IB ( International Boondoggle )

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Chi Meson
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IB ("International Boondoggle")

Yesterday, I learned that my school is letting go of the IB program.

As Buster Bluth would say : "Oh thank god." (for 2% of you out there)

I started with a 40% dislike of the IB program in physics, which moved up to 60% when they decided that the coefficient of static friction could never be more than 1.0 (therefore nothing could be at rest on an angle greater than 45 degrees).

Some things about IB I have liked, but overall I found the most distasteful aspect of the program was the cost. I think that the community just found out about that, and in this economy, that's all it takes.

I am looking forward to my return to teaching the AP. Woo-hoooo!
 

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Really? I had the impression that the IB was the best education system in the world! (Don't ask me where I got that idea...) So you think it's not very good? I see it is accepted by many universities though, e.g. http://www.ibo.org/country/university_info.cfm?INSTITUTE_CODE=000768&current_country=GB" [Broken] of Harvard graduate. And:
http://www.ibo.org/country/university_info.cfm?university_name=Harvard%20University&current_country=UNITED%20STATES [Broken]
So you think AP is better? And what about the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GCE_Advanced_Level" [Broken]? I'm just interested in the quality of the different education programs and which is the best, or very good.
 
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they decided that the coefficient of static friction could never be more than 1.0 (therefore nothing could be at rest on an angle greater than 45 degrees).
There was THAT much micromanagement?
 
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Chi Meson
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Really? I had the impression that the IB was the best education system in the world! (Don't ask me where I got that idea...) So you think it's not very good?
I repeat: "60% dislike." It was not "bad," but the number of things that irritated me was growing. It has the potential to be great if the entire school is on board, and if the individual students involved are super-motivated. We unfortunately lacked the first, and honestly didn't have enough of the second. It is horrifically and unnecessarily expensive. The tests use up a ridiculous amount of paper (a single muliple choice question on one page is common). Each and every year, there is at least one egregious error in the exam (often more than that), so bad that the question has to be thrown out completely. Several questions (such as the friction question) demonstrate one person within the IBO that has a tiny axe to grind, or a unimportant hair to split. One multiple choice question a few years back was: "What's the proper definition of displacement: A--the straight line distance, including direction, between the position of an object and a point of reference; B--the change in position, including direction, of an object relative to a point of reference [C and D were throw-away wrong choices]." They did the same thing with "Latent Heat," where if you didn't make the distinction between that and "Specific Latent Heat" you would get it wrong.

They also change the curriculum around every few years, requiring a teacher to be "retrained" over the summer in some too-hot place like Las Vegas or Ft. Lauderdale. I went to two "re-trainings" in 6 years, and chewed through about $8000 in flight, food, and hotel, to listen to a guy doing a presentation that I could have done myself (only better).

I taught many students in an AP class (and I went "beyond the test") who went on to great success at MIT, Yale, WPI, RPI, FIT, and WTF--a good student will do well if you give them the goods, and those goods do not need to have the IB stamp on them.
 
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Chi Meson
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One multiple choice question a few years back was: "What's the proper definition of displacement: A--the straight line distance, including direction, between the position of an object and a point of reference; B--the change in position, including direction, of an object relative to a point of reference
I am curious as to the intended right answer. I don't like either of them. A has the sign wrong; you don't go from the object to the reference point, you go from the reference point to the object. B suggests that displacement cannot be used except for objects in motion.
 
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Chi Meson
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I am curious as to the intended right answer. I don't like either of them. A has the sign wrong; you don't go from the object to the reference point, you go from the reference point to the object. B suggests that displacement cannot be used except for objects in motion.
I was quickly trying to recall the actual wording and I did make that error (oops). If you give me a day or two, I can scan through my back copies for the word-for-word.

My point was that they would put an absurd emphasis on minute and inconsequential details of a definition. Considering that this was one of only 30 MC questions for the entire exam, and they were making a distinction between "displacement" and "change in displacement." Especially irritating since "change in displacement" is "displacement" from a different point of reference.
 
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MIT, Yale, WPI, RPI, FIT, and WTF
Good old WTF! What would we do without a place that accepts students who can't get into MIT et al.? :biggrin:
 
  • #9
Chi Meson
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Whoops, spoke too soon!

Turns out the entire IB program is not going away (from my school--yet!), they are just trimming it for next year, and IB Physics will not be in the offering. Same result for me, but I felt I should clarify it especially since several of my students are trolling and lurking around this forum.
 
  • #10
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Good old WTF! What would we do without a place that accepts students who can't get into MIT et al.? :biggrin:
I never got into MIT. Don't think I ever could, even if I were able to maintain the top of my game through mid/high school.

(smirk) My post-graduate footprint on our planet, however, has surpassed that of most MIT grads, so I consider that a fait accompli. Best of luck to them!
 

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