March 23, 2012

Mayor Emanuel, CPS Announce Plan to Create 10 New International Baccalaureate Diploma Programmes in Public High Schools

University of Chicago Study Recognized IB Programme for its Success in Preparing Students for College

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Jean-Claude Brizard today announced that CPS will create 10 new International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programmes in high schools across the city and outlined plans to directly inform parents and community members about the benefits of this college prep program before selecting schools.

“Nothing is more important than the education of our children and students who complete this program have proven its success,” said Mayor Emanuel.  “Expanding the IB Programme to 10 more schools allows us to provide students and families from across the city with another option and another opportunity for a high-quality education.”

The new IB programs will be located in existing neighborhood high schools. Each of the District’s five regional collaboratives will receive one new IB campus that solely offers IB curriculum.  Five additional schools will offer the IB curriculum in addition to traditional curriculum. CPS will launch a community engagement process to allow stakeholders from all communities to provide feedback on the location of these new IB high schools. “We have seen that our IB Programmes are making a tremendous impact on our students, as they prepare to be college and career ready,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “We look forward to working with parents and community members to determine where these programs will best serve the academic needs of students who want to receive this globally-focused, specialized education.”

This strategic expansion is a part of the city’s continuing effort to provide high quality school options for every student in every neighborhood. The five full school IB Programmes and five additional IB Programmes within schools will open in fall 2013 with final authorization set for 2016.

The IB Diploma Programme is a comprehensive and challenging college preparatory program for academically advanced and highly motivated students in grades 11 and 12, which has garnered worldwide recognition for its high academic standards.

A recent report by the University of Chicago Consortium concludes that when compared to students with similar academic performance upon entering high school, IB students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and 50 percent more likely to attend a more selective college. IB students leave high school with extremely strong qualifications for college, which in turn, makes them very competitive for college admissions. The study also found that IB students from CPS who attended four-year colleges were significantly more likely to persist in college for at least two years. While in college, IB students report feeling prepared to succeed and excel in their coursework, often stating that their experiences in the program taught specific skills and behaviors necessary for the challenges of college-level work.

Approximately 75 percent of CPS’ IB students are African-American and Latino, and live in low-income neighborhoods, the majority being first generation college students.

CPS will work with principals and network chiefs to establish a set of criteria for IB Programme placement, and in the coming weeks, CPS will outline the process for directly engaging parents, Community Action Councils, Local School Councils, faith leaders, other local community groups and local elected officials in considering specific school locations for all the 10 new programs. Additionally, CPS will review all community plans that have been submitted to ensure that those who identified IB as a preference have a fair review.

CPS expects to announce the locations of the new programs in the fall.  IB students are selected for enrollment using grades, ISAT results from 7th grade, and an in-person interview.  Preference is given to neighborhood applicants.  The IB Programme application process begins in October and students are notified in the spring.

Students apply to the IB Programme before their freshman year in high school and those accepted are enrolled into an honors or Middle Years Programme for 9th and 10th grade. After 10th grade, students apply to the IB Diploma Programme for 11th and 12th grade.  IB students study six courses at higher level or standard level, and receive a breadth of experience in languages, social studies, experimental sciences and mathematics. Coursework aims to help students become culturally and internationally aware, open-minded and confident in another language other than English.

CPS currently offers IB programmes to approximately 3,500 students throughout the city at 13 high schools: Amundsen, Bogan, Curie, Hubbard, Hyde Park, Kelly, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, Prosser, Steinmetz, Senn, Taft, and Washington.  Ogden and Shore South Shore International College Prep have recently opened and are going through the authorization process. There are also programs at 21 CPS elementary schools.

The Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 405,000 students in more than 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system.


# # #