Braden Pomerantz’ IB Speech Transcript


Photo by Chandler Bado

Hello, my name is Braden Pomerantz, and I’m a senior IB Diploma Candidate at SMNW. My fellow IB students and I are here to express support for the program and explain the benefits of maintaining it. However, we do appreciate that you have postponed your decision on its future for now

IB promotes an in-depth, well-rounded education with a global perspective, and encourages students to question their surrounding. The interdisciplinary focus of IB encourages students to analyze how different subjects relate and discuss their applications to the real world. No other curriculum allows students to write essays on topics of their choice for each class. While this is challenging, it encourages students to communicate their ideas and discoveries, a vital asset for life success. Additionally, the extended essay allows students a glimpse into undergraduate research. Lastly, having the same class, teacher, and peers for two years allows students to delve beyond the surface level.

IB sets SMSD apart from other districts. At Northwest, there are several students who wouldn’t be in the district had IB not been an option. Many of the brightest students at Northwest are in IB and not only apply but are accepted into schools such as Duke, MIT, the University of Chicago, and many other top universities.

But don’t just take my word for it. Marilyn Lewis, the assistant dean of admissions at Harvard stated that “success in IB correlated with success at Harvard.”

Dr. Eugene Carson at Virginia Tech stated that “IB student significantly outperformed all other freshmen, including students who had taken AP courses.”

Next, I would like to address some of the reasons we were given for phasing out IB in the first place.

The first was that it gains low college credit. However when AP first came into existence, it didn’t garner the recognition it does now. It took time and effort for universities to realize its benefits. IB is only beginning that process. Cutting it now would be to give up, or take a serious step back from the future of the program — the importance of college credit cannot be ignored.

However; it also cannot be ignored that it isn’t the only factor. Unfortunately, college credit runs out once a student gets there — the values of in-depth analysis and global perspective stay with students forever, and allow them to pursue jobs after college — even though IB sometimes receives less credit than AP, the best universities value IB first and IB still receives an ample amount of credit.

Another reason was low participation. However, we should aim to encourage participation in IB. It is still unknown to many people, because they’ve only been exposed to AP. A new program should be encouraged, not given up on in its infancy, and I believe that the support on the petition and the attendance tonight are good first steps.

All of us understand the inevitable reality of budget cuts. However, we believe that cutting IB should not be the solution to that problem. If anything, certain classes or options can be limited.

For more information, please look at our petition, which now has 1000 signatures from former and current students, former teachers, and parents. That you or your time and consideration.