The days where Advanced Placement classes were the only upper-level course offered to excelling students may be fading, as a relatively new curriculum, International Baccalaureate, is being embraced at Long Island schools.
At the start of the 2012 school year, nine Long Island school districts will offer the curriculum, including , Commack, Northport-East Northport, Bay Shore, Sag Harbor and West Islip in Suffolk County.
Commack School District was one of the first districts on Long Island to start offering the IB program in January 1999, according to the organization's website.
The IB curriculum, according to a Newsday story published Monday on the topic, has so far been a hit in districts that have decided to pay the thousands in fees needed to set up the program, which puts more of an emphasis on critical thinking and writing.
Critics, on the other hand, usually blast the cost of the program or its international endorsement.
From the Newsday article:
Experts and proponents say the IB high school curriculum gives students an edge because of its global perspective and rigor. Many students strive for the coveted IB diploma, which requires completion of at least seven advanced courses in their junior and senior years, including mathematics, science, English literature and history.
The courses emphasize essays and oral presentations, and a 4,000-word paper and community service are mandated.
Commack school officials claim that Commack has one of the largest IB Diploma classes in all of North America, and the size of the classes has grown 44 percent since 2006-207, according to their 2012-13 budget presentation.
We'd like to ask, are you satisfied with the International Baccalaureate program in Commack Schools? Does it live up to the claims and help with college admissions? What, if any, shortfalls does the program have?