I'd be fascinated to know, though I admit that I'm not sure how you would disentangle this, how much of the success of this approach has to do with any particular twist on how the education is done(the introduction of the college classes option earlier in HS, curriculum restructuring and shuffling, etc.); vs. how much has to do with the fact that the corporate sponsor is(through the internships and preferential hiring) making the connection between achievement in school and tangible payoff particularly strong and evident.
I'd certainly be the first to agree that many kids are dumb, impulsive, and shortsighted(some grow out of it, some turn into adults with the same traits); and that some schools are just atrocious. However, while slavishly adhering to the 'rational actor' model can lead to absurd excesses best left to economists; it can sometimes be helpful to imagine, at least as test, that people might actually be behaving "rationally", at least in a local sense.
Thinking back on my own education, some of it was undeniably useful for basically anyone(literacy and basic mathematics), some of it was of no direct use but almost certainly good for the mind in ways that are broadly applicable(writing essays about works of literature or classical greek political events isn't terribly relevant; but knowing your way around a coherent thesis backed by a reasonably competent body of argument and evidence sure is handy); and some of it was probably included for reasons little better than 'because tradition'. However, my surroundings always made it abundantly clear that (in addition to being a social expectation) education had rewards. My parents had degrees and jobs that were only possible because of their education; our neighbors and family friends were almost entirely the same way, we watched older kids head off to college, to internships, to various jobs; even if some dickhead still asked "When are we ever going to need this?" during some aspect of calculus that annoyed him, nobody was in any serious doubt that, even if you thought that some of it was just hoop-jumping, education was obviously valuable.
Had I grown up in a worse environment, gone to lousier schools, I would have likely enjoyed worse teachers and facilities; but I also would have been substantially ignorant of, or unbelieving of, the value of education: both because a diploma from the local high school probably isn't all that valuable; and because I'd have relatively few references for people who had done the work and gone on to some sort of professional career thanks to that. Maybe my sheer virtuous love of learning or whatever would have seen me through; but I certainly wouldn't put too much faith in the possibility.
In this case, IBM is making it quite clear that "Do this schoolwork for 4-6 years, depending, and you will see internships and quite possibly a job offer". That's relatively concrete, relatively short-term, easy to understand. To the degree that students are rational actors, that would seem to be a pretty big difference between this program and a school where the payoff is less visible or simply not there.