These days education is becoming competitive among students in an unprecedented way, and acronyms like AP, IB, and CP are being thrown around so often it's hard to keep straight all their meanings and implications. By way of reminder, AP stands for Advanced Placement; CP means College Preparatory; finally, IB is the acronym for International Baccalaureate.
To start, there are 93 schools in the state of Colorado that use the IB primary, middle, and high school programs, but what does IB entail? The International Baccalaureate program began in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland, and it was intended to produce highly educated, cosmopolitan students from children, whose parents were involved in diplomacy, international and multi-national organizations. Needless to say, the course work is rigorous and accelerated in comparison to typical courses for the same age groups. The IB program has been described by advocates to be a holistic, inter-disciplinary approach to a student's education.
Alongside IB programs is the Advanced Placement program (AP), which has gained speed in America in the past decade. The College Board, a non-profit organization based in New York, started the AP program in 1955. The idea behind AP courses is to present college level concepts and course work to high school students and then test them at the end of their courses, using a 1-5 grading scale. American colleges will often grant course credit and placement for AP courses in which students scored 3 or higher.
Although some people refer to AP as CP courses, they are not always the same. College preparatory (CP) courses contain a larger than typical course load and prepare students for college caliber work. They do not, however, provide college course credit like AP courses might.
It is usually the ambitious and highly motivated parents and students, who seek these programs out, but of course these programs have their opponents, who either maintain that they are ineffectual or that they overwork students or both. Only you as the parent and student can decide which organization or program best suits you and your academic goals.