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Gates Foundation Awards IB Grant


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Awards US$2.4 Million to Expand IB Access and Develop New Teacher and Student Resources

New York, NY, IB, October 8, 2009 – The International Baccalaureate announced today that it has received a three-year, US$2.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to prepare low-income and minority students for future participation and success in the IB Diploma Programme. Through this project, the IB will develop innovative tools and resources for student assessment in grades 9 and 10 that align with expectations for the Diploma in grades 11 and 12. The IB will also partner with several school districts in the development and pilot of these resources.

This project builds on an earlier study in 2008, also funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and conducted by McKinsey & Company. In their study, McKinsey concluded that “The Diploma Programme stands out among other high school curricula available today in the US public education system because it offers a rigorous, aligned, and integrated instructional system that is both appropriate and valuable for students of average skill proficiency, and is transformative for minority and low-income students.”

“This work will positively impact the IB’s efforts to increase access to our programmes in US public schools, allowing more students to experience and benefit from an IB education, regardless of their personal circumstances,” said Jeffrey Beard, director general of the IB.

By partnering with school districts and teachers, the IB will create a variety of materials, assessment, and professional development models that will enhance teaching and learning.

“Only a third of entering ninth graders in the U.S. graduates from high school with the skills and knowledge they need to be prepared for college, career, and life,” said Andrew Smiles, program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “An expanded IB Diploma Programme with easily accessible materials will help provide more students with a strong academic base that can support their successful transition from high school to and through college.”

Media inquiries 
Zoe Kahn, IB communications department
Tel +44 2920 547662

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