Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Banda's Letter to APP Families

Superintendent Banda has sent a letter to APP @ Lincoln families that outlines the plans for north-end elementary APP. The letter also reveals a lot about the District's process.



The letter reads, in part:
Specifically regarding the APP program, I want to provide the following updates:
  • APP students will remain at Lincoln for the next five school years, including this year.
  • If BEX IV is approved, staff recommend moving the current north end APP elementary students to a new Wilson-Pacific building (tentatively scheduled to open for the 2017-18 school year).
  • Beyond the 2017-18 school year, in addition to Wilson-Pacific we might consider additional locations for APP if enrollment continues to increase or if recommendations to provide additional regional programs are made. That’s why it is important that we build flexibility into our BEX IV plan.
  • I have also asked the capital planning staff to review options at the interim site to address concerns with the play area and lunchroom facilities.

From this, we learn that the plan is to keep the north-end elementary APP cohort together at Wilson-Pacific, but the District isn't making any promises. They could split the cohort if the enrollment grows too big for the building or if they just choose to split it. In other words, the letter doesn't really say anything about the future of the program except that Wilson-Pacific will definitely be an APP site.

The letter goes on to say:
We anticipate hiring an Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning by January 2013. Part of the responsibilities of this position will be to finalize the plan to support the new School Board policy on Equitable Access to Programs and Services.
This tells us that work on a program placement procedure will not even get started until someone is hired to lead Teaching and Learning, and that we shouldn't expect a procedure until summer - at the earliest. Yet, somehow, despite the handicap of having no process, the District is moving forward with making these decisions. How? They won't say.

38 comments:

Eric B said...

Let's assume for the moment that APP moves into a new elementary building at W-P in 2017. I'm not 100% sure what the complaint about a potential future split is. If enrollment grows past 500-650, you have two choices for the program: split the program among two schools or run a mega-school. If north-end APP would be happy with a 1000-seat elementary, then I guess that works. I haven't seen much support for that in general here; most people (unscientifically polled) think 400-500 students is a pretty big elementary.

Also, I think it's in the district's interest to keep W-P elementary out of the attendance area dance. That's one less attendance area they have to draw, with all of the associated costs of people complaining about being in or out of the lines. While the school could theoretically become an option school, I would suspect that it is a far more predictable draw as an APP-only school. The district desperately needs every school to be full in the north end, since so many are bursting. If any are running less than capacity, there are huge headaches across the system.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Once again, APP is part of the gang of the movable feast that is Nova, World School, and Special Ed. No at-risk, high-needs students in this grouping.

Of course, APP will keep its head down because they know to say otherwise would call attention and then who knows what the decision would be? And this is in Director Carr's region - wonder what her take is on this?

Charlie Mas said...

For elementary APP to be effective it requires a cohort of at least 250 to provide the critical mass necessary for a viable program.

There are enough elementary APP students in the north-end right now to form two viable cohorts.

The District says that they want to place programs where students live. A lot of elementary APP students live in the northeast.

By any rational process, half of the north-end elementary APP cohort would be placed in the new elementary being built at Thornton Creek.

By any rational process, the District would be building two elementary schools in the northeast instead of just one.

Of course, that's if we were following a rational process. We're not. We're following a process that's a bit more pragmatic than that.

The District will NOT build two elementary schools in the northeast. That is politically off limits. Elementary APP students who live in the northeast are just as deserving of a school assignment close to home as any other student living in the northeast, but they won't get that assignment, because their program, unlike an attendance area program, is portable. So when push comes to shove - and that's where we are - the APP students get shoved out of the northeast.

Where can they go? The District doesn't have a school building with 250 empty seats. There is literally no available space north of the Ship Canal. Or is there?

There is Cedar Park. There is also the remote possibility that the District could send half of the program back to Lowell - assuming Lowell doesn't fill up with all those "downtown" elementary students. Then there is John Marshall. It will be available once the Lincoln High School moves into their new home. If Jane Addams doesn't fill up then there's the possibility that the District could try to put the program there.

In truth, these are all pretty bad answers. The only real, correct answer is to build another elementary school in the northeast. That's just not going to happen. It was on BEX IV for a while but it's off again.

Charlie Mas said...

I know that no one shares this concern, but I am deeply troubled by the District's program placement process. It is irrational, political, and secretive. This thing really needs to be daylighted.

Anonymous said...

Any word on if there's any planning for middle school APP if/when it outgrows Hamilton? Are they still planning on building a middle school on the Wilson-Pacific Site?

APP Mom

Charlie Mas said...

@ APP Mom, the District is pointedly not thinking about that.

Their current strategy is to put their hands over their ears, shake their heads, and loudly proclaim "I can't hear you! I can't hear you!". There may be some loud singing as well.

While this strategy may fail in the long-run, they believe it is serving them very well so far.

Anonymous said...

@Charlie
I'm confused. You say that the district will not build 2 elementary schools in the NE. I thought the plan (at least the most current plan revealed to the public) had 500-650 schools at Thornton Creek/Decatur AND at Olympic Hills. Olympic Hills is a NE school (Eckstein Service Area). Is a new school at Olympic Hills still in the plan? If not, how are they planning to accomodate growth in the Lake City/Northgate area?
-North End Mom

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I don't believe APP is going to "keep its head down" on this anymore. The parents I talk to aren't content to let the District move our "program" at will to make up for poor capacity planning decisions. We want status as a "school" so we get taken out of the constant churn of the "program" mess. To me, this is one of the benefits of Banda's (somewhat weak) intention to move the north end APP program as a cohort to Wilson Pacific. It's definitely not impossible to mess with a "school," but it's a lot harder than it is to mess with a "program".

(And I speak only as a Lincoln APP parent - I realize there are all-APP issues that need to be addressed, but our school has vagabond status right now and we're trying to get some stability so we can get on with the actual education of our kids).

- Lincoln APP Parent

Anonymous said...

Current Lincoln students will never step foot in an elementary building set to open in 2017. Current 1st graders will be moving on to middle school in 2017-18. For better or worse, they get to stay at Lincoln in the interim.

I'd also like to know what plans are being made for middle school capacity in the NE, for all students.

elementary parent

Maureen said...

Lincoln APP parent, and others who agree: can you explain to me how APP can be defined as a 'school' and not a 'program'? It seems pretty clear to me that it is in fact a program (starting with that second 'P'). It's a program at Thurgood Marshall and at HIMS and WMS and at Ingraham (it doesn't seem to be a 'program' at GHS, just a 'cohort' which is even worse.)

I completely understand, that the individuals who are enrolled in north APP want a predictable home, but I don't think it makes sense to lobby to be a 'school.' There are bad things that come with being defined that way that might come back to bite you. Schools don't have testing requirements, they generally have strictly defined boundaries or capacity limits. If anything in SPS is a program, it is APP. I think you would do better to lobby for all programs to be treated better than to get yourself defined as a school. North APP had a school building, and gave it up in order to stay together as a program. It may be different people who are now lobbying to become a school again, but I think you should be careful what you ask for.

Anonymous said...

Hi Maureen. There is nothing in the recent history of Seattle Public Schools to indicate that "programs" will ever be treated well. The kids in these programs are constantly moved around, or otherwise threatened with instability. I think programs are like pressure valves for capacity...the District likes them until they need to move kids around, and then they simply move them. The experience of Lowell APP parents two summers ago is indicative; neighborhood school (Lowell) is over-crowded, so lets decide in June or July to move 4th and 5th grade APP students to Lincoln for the next year. Oh wait, this is ridiculous and the parents are mad...let's move *everyone*, without determining what the next step is for the "program". Then, let's give them 1 year of certainty, but a hazy future after that. Enough.

When a program is successful, and gets big enough to warrant a location, I think it ceases to become a program but becomes a school. A school gets a regular District budget, it gets a regular (permanent) name, the staff can work and plan together (building curriculum, etc.), the operations people actually *count* the kids in their BEX planning. None of these things guarantee anything, but I think it helps to have the district think of this school as a school that can't as easily be messed with.

Imagine if all the language-immersion schools suddenly became "option schools" with a draw from outside the immediate neighborhood? Would John Stanford parents be willing to have their "school" become a "program" and have the level of instability that North End APP has had? I don't think so...

- Lincoln APP Parent

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have these issues to wrangle with than have a school board closing schools while the student population is growing, like in years past. Overcrowding is bad, but closing buildings and kicking kids out is far worse. Anyone who lived through the successive "Thanksgiving Surprises" during which placement and closure decisions were sprung upon us knows what I'm talking about.

APP at Lincoln: 5 years is 4.5 more "heads-up" than we got in '08. At least families can plan an have time to craft workable solutions, unlike under MGJ and the Gang-Of-Four.

Much work is left to be done, but at least this SPS Administration isn't living in denial like the last one.

For now, at least, Kafka has left the room. It could be much, much worse. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Great point, Lincoln APP Parent. I've often wondered about the same thing, especially while APP is labeled as privileged and elite, etc. Meanwhile, JSI is showered with love and praise, while clearly providing highly desirable curriculum based on address. What's up with that? I'm not down on JSI, but why does the board & staff apply such a clear double-standard with APP? WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Maureen-

What does this mean: "North APP had a school building, and gave it up in order to stay together as a program. "

We have been a part of APP for six years, and I am not familiar with this building that we had and gave up. If you are speaking about when we were shoved out of Lowell on July 8, 2011, I don't think any reasonable person would agree that we "gave it up." What school population would agree to have their 4th and 5th graders moved across the city? Nonsense.

This district needs to decide about the APP program as a whole. Does it intend for the program to continue? If so, they need to say so and prove it with their actions.

-sick of the district

Maureen said...

programs are like pressure valves for capacity

This is exactly true. The NSAP, combined with drawing boundaries so that many schools are running at capacity or above means that all SPS has left in their capacity balancing toolbox is programs and Option School geographic zones. This will get even worse if I-1240 passes. That is why they should define whatever they can as a program or an Option School (including immersion).

We have been a part of APP for six years, and I am not familiar with this building that we had and gave up.

Lowell APP was being pressured to spin off their 4th and 5th graders to be housed down the street from their 6-8th graders. The families, as was their right, fought back. They stayed together as a program, left the rest of the Lowell kids behind and in the process, I would argue, lost their opportunity to say that they are a school. I don't see what is so confusing about that.

IIRC, this is more or less what TOPS was prepared to do about seven years ago. The District wanted to move the K-5 TOPS kids to Thurgood Marshall (the whole school wouldn't have fit) and close down Montlake. We were all really angry because the building was remodeled for the program, and the location was perfect for a multi cluster draw, but the general consensus was we were more than the building--the important thing was to stay together. In the end, it didn't come to that, but one of these days it may and TOPS may need to argue that they are a program and not a school so they can all stay together. I think it is hard for families to think they can have it both ways.

I agree that SPS has to decide whether or not it is committed to a defined and comprehensive Advanced Learning Program. They can't have it both ways either.

Anonymous said...

Maureen-

Your statements are confusing because they are not correct.

APP would not now be at Lowell now whether or not it was just the 4th and 5th graders moved in 2011. Lowell would've been too full by the next year regardless. I do not believe that the district had any intention of really moving only the 4th and 5th graders. I believe that they came out with something completely stupid (moving 4th and 5th graders across town at the last minute), so that later, when they moved APP in its entirety, that they would save face somehow.

You say: "They stayed together as a program, left the rest of the Lowell kids behind and in the process, I would argue, lost their opportunity to say that they are a school." This is after your above comment where you say this: "North APP had a school building, and gave it up in order to stay together as a program. " So, isn't APP fighting to have again what you say we "gave up" in the first place? I think this is the crux of the problem. The district doesn't want to define what APP is so that they can change it whenever they want to.

Am I cynical? Yes. The north elementary program has been hard on families the last few years, and it doesn't appear that it's going to get better anytime soon.

-sick of the district

Anonymous said...

Please please bolster the ALO program so that families have an alternative to a nomadic elementary experience and we save APP for kids who really need it. Please raise the MAP bar to 98 or 99%. Please force principals to use ability or cluster groupings when the numbers are there to support it!
APP in ALO

Anonymous said...

Maureen, the Lowell experience actually proves my point. When APP was happily located at Lowell, we *thought* we were a school. When we outgrew it, we found out we were a "program" and the district did what they wanted to with us. Splitting off two of your 6 classes and sending them miles away (not "down the road") does not sound like a definition of a school. Had the other APP grades stayed at Lowell, I'm betting we would have just stayed the inevitable for a while. Program does not equal school, and if you're not a school, you don't mean much to this district.

(And by the way, thanks for the conversation around this! I really respect the points of view in this thread, and on most threads).

- Lincoln APP Parent

Anonymous said...

APP in ALO-

Yes, your suggestions are much closer to the requirements used until about 7 years ago. It used to be that kids needed 98+ on the Cogat and 98+ on the Woodcock Johnson reading and math tests. About 7 years ago, they lowered the bar on the WJ and made it 95+.

I also wonder how much of the "growth" is due to using MAP.

When we first started in APP, enrollment was much more predictable. In the last few years with the dismantling of Spectrum, non-enforcement of ALO and use of MAP, growth has exploded.

-sick of the district

NESeattleMom said...

Maureen, APP 4th & 5th graders if they had been sent off by themselves would have had no benefits of being down the road from a busy middle school with 5 programs including APP. But at HIMS there is no APP principal who would have watched over APP 4th and 5th graders two blocks away. At that time we really were a school with school spirit and cohesiveness. How would they have provided PE, library, administration, art, instrumental music, etc. especially how would they have provided a cohesive school? So, logically, it was decided to keep the cohort together, grades 1 through 5, but we did not "give up our school". It was that we were forced out because there wasn't enough room once there were three programs at the Lowell building instead of the original two programs.

Jan said...

I agree with Eric B (I think). I am glad that Banda has come out and ended the speculation that SNAPP had about their future location.

And I don't think it ultimately matters whether you are a "school" or a "program." In the end, it is all buildings and head count, and the District will work to preserve their ultimate ability to be flexible. (See the TOPS example above). APP was closest to a "school" before the TM split -- when they only cohoused with a SPED program that had pretty predictable size. I cannot recall now whether there was an APP population problem then -- but once half the APP kids left, and an uncontrollable (in terms of population count) attendance group moved in -- the handwriting was on the wall.

Nothing will "unring" the bells that were set in motion when MGJ split the cohort and cohoused the Lowell kids with a group whose size booted them out in two short years. On the upside -- they all landed north of the ship canal. On the downside, the wear and tear of a badly timed move, plus "nomad" status until 2017.

At this point, were I SNAPP, I would "take" what has been offered -- and I would stick to it like a barnacle on a rock. At this point, WP is "your" location. Build as many bonds to that commitment as you possibly can.

And until some numbers come in, in terms of the cost (curriculum, performance, etc.) of a further elementary split -- I think it would be a bad idea. You get down to 200/250 kids -- and you are down to essentially "spectrum self contained" size in a school -- 1 class each of 25 kids. The next rung on that latter is "clustering" in individual classrooms, and the end of APP altogether.

Jan said...

Sorry, bad math -- it would be TWO classes in each building -- but in a 500 or 600 kid building, I still think you are skating to the edge of a "clustering" argument that would do bad things for highly gifted kids.

Jan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Mas said...

The whole "school" vs. "program" question is pointless.

According to the District, the building is the school. Whatever group of students, teachers, curriculum, and instructional practices happening in it is the program.

The Cooper program was closed and the Pathfinder program was moved into the Cooper building.

The NOVA program was moved from the Mann building to the Meany building and may be moved back to the Mann building.

The Montessori program at MLK was moved to T T Minor and then to Leschi. The general education program at MLK was moved to T T Minor and then to Lowell.

Being a "school" instead of a "program" didn't make any difference to the district and didn't influence any of these decisions or outcomes in any way.

Erin from Bagley said...

Charlie et al,

After speaking with high level staff, the plan for APP was to put it at W-P, and reserve space at the proposed Decatur/Thornton Creek school as a second cohort site. Staff is anticipating APP cohort growth that will outpace the space available at W-P. The current BEX plan actually has two new elementary schools in the north end (W-P and Decatur) and two large expansions (North Beach and Olympic Hills).

My concerns about this plan are: neighborhood impacts around Thornton Creek/Decatur by adding another 600 students trying to get to school, and that they are being reactionary to demographics and not also being strategic. It is true there is population growth in the far NE and NW, there is also a build it and they will come effect to improving the schools there. In order to be strategic they need to look at where they want families to settle into and ALSO improve the schools in that area. It will relieve pressure on the areas that are currently growing by encouraging young families to settle in other parts of the north end. For example, in order to continue revitalizing the Aurora Corridor they should build out Bagley (of course I'm biased) to be attractive to more young families, this would bring business and continue to shift the neighborhood in a positive way. It would also spread growth geographically instead of concentrating it further in certain areas.

Charlie Mas said...

Thank you, North End Mom. You're right. The Olympic Hills project has been scaled back significantly, but it will still create enough new seats to accomodate an APP cohort.

Initially the District was going to construct a completely new additional and separate school building on the site and leave the existing school to continue. That would have been an additional 650 new seats added to the capacity.

Now the plan is to tear down the existing school and build a new school in its place. The additional capacity expected now is 230-380 new seats. That's enough to hold half of north-end elementary APP.

It's kinda far north for APP at 130th, but not out of the question.

Anonymous said...

Charlie -
John Rogers grew by 60 kids this year - over 24% growth in one year! This is AFTER they shrunk the John Rogers attendance area with the NSAP, and opened a K-8 0.5 miles away, at Jane Addams.

I think the extra capacity at Olympic Hills will come in handy in the Lake City area, especially when the 14-acre Pierre properties are redeveloped. Due to all the growth in the area, it doesn't seem likely that there will be room at Olympic Hills for an APP cohort.

-JR Mom

hschinske said...

"About 7 years ago, they lowered the bar on the WJ and made it 95+."

Not true -- the district used to report averages rather than cutoffs, and the average achievement score for admitted APP students varied from year to year, usually 97th or 98th percentile (e.g., in the Review of Highly Capable Programs 2000-2001 it was 97th percentile). They were very cagey about what the cutoff was, but I suspect it had been the 95th percentile for quite some time. But they did start using WASL scores, which don't have valid percentile interpretations at all, so that was worse, really.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Helen,

That's the first time I've heard someone who should know that the scores were NOT lowered. I've heard for years that they were lowered to get more minorities into APP, but that it actually didn't work that way, only filled APP up with merely "bright" kids instead of highly gifted.

Can you explain how that story got started?

Curiosity killed, well you know

Anonymous said...

Helen-

I have the same question as curiosity above. The information I wrote in my earlier post was told to me by a long-time elementary APP teacher. That seems like a good source to me.

-sick of the district

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to compare Seattle's entrance criteria to Bellevue's PRISM program.

Bellevue:

Recommended Standard Age Score of 144 (99.7%) on the Cognitive Abilities Test and at least 90% on Reading and Quantitative with one of those scores at 97% or above.

Seattle:

CogAT - 98% or more in two areas
MAP - 95% or more in both reading and math

Is it just the MAP, or the actual cutoffs, that are qualifying many more students? I'd say it's a little of both.

AL is also making a much greater effort to identify students for screening, based on MAP scores. Letters are sent to families if their student meets the initial cutoff. Many, many more students are going through AL testing as a result. This would have helped our family years ago - we were new to the district and at a school that didn't publicize or encourage the testing. Once we got clued in it was another year before we could apply for the testing, and another year before they could move schools.

-just fyi

Anonymous said...

Curiosity killed, the whole lowered standard to let more minority in is used a lot and it's a heavy baggage for a kid to carry. Heard similar things about UW lowering admission standard to increase minority enrollment by applying methods such as essay and SES in admission criteria. It's very effective in getting the population riled up and supporting the common notion that if you're minority, you must gotten in with a lot of help and not necessarily on your merit. And if you're one of the "model" minorities, it's because UW needs foreign paying students so their admissions take away spots from Washingtonian.

tired of this

Anonymous said...

I'm not just tired of this, it makes me frustrated. This is why the whole separate, but equal strategy of NSAP has nasty reprecussions. If parents can't see kids of different backgrounds working alongside each other in the same classroom and school, you don't get to see the wide variabilities among kids. What you get is a lot of stereotypes which we can find a personal anectdote to back up for suppot. If it gets repeated enough without actual vetting, people believe it.

And you know things you hear from a "teacher" isn't always accurate especially about another kid that isn't your own. Teacher should be talking to you about your own kid. And if you volunteer in the classroom and have access to info about other kids besides yours, you need to keep that info to yourself because of confidentiality and because it may not be in context.

tired of this

hschinske said...

justfyi, that supposed higher standard in Bellevue is on a grade-level test, so what the kid actually has to do is get a near-perfect score on a test of stuff that may well be below their ability, so they're not necessarily accurately ranked at the top at all. They're reducing the number of kids who qualify by essentially taking a near-random subset of the top X percent -- there's no guarantee that those kids are the same ones who would come out in the top half a percent on a test that had more ceiling.

Curiosity, my kids started kindergarten in 1999 and 2003, so I logged a lot of elementary school years and collected a lot of letters and flyers from the Advanced Learning Office (as it's now called). The "average" language comes from those. The subject of cutoffs came up many times on the old Yahoo discussion group SpectrumAPP (which still exists, if you want to subscribe and browse the archives).

The so-called 95th percentile on the WASL (which doesn't have true percentile scoring at all) also failed to capture the top 5% accurately, so presumably included a number of students who would fall below that on a proper norm-referenced test with sufficient ceiling to be accurate at the high end, while also keeping out students who should have qualified. In that sense it represented a lowering of standards despite the "95th" number they referred to not actually changing.

Helen Schinske

hschinske said...

There's no guarantee that long-term APP teachers know any more about testing issues than anyone else, unfortunately. I've heard completely contradictory things about Advanced Learning policies from long-term APP teachers.

This isn't a slam on their general knowledge or honesty, where I agree most should get high marks. I'm just saying they get stuff wrong sometimes (they're using outdated info, or they're generalizing inappropriately, or they've been fed a line by a higher-up, or whatever) just like everyone else.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

"About 7 years ago, they lowered the bar on the WJ and made it 95+."

Not true -- the district used to report averages rather than cutoffs, and the average achievement score for admitted APP students varied from year to year, usually 97th or 98th percentile (e.g., in the Review of Highly Capable Programs 2000-2001 it was 97th percentile).

Helen, I believe you're mistaken to correct sick-of-the-district on this, but I'm going to guess it's just a difference of which years we're talking about.

I don't go back quite as far as you do, but I can say for a fact that closer to the time Sick is referring to there was definitely a cutoff right at the 98th. Trust me on this, I know firsthand.

As for the district being cagey, there has definitely been a lot of that regarding the eligibility criteria over the years, and it's inexcusable. Set the policies, make them clear as glass, then stick with them until or unless they prove inadequate.

- too many changes

Anonymous said...

Curiosity killed, the whole lowered standard to let more minority in is used a lot and it's a heavy baggage for a kid to carry.

Yes, these stories don't make it any easier for the kids or their families, so while we're at it, let's talk about what really happened. Perhaps it will slow down the propagation of the myths.

The standards weren't lowered to find more under-represented kids (black, hispanic, FRL), although a number of years back there was "universal testing", where every kid in the district (in some grades?) was tested, for exactly that purpose. The goal was to try to find kids who might not otherwise know about the testing process and/or whose parents or teachers wouldn't recommend them. The effort failed. More kids were identified, but the percentages of under-represented groups was even less than it was before.

FRL kids do get an advantage at qualifying for AL programs because the district provides free private testing, but as long as it's administered properly it's not lowering the standards.

Off and on there has also been outreach to FRL and minority kids, to encourage them to test for Advanced Learning programs, and to accept the placement if qualified. Again, this may give these kids an extra chance, but it's NOT lowering the standards.

Later, the change to 2 out of 3 on CogAT was made for similar reasons, hoping that the non-verbal test would reach more previously unidentified kids, particularly kids whose first language was not English, but also any kids who might be gifted in "less traditional" ways. I don't think this has worked out very well, but it has definitely caused a great deal of growth in APP.

Use of WASL and MAP has changed over the years as well (seemingly resulting in more growth), but I think those were primarily for budget reasons, i.e. the test results already exist for almost every kid in the district, so we can get that data for free. This is tragic because the tests are NOT designed for this kind of use. We're knowingly mis-qualifying kids to save a few bucks.

- too many changes

hschinske said...

closer to the time Sick is referring to there was definitely a cutoff right at the 98th. Trust me on this, I know firsthand.

Didn't Sick say about seven years ago? That's 2005, and that's when the discussion on SpectrumAPP centered on whether the publicizing of a 95th percentile achievement cutoff was a change or not. I said it wasn't, based on all those letters about the AVERAGE being such-and-such. This is an issue I was most definitely paying a lot of attention to at the time.

Helen Schinske