Our posts (click here and here to read them) and our podcast (click here to listen) about Woodrow Wilson High School’s decision to become an International Baccalaureate school, and DISD’s support for the move, prompted quite a bit of discussion on theDMN’s education blog yesterday.

Much of the discussion on the DMN blog centered on the wisdom and rigor of the IB program, with a few comments thrown in suggesting that white Lakewood parents have seized on offering the IB program as a way to "cleanse", if you will, the student body of purportedly low-achieving minorities.

Read more about the IB discussion on the jump:

A few other comments suggested that even if purging minorities isn’t the intent of parents and/or administrators, that could well be the effect because IB is a demanding program that, the comments seemed to presume, a lot of minorities won’t be able to negotiate even if they’re given a chance. And then there were a number of comments supporting the decision and praising the school’s willingness to develop a program that could raise the bar for all students.

The discussion is mostly civil and interesting, and it’s worth taking a look if you have a couple of minutes.

DISD constantly takes the rap for poor student performance, but if we don’t give all students a chance to improve themselves, we’re never going to improve the district. If you don’t think that’s possible, you aren’t alone, but you aren’t doing much to kick the ball forward, either.

That’s what Woodrow’s adoption of the IB program says to me: The school, its administrators and teachers are continuing to raise the bar, but they don’t spend 24 hours with the kids and can’t be expected to work miracles. Inevitably, as in any program regardless of rigor, some students will succeed and some will fail and need alternatives (which are readily available in DISD).

Instituting an academic program that requires all students, regardless of income or ethnicity, to work diligently to excel is exactly what DISD should be doing every day in every school.

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