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ERIC Number: ED532512
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 72
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 53
Working to My Potential: The Postsecondary Experiences of CPS Students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
Coca, Vanessa; Johnson, David; Kelley-Kemple, Thomas; Roderick, Melissa; Moeller, Eliza; Williams, Nicole; Moragne, Kafi
Consortium on Chicago School Research
In 1997, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced an ambitious plan to open 13 International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs (IBDP) in neighborhood high schools throughout the city. Hoping to replicate the success achieved in the long-standing IB program at Lincoln Park High School, the scale of the IB experiment was unmatched by any other school district in the United States at that time. The move to expand IBDPs to neighborhood schools across Chicago was met with some skepticism. Some believed the district was naive to think it could replicate the exceptional outcomes of students in the IBDP at Lincoln Park High School--one of the most selective magnet programs in CPS. Other critics were skeptical that CPS could expand IBDPs at such a rapid rate, doubting that CPS had the students or the teachers necessary to create a "true" IB experience (Kelleher 2001). Still others cried "elitism" and claimed that the new IB programs would track "gifted" students away from regular classrooms and possibly create racial/ethnic segregation within schools (Sharp 2001). More than 10 years has passed, and while the major concerns about expansion of IBDPs have not come to pass, there has been no research to date on whether IB has succeeded in providing a high-quality, college-preparatory experience for Chicago students. This report rigorously examines the impact of Chicago's neighborhood IB programs on the postsecondary outcomes of graduates of the classes of 2003-2007. The authors draw on quantitative data to estimate effects on college enrollment and persistence using a propensity matching technique and use student interview data from the authors' longitudinal qualitative study to investigate students' experiences in college. Key findings include: (1) When compared to a matched comparison group, IBDP students are 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college and 50 percent more likely to attend a more selective college; (2) IBDP students in four-year colleges are significantly more likely to persist in four-year colleges for two years; (3) Only 62 percent of students who enter the IB Cohort in ninth grade subsequently enroll in the IBDP in eleventh grade. There are no effects of IB participation for the 38 percent of students who do not complete the program; (4) When in college, IBDP students report feeling prepared to succeed and indeed excel in their coursework, often stating explicitly that their experiences in the IBDP taught the specific skills and behaviors demanded of them in college; and (5) Despite strong academic qualifications, IBDP students often have limited access to the social capital necessary to successfully navigate college course selection and establish relationships with college faculty. These findings have important implications for other urban districts interested in implementing IB programs. More broadly, they can help policymakers and practitioners better understand what it takes to promote college readiness in urban high schools. Appended are: (1) Quantitative Data Used in this Report; (2) Steps in Finding Students Who Were in the Pre-IBDP Cohort in the Ninth Grade; (3) Propensity Models and Full Lists of Variables Used in Chapter 1; (4) Description of Selectivity Ratings Used in this Report; (5) How We Calculate Two-Year Retention Rates in Four-Year Colleges, and (6) Full Results of Chapter 2 Outcome Models. (Contains 8 figures, 5 tables, 6 boxes and 3 footnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization.]
Consortium on Chicago School Research. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-702-3364; Fax: 773-702-2010; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation; William T. Grant Foundation
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Chicago School Research
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305R060059