A Harvard, Dartmouth, Colby, and Tufts student's perspective on House Bill 1403, 4/6/12

posted Apr 6, 2012, 6:54 AM by Bill Duncan


I am writing to you as I believe strongly in the success of the IB Diploma Program that is currently in use at Bedford High School. As a member of the first graduating class of Bedford High School, I wish to convey to you the importance that my experience in the IB Diploma Program has had on both my college and high school career. I have always worked hard in school, and I believed that I would receive an excellent education by attending the Derryfield School, a private high school in Manchester. I was disappointed to find that Derryfield did not offer the level of mathematical excellence in education that I had come to expect from my public school. When I completed my freshman year at Derryfield, I transferred back to the public school system and attended Bedford High School as a member of the first graduating class. I was enrolled in two AP courses that year as a sophomore, and at the end of the year, took two AP exams, English Composition and American History, scoring highly on both exams.

In my junior and senior year, I was an IB Diploma student at Bedford High School. In the IB program, I learned more than I ever did in my AP courses. The difficulty of taking a full IB course load, coupled with the extra hours of community service and the required participation in school activities and athletics really prepared me for taking a heavy course load in college. I am currently pursuing a dual degree, majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science at Colby College and Chemical Engineering at Dartmouth College.
When I applied to college, I was thrilled that I had obtained the IB Diploma from Bedford High School. Highly selective liberal arts and Ivy League colleges instantly recognized my IB Diploma as academically rigorous and challenging, which was beneficial to me considering I was applying as a student from the first graduating class of a new high school. Thanks in a large part to the preparation I had through Bedford High's IB Diploma Program, I was able to attend Tufts University, taking classes with graduate and undergraduate students, before I had even graduated from high school.

When I was considering which college I wanted to attend, I knew I was interested in staying in New England. When I was touring and interviewing at colleges, I did not encounter a single school that did not recognize the IB Diploma Program as equivalent to or better than the AP program. Amherst, Holy Cross, Middlebury, Colby, Bowdoin, Bates, and Dartmouth are just a few of the schools whose Admissions Departments glowed when I told them I was an IB Diploma student.

Ultimately, I accepted Early Decision to Colby College. I have completed semesters at Harvard, Colby, and Tufts, and will attend Dartmouth next year. I believe that the IB Diploma Program was invaluable to my education, and filled a void that AP courses alone could not fill. During my IB education I never felt that our state or national sovereignty was compromised in any manner, nor did I feel that my education was subject to any governance by a foreign organization. I urge you to vote against House Bill 1403 to allow Bedford to keep providing top-notch education to all of its students. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Devon Cormack