Chicago Public Schools is making a commitment to expanding International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in additional high schools around the city. There is some good evidence that IB programs are succeeding in creating an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, critical thinking skills, and familiarity with higher levels of academic rigor.
If your school has an IB program, or will soon be getting one, these students may be good recruiting prospects for your debate program. We don’t want to exclusively target high-achieving students, but having a core of academically motivated and intrinsically interested kids can help establish the kind of debate culture that helps cultivate skills and commitment among students who will need to do more growing to succeed.
Data from a set of 12 IB programs across CPS — in schools that are all current, former, or prospective CDL schools — suggests that they are having an impact in neighborhood high schools: