44 students were part of Paterson’s International Baccalaureate program. Just one earned an IB diploma. | Paterson Times

44 students were part of Paterson’s International Baccalaureate program. Just one earned an IB diploma.


Forty-four students enrolled at the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at International High School took the IB exams in the spring. Just one managed to earn a high enough score to receive a diploma through the prestigious Swiss program.

School board members were presented the data last Tuesday during their retreat. Former school board member Corey Teague sought the test scores in September, but was told the data would be presented to the board in October.

During the October assessment data presentation there were no International Baccalaureate performance data. Three weeks ago, the Paterson Times sought the scores through a records request.

School officials said the 44 students took exams in May 2019. 21 were course students and 23 full diploma students. Five students missed the diploma by two points or less. Five others missed the diploma by less than five points. Nine others missed it by 10 points, according to district data.

The ten students, who missed it by 2 and 5 points, will resubmit their exams for the May 2020 testing window to potentially earn their diplomas.

A diploma is awarded when a student earns 24 points.

47 course certificates were awarded to students, according to district data.

Teague watched the presentation and was dismayed by the data.

“It’s devastating. Come on now, we have to do a lot better,” said Teague. He won a school board seat in an election two weeks ago.f

Teague will be sworn-in in January.

School officials placed the scores in context at the presentation. Officials said the district student scores in Mandarin, a language widely spoken in Communist China, were above the world average.

Officials also used an unnamed local school district’s IB scores to assuage potential concerns. That district had 108 students, including 20 diploma candidates – just 2 earned diplomas after the May 2019 testing, according to data presented to school board members.

“Are they trying to say not to criticize them because another district did worse?” remarked Teague.

Teague said he was disappointed school board members were “stoic” after the presentation and did not demand answers.

School officials outlined an action plan in their presentation. Part of the plan included expansion of class offerings, increase support for students and early submission to let students refine internal assessments submitted to the IB, daily tutoring and support sessions for diploma and course students.

The sole student to earn the diploma was Aamya Perez. She was the valedictorian of her school and is now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania

“As a graduate of IB, I can honestly say that the program and its rigor, allowed me to flourish and have an edge up in the college application process,” said Perez in a testimonial flashed on the projector screen last week.

Students from the International Baccalaureate (IB) at International High School received acceptance to Stevens Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Rutgers University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The class that graduated last June was Paterson’s first IB cohort.

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  • Mind Your Business

    This article is very interesting. I particularly like how adults, who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, are belittling the accomplishments of ethnically diverse seniors coming from an urban district. I find it most intriguing how people believe they are at liberty to discuss topics they are uneducated in and do not pertain to them. As a 2019 graduate of this program, I find it both disrespectful and illogical to publish this article with the sole intention of discrediting the success of the program. The content in this article was quoted by someone not only closed minded, but with incorrect facets of information. I am a student who missed the diploma by one point, graduated top 5% of my graduating class, and currently attend a private university paying nothing. But according to this person, I’m a failure. Right? I ask Teague to provide me with a situation of a “regular” urban district student who has accomplished the same. I’ll wait. I rest my case. I advise the author and everyone else to re-evaluate the importance of their opinion on this matter and to speak with some level of professionalism and logic in the future.

  • Mind Your Business

    The belligerent ignorance behind this post is both entertaining and unfortunate. The inaccurate accusations of mediocracy following the success of the students is both disrespectful and fictional. As a graduating member of the international baccalaureate class of 2019, I find it disheartening that key members of my community have rallied together against my accomplishments. To neglect my work ethic and academic track record for the purpose of discussing a topic you know nothing of, is a grave mistake on both Teague’s and the authors part. For future reference, I advise parties to provide insight on topics they are educated in and to speak with an element of professionalism and impartiality.

  • Sahara S.

    Kudos to Paterson for not only belittling their own residents but also undermining the hard work and academic integrity of high achieving students. If our own city does not believe in us, who will? As a former student of the first class of the International Baccalaureate program of Passaic, I am appalled by the misinformed and misguided effort of this article. All of the late nights and early mornings spent studying, preparing and working toward a high GPA, good test scores, in hopes of getting into a prestigious university with great scholarships, all belittled by this one article. It is narrow-minded to think only about scores based on IB exam scores. Those scores are only a small part of the program. While we all worked very hard not everyone earns the diploma however we all earned college credit, gained invaluable skills with regard to studying and time management and also learned to look beyond ourselves and work towards a better world. My high school year was very successful. Maintaining above a 4.5 average all 4 years, graduating with a 4.7 GPA average, accepted and attending one of the most highly accredited HBCUs in the nation, and offered over 1 million dollars in scholarship, I will NOT let this article tarnish my achievements or those of my peers. We all worked tirelessly to be where we are now and the diploma does not define us nor the integrity of Paterson students.

    • bigron

      Did you pass?

      • Biggerthansafaree

        Lol nope definitely failed

  • Daniel Ludwig

    No disrespect but the comments below deliberately and conveniently avoid addressing the facts in the article. The writers both claim repeatedly that the author is somehow attacking and disparaging them personally. That couldn’t be further from the truth. These commenters have is dishonestly attempt to draw attention from the details of
    what the author has done which is with complete objectivity present the fact that this program resolutely failed all but one of the students enrolled in the IB program. They also attempt to attack board member Corey Teague because he expressed his disappointment with the results. Sadly, this undermines their credibility and reflects poorly on their values.
    The IB program, like many many others the district has adopted year after year to great fanfare and at enormous expense, is an abject failure especially if held to the results oriented standards of evaluation which teachers, for example, are held to.

    • Ruben Perez

      Daniel Ludwig, no disrespect, but you are clearly unfamiliar with the literary principle of connotation. The comments, which were made by former IB participants, did not ignore the presented facts, rather objectified the lense of focus to encapsulate the perspective of the members of the program. If you want to speak solely in terms of facts and statistics, I advise you to become educated in the academic disparities between IB students and that of general education students. In no way am I arguing that IB students are genetically superior to their counterparts, but the program’s direct focus on cultivating well rounded students becomes clear as you view the program’s contributions to the students academic track record. As previously stated in both comments, students of the IB program have academically surpassed their fellow classmates in terms of grade point averages, general test scores and scholarships granted for academic accomplishments. If Teague, the author, or anyone else is concerned with the prosperity of the program, I once again advise them to become familiar with the objectives of the program and the SUCCESS it has demonstrated thus far in terms of helping prepare students for college life based on work ethic and critical thinking skills. The article was in fact not objective, and anyone who understands the concept of subtext would agree. In your response you state, “Sadly, this undermines their credibility and reflects poorly on their values.” My credibility is a direct result from my experience with the program itself, something you clearly lack. Hence, who in reality is the non-credible source? Furthermore, my values of cultivating a generation of students that are academically prosperous is clear in my arguments, which honestly reflects your unfamiliarity with the program once more. In conclusion, whether speaking in terms of logic in the form of statistics or emotional based arguments from experience, I have provided enough information to negate the arguments presented in the article. I rest my case.

      • Daniel Ludwig

        May I point out that “As a graduating member of the international baccalaureate class of 2019…” it seems improbable that you would be responsible for “…cultivating a generation of students that are academically prosperous…”

        By masquerading as a former student here you actually make my point that your comments are dishonest, shameful and denigrate both the students and teachers involved in the IB program.

        • Ruben Perez

          If that response represents the entirety of what you have to say, there was absolutely no point in you responding. My attempt at “cultivating a generation of students that are academically prosperous…” is supported by me OBVIOUSLY arguing that the program has been successful thus far and should continue to do so in the future. If you took the time to think rather than reply without reason, you would understand that the overarching point of this article was to assess whether or not the program should continue. Also, I am not masquerading as anyone. My name is Ruben Perez. Look up my track record and see for yourself. Therefore not only are your comments unnecessary, but illogical, and overall annoying for a lack of better words.

          • Daniel Ludwig


          • Ruben Perez

            Physician from union city? I advise you to read my comments once more because you clearly haven’t retained any information.

          • HankMorgan

            Union City should be capitalized. Do you find my comments wearying? Are they tiresome? Worthy of dismissal on their face? You’re a poor representative of the Paterson Public Schools. But, please, continue. The more attention you draw to this article and to your particular comments the more residents of Paterson and the faculty members who do their best everyday with limited resources and lack of administrative support will understand the underhanded way business is conducted in the district.

          • Ruben Perez

            You clearly are incompetent to realize that I was a former student of this facility, as I have mentioned multiple times. Secondly, thank you for the poor attempt at justifying your incoherent arguments by attempting to correct my grammar. Your responses are indeed tiresome and as previously stated, unnecessary, illogical, and annoying. Not only are you a delusional man attempting to continue an argument without any facts or pieces of useful information, but you are doing so in a manner that is both childish and negligible. I represent my community just fine. It is you who has failed to present any information of substance and you should re-evaluate not only your stance, but the relevancy of your life. Have a good day.

          • HankMorgan

            Not bad mumbo jumbo for a kid just a few months out of high school. Please, go on.
            = )

          • Ruben Perez

            I wonder why that is. Good day sir.

          • HankMorgan

            It’s obviously because you are not a recent graduate of International High School as you claim you are. No reader of your comments would ever believe so. You continue to dishonor the students and faculty of that great and noble school by insisting so. Ad hominem attacks on critics do not forward your “argument” but utterly undermine your credibility.

          • Ruben Perez

            Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it!

          • HankMorgan

            Sir, by example you have demonstrated that deceit, dishonesty and hostility to differing opinions are appropriate responses to open dialogue. It is my hope that a writer who lacks all integrity and believes that arguing thusly never has anything to do with young people who depend on their instructors to be open, honest, informed and judicious.

          • Person French

            He was a student
            -a Current IHS student

          • HankMorgan

            I’m often mistaken

          • HankMorgan

            And just for the record, I have carefully read your comments and nothing you have said thus far indicates anything about who you are or what you may or may not currently be involved in.

    • Isabela Gonzalez

      As a current student at International High School, you couldn’t be further from the truth when you say that the IB program is a failure. The students who graduated International High School this past school year are honorable representatives of the city of Paterson. These students along with the current students at the school put in early mornings and late nights of studying, teachers and administrators stay after school and come in before class to assist any student in need. The students who graduated from the school got over 2 million dollars in scholarship money and got into schools such as Columbia and UPENN which are some of the most prestigious schools in the country. Our teachers and administrators work very hard day to day to make sure every student in the school reaches their fullest potential and are some of the best teachers that anyone could have. You sir do not get sit here and undermine the work and dedication that our staff and students put into being successful. So unless you’ve passed an IB exam and have an IB diploma in hand or have taught an IB class and had successful results then you do not have any right to comment on the way that our program is being run. Good day to you sir.

      • HankMorgan

        Mischaracterizing my position, again, does a disservice to the IB program, International High School, the administration, the faculty and the students. It’s obvious that your English instructors did a poor job in the area of persuasive writing. Emotional appeals hold no weight in a spirited debate. In no way did I, during the course of this debate, belittle the students or school in any manner. Rather, I criticized the argument put forth at the beginning that the author of the article was being unfair and that attacks on board member Corey Teague were unnecessary. I admire your spirit but suggest further study in rhetoric, perhaps as a third or fourth year undergraduate. However, you young commenters have done a noble job during this debate and deserve admiration and respect for having done so.
        Just so you may question my credentials I hold a Bachelor‘s Degree in English from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Marygrove College. I taught high school English for nearly 25 years before retiring in 2016.

        I wish you and your mates all the best. You have amply supplied proof of your capabilities during this discussion.