc, I think. How would it work if she were to attend Ingraham's IB program?


Mom of 8th grader

Michael Rice said...

Hello Mom of 8th Grader

If your child is in Geometry this year, next year they will take Algebra 2 Honors, which at Ingraham is an Algebra 2/Pre-Calculus class. Students who do well in this course have historically done great in AP Calculus, which they could take as a 10th grader, and IB Math. Your child will be well prepared. We are in our 12th year of doing this and we have sent students to universities all across the country.

Ingraham offers 3 IB Math classes that we test in. IB Math HL (Higher Level) is a two year course that basically covers the same material as Math 124 and Math 125 at the University of Washington.

IB Math SL (Standard Level) is a one year class that basically covers the same material as Math 120 and Math 124 at the University of Washington. In 2007 the Thomas Fordham Institute did a study that compared IB and AP. While they had issues with both IB Math SL and AP Calculus, they found the IB class to be slightly more rigorous. I have that report and if you would like to read it, e-mail me and I will send it to you.

The 3rd class we offer is IB Math Studies. The IB has decided not to make calculus a barrier to getting an IB diploma, so they offer this class. It is a survey class that covers an interesting and wide range of subjects: Statistics, Algebra, Geometry, Currency Conversions, Metric System, Trigonometry, Logic, and an Intro to Calculus. It is for the non-mathy IB student.

To Bruce B, I would not be so eager to dismiss AP Statistics. Given the explosion of data that is freely available because of the internet, the people who will be able to add value, will be the people who can take that data and turn it into information. I like to say that Calculus is the math that drove the industrial revolution. Therefore it is the math of the 19th century. Statistics is the math driving the information age, therefore it is the math of the 21st century.

Here is a brief clip from someone who should know:

The University of Washington values AP Statistic. Score a 3 or above on the AP Stats exam and the UW gives you credit for Stats 311. A 3 or above on AP Calculus gives you credit for Math 124.

I did a quick look at the majors at the UW and as far as I can tell, the only major that does not require at least one Statistics class is Education (oh, the irony of that).

IB Math is a rigorous and challenging course (just like the entire IB program) that is taught by veteran teachers who know how to engage students. You will not be disappointed with the education your child will receive at Ingraham.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me.

Michael A.Rice
Room 42
Ingraham HS

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that, Michael Rice.

When talking about AP Calculus, it's also helpful to provide clarity re: AB vs. BC level Calc. From your description, it sounds like IB Math HL is in many ways comparable to an AP Calc BC class (a score of 4-5 on the Calc BC exam earns UW credit for both Math 124 and 125), whereas the IB Math SL is comparable to--thought perhaps a little less comprehensive than--AP Calc AB (a 5 on the Calc BC exam can still earn you credit for Math 125, although you indicated the IB class only covers the material of Math 120 and 124). Does that sound about right in terms of AP-IB comparability?

On a related note, do you have any insights into why UW offers so little credit for IB Math vs. AP Calc? It looks like you need a 7 on the IB Math exam to get credit for Math 124, and that's the most math credit you can get via IB. More mediocre scores on either level AP Calc exam can earn you the same, and high scores on either can earn you credit for 125 as well. Is it just a matter of UW not really understanding IB classes well? Or is the material covered in a different way, such that students don't have all the same skills they'd need to skip further ahead?

I also have a couple questions about IHS math course availability. The only course catalog I could find on the IHS website is for '14-'15, but I saw that it does not list AP Calc BC, only AB. Does IHS really not offer AP Calc BC? And is IB "Further Mathematics" offered every year--and if so, is that likely to remain the case even if the IBX is eliminated in favor of IB only?


Anonymous said...

Not knowing what UW Math 120, 124, and 125 were, I looked up a sample syllabus. Math 120 uses a Precalculus text and Math 124 and 125 use a Calculus text.

So, IB math SL is like Precalculus and IB math HL is a mix of Precalculus and Calculus?

Without IBX, students entering Ingraham, having had Geometry in 8th, would then take:
9 - Algebra 2 (includes some precalculus)
10 - AP Calculus (AB?) or AP Statistics
11 - SL math or HL math
12 - AP Statistics (or AP Calculus if Stats taken in 10th) or second year of HL math

Is this what's being suggested? It seems odd to take a precalculus class (IB math SL) before Calculus. Current IBX students can take:

9 - Algebra 2
10 - IB math SL or IB math HL
11- AP Calculus or second year of IB math HL
12 - AP Stats

A class of students at JAMS is taking Algebra 2 in 8th grade. What is the suggested math progression for students having taken Algebra 2 in 8th (IB or IBX)? It would be helpful for parents to have suggested math pathways (for 4 years) - both IB and no IBX - based on their 8th grade course and whether they plan on taking math SL or HL.

(and thank you, Mr. Rice)

Anonymous said...

I am wondering that, too. My 6th grader is taking algebra- does the move away from IBX mean two years without math if she goes to Ingraham? Argh, this was the plan(for her to go to Ingraham), but am I reading this right? That's hard to swallow for a math-y kid.


Anonymous said...

There is math, but without IBX it seems the options zig zag through the math progression, which possibly forces some repetition in the later years and creates a big jump for a 9th grader, unless I'm not understanding the options. A possible progression, based on current class offerings, could be:

9 - AP Calculus AB
10 - AP Stats
11 - IB math HL
12 - IB math HL

And what if an advanced math student wants to opt for HL in biology, not math?

Anonymous said...

I would think they'd still offer the 2-yr IB Math HL class even if they dropped the IBX, so a student taking Alg 2 in 8th grade might do the following:

9- PreCalc
10- AP Calc AB or AP Stats
11 - IB Math HL
12 - IB Math HL (yr2)

If they keep the IBX option, you could just move the IB Math HL course up a year, then fill in with AP Stats or some additional Calculus (to be able to pass the AP Calc BC exam) in the senior year. Or possibly IB Further Math, if the offer it.


Anonymous said...

One additional thought: The pacing above is likely to be frustrating for very strong math students. Pre-Calc doesn't really need to be a whole year, and IB Math HL will cover a lot of the material in Calc AB and AP Stats. Redundancy and repetition can be good for some kids, but not others. (Note: the IHS catalog says kids need PreCalc, but maybe they let them skip it and go straight into Calc as 9th graders?) Regardless, the IB Math HL will entail repetition of whatever they've already taken.

For a very advanced and passionate math student who is motivated and learns well independently, you might also consider outside options. Online honors-level courses (e.g., those through Johns Hopkins CTY and Stanford EPGY program) can be pricy, but we found the depth and rigor to be unmatched by anything we've seen in public schools. And you can start taking college-level courses in middle or high school if you're ready.


Benjamin Leis said...

Btw: I'm gearing up to do a fall math thread fairly soon now. Also if you'd be willing to email me @HIMSmom I'd love to have an offline conversation.

Anonymous said...

I think one issue is that the Algebra 2 offered in middle school is not equivalent to the Algebra 2 honors class at IHS. The honors class covers more concepts, at a higher level, in order to prepare them for IB math. Some HCC students struggled in the honors Algebra 2 class. It requires a very good algebra foundation that not all students have (especially if they've learned Algebra primarily from Discovering Algebra and CMP).

RosieReader said...

I would love to hear from students who took HL Math, or from Mike Rice. I have always heard it is an incredibly rigorous and demanding class. I proctoroed (or, in IB terms, invigilated) that exam last May, and unlike every other IB exam I ever invigilated, not one single student left early. Every student took every moment they had on that said to me that it was incredibly demanding, which is consistent with everything I've heard about HL Math.

Anonymous said...

HIMSmom, the IB diploma program requires taking 3 SL and 3 HL classes, one of which needs to be math. When would they take the online classes? They have to take IB math in order to get the diploma. Also, online classes should be the last resort, and may be fine for a motivated student (that can afford it), but most students need to take a class at school. Discussions around IB/IBX need to plan for the varying math levels of HCC students. They may not be able to serve outliers, but they should, at a minimum, have a reasonable plan for the students taking Algebra 2 in middle school.

Anonymous said...

@ Rosie Reader, I'd say a rigorous and challenging exam doesn't necessarily mean there isn't also a lot of repetition of material over a 4-yr period, nor does it mean it prepares the kids for more advanced college math classes. An exam can be demanding in different ways.

@ Anon at 11:34, agreed. Kids who really want an IB diploma should have solid math options available. But my point was that for some--not all--very strong, motivated and passionate math kids, the IB math options might not be enough. If you do the program 11th-12th grades, you'll be looking at IB Math HL (2yrs) as your most rigorous option. Since it covers Calc AB and BC type material as well as stats, no matter what you do in 9th-10th is likely to be fairly repetitive. There's not a great option for getting a fast-moving math sequence for the strongest math students on the typical IB timeline.

If you do an IBX version, you'd at least have time for a more challenging class your senior year, after you're officially done with the IB program. There will likely still be some repetition or slow progress for the IBX students who take Alg 2 in middle school along the way, but not as bad as on the IB timeline.

If I were pushing for the strongest math pathway for IBX students, I'd probably push for this:

9-PreCalc/Trig (probably too slow) or AP Calc AB (would need to waive prerequisite)
10-IB Math HL (probably repetitive for those who took AP Calc AB)
11-IB Math HL 2nd yr
12-IB Further Mathematics or something like Mutlivariable Calculus via online or Running Start

But I don't see many options for a suitable math pathway for advanced students if they're on the traditional IB timeline, do you?


Anonymous said...

I think you just clarified a concern, HIMSmom. Without an IBX pathway, some HCC students would be without a clear math pathway. They might be left with the choice of leaving their cohort to follow the IBX pathway (if allowed) in order to advance in math, or stay with their cohort, but be left with fewer math options. How many students are on this pathway? One class at HIMS, one class at JAMS, and WMS? After students split between IHS and Garfield (if those are the choices...) it's maybe one full class?


Anonymous said...

I didn't know until recently that HL LA and HL social studies are required to be 2/3 HL classes. Students can take 4 HL classes though, so for students who want to take an HL math and a science - that is possible.

HIMS Mom - I get the sense from reading your posts over time, that your child may be a true outlier in math. There are kids who are good at math and then there are kids who ARE GOOD AT MATH! This is neither here nor there, but I don't want people to think the math pathway is not rigorous enough for the "average" HCC student v. an "outlier" HCC student. My apologies if I'm calling this wrong. I think the pathway seems very reasonable and plenty rigorous for a kid coming in as a freshman taking Alg II or even calculus. But then my kids got their math genes from their dad!


Anonymous said...

Students can take 4 HL classes though, so for students who want to take an HL math and a science - that is possible.

Possible, yes, but probably not advisable.

Anonymous said...

Gigi, it's probably true that the pathway is rigorous enough for the "average" HCC student. For a kid coming in taking Geom or Alg 2 as a freshman, I agree with you. For a kid coming in taking Calculus, I'm not so sure. Probably for some, and probably not for others. Four years devoted to high school calculus and stats seems like a lot. But who knows, maybe the extra breadth and rigor will keep those kids satisfied anyway.

Re: outliers, I fully understand that HCC cannot be expected to do much in the way of serving extreme outliers--and nothing I am advocating for re: the math pathway would have been anywhere near sufficient for my own child, trust me. I'm not operating under a belief that HCC should have provided an appropriate math pathway in our case. I am, however, a firm believer that HCC should also be able to serve HCC students who are SOMEWHAT more advanced than their HCC peers--because there's a wide range of abilities even within HCC, right? While the typical HCC student may enter high school ready for Geometry or Alg 2, there seems to be an increasing number taking Alg 2 in 8th grade. And some of those would have been ready for even more, and sooner, had it been available.

As Ingraham grows as an HCC pathway school, I suspect it will see more and more students who need a bit more in math. It's my hope that there will be good options for those kids who are somewhere between the "average" HCC student and the extreme outlier. A move away from IBX seems likely to impact those kids the most.


Anonymous said...

Actually there are currently 20-25 eight graders taking Algebra 2 at JAMS. So I'm not sure I would call them true outliers.

I do hope they can map a good pathway for these kids. And as HIMSmom mentions, in the future there will be more kids in this situation, not less.


Anonymous said...

Fair enough, HIMS mom!


Anonymous said...

HIMS Mom, what is the most advanced math sequence Garfield offers?

Anonymous said...

Honors Pre-Calculus
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Statistics

Anything higher would have to be taken off campus.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bruce B said...

Michael Rice: I definitely don't dismiss AP Statistics. It's a valuable class; one of my kids took it at Ingraham and my other kid is taking it at his school. My point was just that IBX kids who are strong in math would also like something more challenging, such as Math HL, in 10th grade.

Mother of MS and HS students said...

After having one child do IBX, I urged her younger sibling to stay on the regular IB track. My perspective is that MOST "gifted" students will do better to start the IB program in 11th grade.

1st: The IB curriculum is VERY rigorous. I saw too many smart IBX 10th graders "bomb" out because they lacked the emotional maturity and time management to handle the load. The issue was maturity, NOT about how smart they were.

2nd: I've seen few IBX students get much benefit out of finishing the IB diploma early -- especially compared to the cost in terms of stress. Two students in the first cohort used it as an opportunity to graduate early. A few more had meaningful internship that helped them focus their career interests. But many just took classes.

My younger child used 10th grade year to dig into school activities, strengthen writing (which is the skill most closely associated with developmental age) and grow up a bit -- while IBX friends seemed to mostly spend their time being stressed. Taking one IB class in 10th grade provided a good level of challenge.

And regarding whether the early IB diploma pays off in college admissions: last year both IB and IBX students fared about equally in terms of where they got it. What mattered more was the students grades and extra curriculars, not when they got their IB diploma.

Anonymous said...

The need to strengthen writing may be partly associated with developmental age, but I'd argue it's more a result of the crap writing instruction they've had up to that point. Highly capable 10th graders are more than capable of writing well if they can get a strong foundation in middle school. Which they can't, in SPS, without supplementation.

Maureen said...

My kid was at TOPS K-8, and, I think had exceptional writing prep. She also had tested into APP in an earlier grade (though not for 9th grade because of 7th grade math MAP scores.) I'm glad we didn't appeal her into IBX. IB has been challenging, but almost perfect. Extended Essays were submitted tonight! About 4000 words of high level analysis. .. these kids will be so ready for college!

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late to this discussion but with an IBX kid (now a senior), I would hate to see the IBX option go away. It is not for all HCC kids but having the option of IB or IBX is a good balance. My kid is not overly organized but did well in IBX (with a few rough patches) and is enjoying the more flexible Senior year. The colleges we have talked to are impressed with the IBX curriculum. With a Second kiddo, currently in 8th grade, I really hope Ingraham keeps the IBX option. 2 graduating cohorts (one this year) does not provide enough data for such a significant change as eliminating the HCC pathway (IBX). Signed- Very Happy IBX Parent

Maureen said...

Diploma Candidate Extended Essay oral presentations are scheduled at Ingraham on Thursday 11/19 and Tuesday 11/24 at 7 PM. Meet in the library and then chose which small group to attend. The students began work on the papers last spring (in theory at least!) and turned in about 4000 words at the end of October. Presentations are 10 minutes each with 5 minutes for Q&A. Topics are all over the place (from music to math, from psychology to physics) and give a good indication of what the IB program is all about. I'll try to post an assortment of titles after the presentations happen so you can get a sense of the range.

Current IBx Student said...

As a current IBx student, I personally am an advocate for the program. I am in my first year of IBx as a tenth grader, and I am finding it quite manageable. It is definitely a rigorous program, but most definitely not unreasonable. I am currently able to manage a part-time job and athletics while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and still having time to spend with family and friends. I know many IB seniors who are very busy between college applications and The IB course load. I am still in the early stages of the program, but at this point I feel that is is highly beneficial to have the senior year available for college applications and additional courses, free from the rigor and stress of IB.

As for people concerned about math courses, I myself am in an SL Math class, and find it plenty challenging, being a English person myself. However, my close friend, who is most definitely a math person (she was on math team all through middle school) is taking HL Math as a tenth grader and is finding it satisfyingly difficult.

As for English, I agree that the middle school courses definitely need improvement. Being highly advanced in English myself, I can't directly speak to this, but that is definitely an area for improvement.

-Current IBx Student