What should the district do about parents’ request to de-track the schools and implement the IB curriculum?

Published by Jeannie R. Ferrell

Nov 17, 2022


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Read the article “­­­­ Can a program designed for British diplomats fix Chicago’s schools?” by Hendershot which is attached to the Exam 3 folder. This article provides some context for the sociological scenario in the Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) school district you will analyze for this exam. The information in this article is not intended to be viewed as an historical examination of the issue of inequitable schooling.
Some additional background information: The International Baccalaureate (IB) was founded in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Diploma Programme was established for internationally mobile families whose children needed to prepare for university but could not necessarily do so through the local curriculum. The curriculum is considered high-quality, academically rigorous preparation for university bound students.
Read the following scenario. This is the scenario you will need to consider as you answer the questions that follow.
The Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) school district has been struggling to meet state academic standards. Recently, some attention has been drawn to the success of the IB program in the low-income, predominately minority schools in urban Chicago as outlined in the Hendershot article. Some families would like to de-track the KCMO schools and wish to implement the IB curriculum for all students in KCMO schools. However, the KCMO school board is resistant to the idea. They’ve called in an educational sociologist to analyze the situation and advise them on their decision. What should the KCMO school district do?
Now that you’ve read the Hendershot article, the background information and are familiar with the KCMO scenario, answer all three of the following questions. Be sure that your analysis and your responses are directed to the KCMO school district’s question of whether or not to de-track the KCMO schools and implement the IB curriculum for all students.
Support your answers by referring only to the class readings and presentations. When referring to information from a class source use an APA in-text citation (Author, Year) or (Author, Year, p.#) for a quote. Please note that for the purposes of this exam, provide page numbers for paraphrased information as well.
Well organized, clearly argued, concise, and well supported responses will earn higher scores. In each case relevant citations are expected from the course reading material (and only from those materials). See the attached scoring rubric for further information.
Double space and use Times New Roman 12-point font with 1 inch margins all around. The page numbers following each question are the suggested number of pages for the response to that question. Please do not exceed these suggested page limits by more than 0.5 pages for each question.
8. Submit your completed Exam to the Exam 3 Canvas folder by the due date.
Questions (answer all three):
1) Analyze the KCMO situation from a historical perspective. Clearly identify, in your analysis, the relevant historical factors that may have contributed to the school district’s struggles and the parents’ calls for the schools to be de-tracked. Dig deeper than a recounting of the information in the Hendershot article. Provide support for any assertions of fact you make from the course readings. (0.5-1 page).
2) Analyze the situation from a sociological perspective and clearly discuss how race and class informs this issue. (1-2 pages)
3) Put yourself in the role of the educational sociologist hired by the KCMO school district. What would be your advice, based on the sociological perspective you discussed in question 2. What should the district do about parents’ request to de-track the schools and implement the IB curriculum? Provide your reasons for this advice and as always support any assertions of fact using the course readings. (1-2 pages).


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