Pressure on IBO Grows with Second Petition

Pressure continues to mount on the IB Organization (IBO) to justify alleged anomalies in the grades received by thousands of IB Diploma students this week, with the launch of a second petition, that has - so far - received over 10,000 signatories... Students are calling for justice for IB students that would have taken the exam this year.
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A new online petition calling for ‘justice’ for this year’s IB students has already received almost 10,000 signatures following the launch earlier this week of another petition which is calling for ‘new grades’. 

The new petition has been launched on the change.org website and follows reports of many students receiving grades far below their teachers predictions. A substantial number of students have failed the IB diploma completely having been predicted high grades.

When the IBO decided to cancel the IB exams in March with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the organisation said that it would use a combination of teacher predicted grades, historic data and students coursework to calculate grades.  The IB also opted to take in and mark student internal assessments such as coursework rather than use teacher-assigned marks for these as is usual. More than 170,000 students around the world were due to take the IB exams this May.

The change.org petition was started in the UK by student Ali Zagmout who said:

“So far what we’ve seen is a great deal of injustice; many students around the world got significantly lower final grades than what whey were predicted. Essentially the IB has lowered some students by up to 12 points! This is the first time in the history of the IB that we see such substantial differences between the predicted grades and the final grades on a large scale, considering that the IB examiners had no real grounds to evaluate and assign us our grades other than marking our coursework.” 

The IBO says that it understands there have been ‘mixed emotions’ regarding the outcomes this year and that it used students’ coursework, school predicted grades and historic assessment data to calculate grades for this year. 

A spokesperson said:

“Prior to the attribution of final grades this process was subjected to rigorous testing by educational statistical specialists to ensure our methods were robust. It was also checked against the last five years’ sets of results data to ensure that it would provide reliable and valid grades for students.”

In total, 50 schools in the UAE sit the IB diploma exam. So  far, 24 of those have reported their results to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. As of now we have received two comments from parents in the UAE regarding the IB DP results. The first was from the parent of a child at RAK Academy: "I can tell you that RAK Academy IB school is not happy with the results. Predicted university grades are lower with 3-5 and more points. There is no transparency how grades are achieved in the algorithm; the usual data after exams is not provided by IB to show how grades are awarded."

The second comment was posted anonymously: "The IB results this year have been nothing short of a travesty and show a callous and unconscionable disregard for the interests of the students that have already suffered enough with the virus situation. Whatever the motives of the IB management I cannot condone this behaviour and will not enroll any more of my children in such a programme."  

The advice from schools regarding alleged anomalies in grades for individual students is that they follow the appeals procedures laid down by the IBO and stay in close touch with their IB co-ordinator.  They've also advised that universities are generally being sympathetic given the current situation so again students should get in touch with their university of choice and offer any supporting material that may aid their case. The IB co-ordinator and university applications counsellor should be able to advise them and help them during this stressful time. 

If any students or schools would like to speak to us about this they can contact us on editor@whichschooladvisor.com.

We will continue to monitor and report on this story as it develops. 

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