Josiah Quincy Upper School is piloting the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program as an effort to increase academic competitiveness of US students in the global community, said Carol R. Johnson, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools (BPS) at a community forum hosted by the Asian American Civic Association.
The Baccalaureate examination — the Bac to those who have taken it — is quite a rigorous examination testing student’s knowledge on an international scale.
Carol Johnson said, ‘The problem with American education is that we are too narrowly-focused—on America— if we don’t see ourselves in a global community, our students won’t be able to see themselves as citizens of the world.’
She pointed to the importance of setting higher, international benchmarks in order to narrow the academic disparities between US students and those of other industrialized nations.
Bak Fun Wong, principal of Josiah Quincy Upper School and a respected member of the Chinatown community, introduced Johnson. Johnson and Wong are working together to initiate an international program in Wong’s school.
Many of students in the Boston school district speak one or more Asian languages at home. According to enrollment statistics this fall, 1,544 students speak Cantonese at home, 254 speak Mandarin, 254 speak Toishanese and 1,411 speak Vietnamese.
Many of these Asian-speaking students are also foreign born — out of the over 4,000 students in Boston public schools, 704 were born in China.
Source: Sampan New England