The story "A different kind of diploma" [News, July 30] read more like an infomercial for the International Baccalaureate program than an honest appraisal of its perceived benefits and shortcomings as observed by the end users, the enrolled students, and their parents.

As a parent, my perspective is that our school district's IB program does not come close to meeting its mark. It can best be described as top-down and overly time-consuming, and one can easily understand why other highly regarded community high schools, such as Jericho, have opted out. Such schools alternatively offer a broad spectrum of advanced placement classes, college-sponsored classes and electives. Within this environment, students can best tailor a curriculum to meet their individualized needs and interests.

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With the IB program, students commonly stay up past 2 a.m. They are often engaged in busywork that squeezes the time necessary to get a restful sleep and can only be described as unhealthy. A thoughtful honing of time-management skills is wishful thinking, given the waves of clustered homework assignments and testing.

Robert Serritella, Commack