The federal Institute of Education Sciences, the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the popular college-prep curriculum used in schools.
The IES has awarded a $700,000 grant to the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education to carry out the project. The study will be the first quantitative study of the relationship between participating in the college-prep program and how well students actually do in higher education, according to IB officials.
The study results will provide “important insights into student outcomes in postsecondary education and how well the IB prepares students for college and university,” said Beth Brock, global director of policy and research for IB, in a statement. The IB program, founded in 1968, works with 2,577 schools in 134 countries. The main alternative to it is the Advanced Placement program, which is run by the College Board.
The study will rely on research indicators of academic readiness for college, access to college, persistence in college, among other factors, analyzing 12 years of data from the Florida K-20 Education Data Warehouse and the National Student Clearinghouse. It is scheduled to be finished in 2011.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.