I want to see International Baccalaureate Program exam performance for black and poor students enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools. It has been more than six years since MCPS publicly shared IB exam performance data.
Eight county high schools offer the IB program: Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Einstein, Kennedy, Richard Montgomery, Rockville, Seneca Valley, Springbrook, and Watkins Mill.
Here are the specific facts and figures I’d like to see MCPS release for all eight IB high schools and for the high schools individually:
- Number of students enrolled in IB courses (including grades), by subgroups.
- Number of students participating in IB exams (including scores), by subgroups.
- Number of students earning the IB diploma, by subgroups.
These facts and figures ought to be shared annually.
I’m especially interested in the number of black and poor students earning the IB diploma. Years ago, I challenged Jay Mathews of The Washington Post to obtain the above data from MCPS. Mathews failed at what seems like a pretty easy task. How hard can it be for a modern data-driven school district to produce simple facts and figures?
But I’m really interested in the numbers because it relates back to my involvement with the proposed Jaime Escalante Public Charter School, which the Montgomery County Board of Education voted down twice (once in 1999 and again in 2004). That public charter’s mission was to take poor kids of color and have each—as in all of them—earn the IB diploma. (No testing the waters with an IB course here and there—the full Monty and nothing but the full Monty).
So, that school would have turned out 75 IB scholars each year. Is MCPS currently hitting such numbers for its poor kids of color? It's pure speculation on my part, but I’ll go out on a limb here and say no.