I was shocked to see the headline "Goodbye, Baccalaureate?" Feb. 5 in The Island Packet.
The International Baccalaureate program at Hilton Head Island High School is exemplary; it is the reason my children are enrolled there.
IB offers a challenging, rigorous curriculum for highly motivated students taught by outstanding faculty.
The statistics quoted in the article are misleading, citing program fees and teacher training costs alongside a perceived small amount of students benefiting from the program. In fact, all students at the school benefit; these same excellent teachers also teach classes outside the IB program.
The implication is that few students "succeed" by earning the full diploma. The critical point is what they learn by attempting any difficult feat, in this case academics. Tackling the entire diploma curriculum is not for everyone; it is possible to take individual IB courses, as well. Once these students are added to the equation, the statistics look completely reasonable.
There is no question that IB is seen by national universities as the gold standard in high school education. Seeing my daughter learn through the IB approach is impressive; she is absolutely prepared for college, both academically and organizationally.
The value of offering a curriculum for high achievers is to keep them in our public schools and community -- prepared to face a competitive college and job market -- and indeed to educate them in the best way possible, as they will be leading our country and world in the decades to come. Anything less is short-sighted.
Hilton Head Island