This study examines whether students' enrollment in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program improves their ACT scores, probability of high school graduation and probability of college enrollment.
Using data on the IB enrollment status of 20,422 students attending thirteen CPS high schools from 2002-2008, it estimates that IB enrollment increases students' ACT scores by as much as 0.5 standard deviations and their probability of high school graduation and college enrollment by as much as 17 and 22 percentage points respectively. All of the estimates are highly robust to selection bias. All estimates are greater for boys than for girls.
It also calculates that the IB Diploma Program is a cost-effective way to increase high-school graduation rates.