An International Baccalaureate Growth Strategy

I recently ran into a teacher from my high school who has been active in the advancement and growth of the International Baccalaureate program (IB). I participated in the IB program – as a certificate, not a diploma candidate – I believe it was a great experience. The program was demanding and interesting.  Equally important, it helped prepare me more effectively for university.

The encounter – and the conversation – got me thinking about how IB should plan its expansion. Clearly one option is that it could expand in a uniform manner – pitching itself to districts in a more or less uniform manner. This is not their approach, and nor should it be. The fact is, some places in North America are going to be more receptive to IB than others. One option would be concentrating resources in places where the ground is most fertile and where success more readily achievable. In its strategic plan however, IB makes it clear that it does not want to only serve an educated elite. Consequentially I would advocate for a two pronged approach. One strategy for places where IB is going to be a relatively easy sell. Another for more hostile environments, where attitudes and resources will be harder to mobilize or change.

The only question remains. How to identify the two regions?

The answer, I believe, could reside in Richard Florida’s creative class maps.

If I were to imagine the type of parent interested in IB, it is likely one that believes in science, wants what is best for their child, has a broad, generally progressive, outlook on the world. They are probably interested in AP, but are even keener on something better. In short, present day IB kids are creative class kids. Their parents recognize the value of a strong education, and can generally afford the extra taxes currently necessary to subsidize such an education. Fortunately, Florida has mapped where the creative class lives in the United States. These maps are essentially demarcate the dividing line between areas that will be receptive and areas that will be more challenging for IB to establish itself. In short, IB should devise a “creative class” strategy and an “elsewhere” strategy. The two areas are likely very different in the questions that will need to be addressed, the allies located and mobilized, and the resources that will need to be marshaled.

(note: apparently IB is big in Texas, something that initially surprised me, but a look at this map suggests that, depending on where the IB schools are located, Texas is indeed fertile ground.)

Internationally, I might use Florida’s spiky world maps such as the one below which denotes patents per 10,000 people by region. The higher the spike, the greater the number of patents and the places where IB can most likely adopt it’s creative class strategy. The valley’s will probably require a different approach.

It would be fascinating to cross reference IB programs against these maps. I suspect there is already a high degree of correlation. Perhaps I’ll ask if they have any maps…

13 thoughts on “An International Baccalaureate Growth Strategy

  1. Pingback: David Eaves on IB growth strategy « Stepan Vdovine

  2. NewHampshire

    People are starting to find out what a trojan horse this program is through education. They are unreceptive to having to pay extra when their schools are already well-funded. This program defies local control and should be rejected across the board.Please visit and uspein@yahoogroups.comfor more information about the mission and purpose of IB.

  3. ObserverNY

    I like the motto of this site, very clever. I'm prepared to benchpress 250, are you Mr. Eaves? Are you employed by IBO? Why would anyone be so concerned with how to “expand” IB's influence? For an organization that tries to claim it promotes “whirled peas” and produce “global citizens” to make this a “better world”, I have genuine concerns at the military tactics employed by IBO.Imho, this is a dangerous organization, one that should be scrutinized yet refuses to submit to U.S. non-profit disclosures about its CEO's (I'm sorry, make that Director Generals) and that is trying to cpontrol and manipulate the United States' most valuable asset – its youth.SAY NO TO IBO!

  4. Auslander

    Since I was curious about this program, I went ahead and visited the “Truth about IB” website. Well, truth it ain't. Among other strange items, the website links to article about suicides among International Baccalaureate teachers and students. Yes, you read correctly — whoever is behind www, actually attempts to exploit these tragedies in order to bolster his/her assertions that the IB program is some nefarious international brainwashing scheme. If you have to stoop that low to make your point, then the facts must not be on your side. To those who maintain and support that website: shame on you!

  5. NewHampshire is one of the most well researched sites there is about this subject. This program is a scam and they even use a marxist program called Theory of Knowledge to sow the seeds of doubt in childrens minds and poison them against their government. This country is in big trouble thanks to successful brainwashing of our children.

  6. Auslander

    Not so, New Hampshire. First of all, I happened to come across the basic Theory of Knowledge materials since I first posted here. They are explicitly based on the epistemological work of Socrates — if you consider Socratic thinking to be the equivalent of Marxism, then you have a lot to learn. Second of all, you are short on evidence and logic in general. The term “scam” means something specific in modern English, but you offer no examples to support your statement — and neither does your precious website. “This country is in big trouble thanks to successful brainwashing of our children,” huh? What a vague, sweeping statement. Which children? All of our children? They're an awfully diverse bunch to have been brainwashed by some UN-sponsored educational cartel. So what particular program has been accomplishing this? International Baccalaureate? Advanced Placement? No Child Left Behind? The Salisbury steak they serve in the school lunchroom every other Thursday? You come off like a clinical paranoiac searching for a tinfoil hat.And finally, you have not responded to the core challenge of my first post. Can you, in good conscience, stand by's use of suicide articles to make its political statement? If not, remove the links. If so, your moral fiber has disintegrated far beyond that of the people whose programs you criticize.

  7. NewHampshire

    First of all, is not my site. I have a different site that collects information, accessible only by private invitation.Second, I think I know all about brainwashing done in the public schools, since I worked in them for 40 years.Any more questions?In addition to being against the law, it's just not right to use our children for political pawns.I refer you to this article that was from 2001 but is still applicable today.…Also, there was a recent article about IB students raising money for land mine removal.. I mean come on. This is highly inappropriate.I have also seen where little kids are taken out to the streets to hold anti-war signs, or campaign for president.Again, highly inappropriate. I have seen the posters for the ONE campaign in a local school in my state.It's quite disgusting how they violate compelled speech laws using our tax dollars.

  8. ObserverNY

    Dear Auslander,Your “outrage” at for posting links to articles about teen and teacher suicides related to IB is about as genuine as the Democrats in Congress over the AIG bonuses. I didn't encourage the suicides, I didn't write the articles, I merely posted them for public consideration. If you have bothered to visit any of the IB student run blogs, you will find ongoing threads by IB students as to how they cope with stress. Student comments run the gamut from doing yoga to massive doses of caffeine and anti-anxiety drugs. How dare you question my “moral fiber” for bringing to light facts surrounding a program that literally and figuratively harms students.And I AM one of the administrators at Truth About IB.

  9. Auslander

    Dear ObserverNY:My outrage is genuine, and I question your moral fiber because it is questionable. These families are suffering, you are capitalizing on that suffering for the sake of your cause. In my book that demonstrates a lack of compassion I consider reprehensible — and it is painfully clear that your website is not about saving innocent students from stress, but rather about your conviction that one particular educational program is somehow un-American. I exercised my right to call you on your tactics, and you exercised your right to defend yourself. I still think the act is morally indefensible, but you obviously feel that the ends justifies the means, and that is also your right.If I understand the general tone of this conversation, you will now fire back and hope that you've gotten in the last word, just as New Hampshire did. That's fine. My statements stand.

  10. ObserverNY

    Auslander -“you are capitalizing on that suffering for the sake of your cause.”Do you understand the definition of the word “capitalizing”? I am going to speculate that you meant it in the intransitive verb sense: to gain by turning something to advantage : profit <capitalize on an opponent's mistake.How do I gain anything by linking those truly sad articles? They exist, they happened, and trying to sweep them under the carpet as though they never happened only serves to profit IBO. I make no money from the website, I am not employed by the College Board or anyone else to discredit IBO. You don't like the news? Sorry. I didn't write the stories. You have a lot of nerve demeaning my moral fiber while defending an organization that LIES about its relationship with UNESCO on a daily basis. Your blind support for IBO is what is morally indefensible. Brown shirts for everyone!

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