I had the option of doing the IB program in high school (I think AP is just an American thing, so we didn't have that here) and I chose not to do it,
because I felt that it would be extra work that my local university, the only one I was considering, wouldn't care about.
If I could do things over again, I would do the IB program. I'm not sure how much better it is, but it can't possibly be more of a joke than the
standard schooling program. At the time, I wasn't smart enough to realize that I could have gotten more learning for free. Fortunately, I'm
smarter these days!
Having studied engineering in university, most of my peers took IB, and they, almost without exception, felt that it helped better prepare them for
the university workload and difficulty, while I spent the better part of my first year struggling to keep up.
I live in Alberta, Canada, and the way we do IB here, the classwork is more advanced, but the final exam is the same, so the IB students usually aced
it, naturally. I'm not really familiar with the concept of 'standardized testing' in the States, but here we just have standard testing in grades
3 and 6, or at least that's how it worked back in the days of the dinosaur when I was that age.
Personally, I believe we should reach to teach every student calculus and physics because that is what the top students are capable of rather
than have them learning basic geometry and earth/space science(or insert whatever joke science class your district offers) because every student
I agree with this. I think that the school system should have two main goals, one being to raise the below-average student to a more acceptable
level, and the second, to provide whatever the most advanced students need in order to become even smarter. My reasoning is that the brightest of the
bright are the ones who will change the world, and should be prepared to do so, and the dumbest of the dumb are the ones who will hold us back, so if
we can improve those two groups, society as a whole will benefit. We shouldn't neglect those in the middle, either, but I think that the two
extremes are the key areas to focus on.