Friday, December 14, 2007

Seattle Times Letters to the Editor

This letter to the editor appeared in today's Seattle Times:

"Bootstrap's on the other foot

The problem [of racial disparity] continues after APP into AP (Advanced Placement) high-school classes, another club for white, affluent families.

At least 55 percent of Roosevelt students need a level playing field that children in AP with stay-at-home/"hovercraft"-parents/Laurelhurst-privilege don't think a freaking minute about.

And that's one of the Seattle Public Schools' poster-child schools, Roosevelt. I'm at a boiling point.

I am not anti-APP or anti-AP. I am for opportunities for all and if we have only enough dough to fund one program, I want it to be for the kids falling through the cracks, as I believe the others will do fine in general with their notably larger variety of options.

Ideally, I want individual learning plans and high levels of achievement for each in their own way but, like I said, given that apparently everyone cannot be served, I'll help the most vulnerable first and leave the affluent kids "behind." We all know they'll do just fine.

— Kate Martin, mother of two sons at Roosevelt High School, Seattle

The perspective voiced here reflects a popular sentiment in Seattle.
It is tragically misinformed and misguided.

It refers, unfairly, to APP and AP as a "club for white, affluent families".
While Ms Martin claims that she is "not anti-APP or anti-AP" her other statements belie that claim.

Likewise, she claims to be "for opportunities for all", but then selects a class of students who should not have an opportunity.

It's a good thing that we don't only have enough dough to fund one program. There are hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to meeting the needs of underprivileged students and $350,000 in state grant money that is spent on APP. AP runs on self-help dollars.

Ms Martin presumes, incorrectly, that "everyone cannot be served" and presumes, incorrectly, that the affluent students will be just fine if they are abandoned by the District.


Anonymous said...

I highly doubt anyone will take her insulting letter seriously...it is more filled with rude comments than substance.

Anonymous said...

The letter was flanked by two much more thoughtful ones: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2004069763_frilets14.html .

Melissa Westbrook said...

I spoke with Kate once about Facilities issues and found her thoughtful and bright. So it is with sadness that I read her diatribe in the Times. From other sources she has made it clear that she is against any kind of upper level classes. She has heard, from Charlie and myself, about the issue of bright kids and this business of "doing fine". I won't rehash it here.

I'm the co-president of the PTSA at Roosevelt. Even I don't know where she gets the 55% figure she states. Does she know every family there? I will also state that there are no entry requirements for AP classes at Roosevelt (except maybe foreign language) and they are open to every student.

Sure, there can be differences of opinion about who does too much for their kids. But is it a crime to care about your child's education, stay at home with your children or live in Laurelhurst? Last time I checked, no.

As Charlie has pointed out, here and elsewhere, schools cannot begin to make up for what does or doesn't happen at home. They can try to provide support and guidance but no amount of money and time can change the entire landscape of a child's life. As someone interested in sociology and psychology, I always wonder about what it is in some people, and in particular kids, that allows them to rise above what seems to be difficult life situations.

Anonymous 5:30 is correct about the more thoughtful letters about the APP program that appeared in the Times as well.

Anonymous said...

Kate has a long history of voicing her inflammatory, unfounded, and often outrageous and accusatory opinions. She was banned about a year ago from posting on the CPPS Yahoo group because she was so aggressive. She continually accused CPPS of supporting the privatization of pblic education, even going so far as to say CPPS stands for communities for privatizing public schools. Unlike Beth, I find Kate absolutely intolerable. She is so out of line, that it ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa, have you ever read any of Emmy Werner's work? She did some really great studies on resilience of high-risk kids. If you are interested in sociology and psychology, check it out.


Anonymous said...

I attended a forum this week where Dr. Goodloe-Johnson spoke. A parent asked about Lowell, cannot remeber her question specifically. But Dr. G-J's response was clear, she will be looking closely at the program especially in light of the racism that exists within it. Afterwards, I read the report, clearly, Dr. G-J will be making changes.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Lowell, what exactly is racist about the program??? Can someone please explain it to me. Are some of the opinion that having a gifted program racist? I am totally perplexed as I thought you had to "test in" which in my opinion would make acceptance a level playing field. Is the "test" racist? The district? The program? The curriculum? Please be specific.

Please don't give statistics like there is a low percent of kids of color attending the program. That does not show how the program or district are racist. Many families of color know that the school is primarily white, and therefore perceive it to not welcoming to their children. THEY OPT NOT TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN THEIR. If there is something that the district is doing to limit of hinder acceptance of minority children, I would certainly like to hear about it.

We are a family of color, and I received a letter from the district two years in a row, telling me that my child tested higher than average on his standardized tests. They encouraged our family to take the APP test. In other words they were recruiting my black child. The opposite of racism, at least in my book.

Someone please explain it to me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 9:04,

Here is my explanation.

Sounds like typical SPS data driven decision making. Find some numbers that differ in someway from what might be expected. Then "carte blanche" do whatever you please.

Pretty common strategy in SPS.
Attribution analysis is rarely employed; as it usually would reveal that the numbers cited as different than what might be expected have nothing to do with what the district has planned.

Anonymous said...

There is well known evidence that the tests used result in different outcomes for different races. (African Americans score lower than whites, with some evidence that whites score lower than Asians, though that's not well established).

Whether this established difference in tests scores is racist or not depends on how you define racism (and what you think the value of the tests are for selecting the group that gets access to APP).

To use a bizarre example: if students in APP were chosen on the basis of height, there might end up being race differences in the invited population (which might then be amplified in the population that actually ended up attending, as parents chose not to send their kids to an environment where they were different from everyone else).

That's an odd example of a selection process, but those who look at the racially imbalanced outcome worry that something about our selection process (which is not perfect -- the cogat + various forms of private testing) is biased in a similar way and is producing a skewed population with the opportunity to participate in advanced learning. That worry remains even if we believe that the skewed invitations to join result from differences in the pre-school home environments (that point out differences in learning in the different groups). There are also big differences in IQ based on the SES of families.

In that case, for example, we might be selecting a population that had a more academic environment in their homes, a differences that might have been rapidly mitigated by providing that environment in the first few years of school.

With those concerns, APP becomes a mechanism for enhancing and amplifying the differences in opportunity that exist between different groups before they enter school.

One of the other letters to the editor spoke along these lines, and suggested that a broader group of considerations for participation might mitigate the problems of selection.

My take on the whole thing is that I have a real problem with the use of IQ testing to provide learning opportunities for young children, especially when the effect of those opportunities might be to amplify differences. Achievement testing also isn't very useful for young children, because it might just reflect differences in opportunity (one child had the chance to learn how to read, while the other didn't).

So, as I've mentioned before, I support 1) differentiation 2) an addressing of special needs of the profoundly gifted in the same way that we would address the special needs of the disabled and 3) a self-selected academic program, with a performance standard. I think this is *the* solution for post-elementary. For elementary, we need to think through the different scenarios.

And, for those who talk about APP as something that isn't broken, and doesn't hurt anyone, all I can say is that there's along history of the abuse of "tracking" to provide opportunities for some students at the *expense* of others. APP operates under the weight of that history, and thus, does need to prove that the form of tracking provided isn't diminishing and expanding opportunities for others (who do not participate in the program).


PS: Again, my kids test well above all the relevant scores; but I don't believe this reflects special needs on their part, and don't argue that it doesn't result from all of their multi-fold advantages.

Anonymous said...

PS: I don't find the letter to be at all elucidating, even though I question the role of the current ALO programs in the SPS.

Anonymous said...

I think the CogAT *might* be racially or socioeconomically biased, but it's not necessary to assume that in order for the whole testing *process* to be biased against those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. All that's necessary is for the testing process to be erratic and flawed, which it quite certainly is.

I know countless children of privilege who did poorly on the CogAT the first time around. The difference comes largely in how likely the parents are to appeal, to have them repeatedly tested, to move to fairer private testing, etc. (Incidentally, there are *lots* of kids who are privately tested and don't make the cut there either. The psychologists are not taking bribes for a particular test result.)

Another problem is the use of grade-level CogAT testing, which requires the child to be extremely accurate on material that may be well below their level for the most part. No room for careless errors, overthinking, etc. The publisher of the CogAT recommends that a level or two up be used for selecting for gifted programs. Doing that much would be free as far as I can see, and I've never understood why they won't make the change.

The district also shouldn't be using any one test as a veto. The way things currently are, low CogAT scores mean you get turned down, period, no matter HOW high the achievements. I think an automatic appeal process ought to be triggered by a large difference between scores, rather than the student being turned down out of hand and the ball being back in the parents' court.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Here are some items from the APP Report that address the institutionalized racism w/in the AP program.

"Nearly all interviewed stakeholders indicated that they believe that all students do NOT have equal opportunity to be included in the screening and ID process."

"If you have the resources, you can get your child into APP. It’s unfair to those families that don’t have the resources." The use of scores from private testers is a questionable practice; particularly since parents intimated that there were "ways" to be sure children would receive qualifying scores from the outside testers (the "go-to guys")."

"Some of the teachers in APP and some parents of APP students perceive that the modifications that have been made in the identification process to increase minority and low-income representation results in dilution of the program while not actually resulting in greater diversity."

"Most distressing of all our interview comments were those that revealed racism in the program. Students and adults reported that African-American students in the program have been bullied (verbally and "under the radar screen") and isolated by peers. Students reported racist comments from teachers and other adults in the buildings. In addition, they reported that "You have to be like them or they won’t give you the time of day." Another African-American student was told by another student in the school, "Stop coming here. This is a white school." One student summarized this issue as, "The teachers have a range. Some are nice, some are tough, and some are just evil." Counselors and other adults were not perceived as trustworthy individuals to go to with these issues. Issues of abuse of confidentiality were cited as the reasons for reluctance to approach adults in the school. Additionally, the counselors and teachers did not consistently recognize cultural isolation as a substantial problem in their classrooms, despite the candid comments from some APP students of color and their families."

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:22 PM

Does not sound much different than the treatment that many African-American boys received at the Bush School over the last several years.

Anonymous said...

This comment may be a little off topic but it seemed appropriate to share a "Post and Courier Letter to the Editor" from Charleston that appears in today's (Mon, Dec 17) edition about one of the new hires at SPS. The letter about Michael Tolley follows:


Congratulations to the Charleston County School District. The good news is that, once again, the Academic Mag­net [High] School has received national recognition and is a cause for all of us to celebrate. All of us are the beneficiaries when any of our schools are as accom­plished as Academic Magnet.

We rejoice with the school in its accomplishments and in the national acknowledgement of its excellence.

Please join with us, the Catho­lic school community, as we cel­ebrate that Michael Tolley, one of our Catholic elementary and secondary school graduates, played a significant role as its principal in the development of the Academic Magnet School community and its programs.

Michael graduated from our Sacred Heart Elementary School and from Bishop Eng­land High School. He began his professional career in education as a teacher at Bishop England High School.

How good it is when we can come together in celebration of some of the best educators and educational programs that each of us offers the Charleston com­munity.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Diocese of Charleston
Ingram Drive
[Charleston, SC]

Anonymous said...

anon at 7:22, all of your comments are here say. I just don't buy it. We are a black family. Live in the North end. Kids go to primarily white schools. Now in many honors classes. They have NEVER felt racism, institutionalized or other. One time in elementary school a child called my son a "nigger". He had no idea the gravity of what the word even meant. Neither did my son. The school dealt with it very seriously. The parents called and apologized profusely. We have been good friends with that family for the last years. The boys are also very good friends. There was no racism there, at all. But, I guess I could have read racism into it, after all he did use a very ugly word. Be careful of your accusations. Be sure that they are true. I find our district, lead by a black woman, with a school board that has a lot of diversity on it, would not tolerate racism in any way, shape or form. I think this account of racism at Lowell is not founded and can not be validated at all. If you make these very serious statements, you have to back them up with proof, not just here say.

Anonymous said...

anony@4:27, I think that you can't possibly know if someone else has experienced racism, and that it's highly inappropriate to presume that someone else's experience, if different from your own, must be incorrect.

I too am fortunate in having encountered very little racism against me (or my children). But, I wouldn't use that experience to invalidate another's experiences.

As your own personal story and experience illustrates, it's often useful to work through, rather than merely react with anger, through one's experiences of racism.

Anony@722 was quoting from the APP report. Perhaps the same thing can be done with the appropriate interventions at the APP program. Maybe people are sincere and deserve a second chance. Refusing to believe things you'd rather not have be true doesn't make them any less true.

(anony1014, and not black, by the way, but also not white)

Anonymous said...

anony@4:27 says, "all of your comments are here say. I just don't buy it."

Actually all documented in the APP report, which Dr G-J sited at an open forum last week. She is concerned.

"If you make these very serious statements, you have to back them up with proof, not just here say."

Read the report, here is the link:


Charlie Mas said...

Here's a funny thing. If I tell you that something happened, then it is hearsay. If I tell a reviewer from the University of Virginia, then it is documented proof.

I'm not saying that these things did happen or didn't happen. I don't know. I wasn't there. I have no comment on that. I'm just noting the difference between hearsay and a documented fact.

Anonymous said...


To continue with your thought.
If you tell a local newspaper and it is reported in print, it may bear little resemblance to what you said.

Our current Superintendent of Public Instruction says lots of things that are not true, for she is running for re-election.

The fact I can see her speaking the actual words on television means it is not hearsay but it does not make them true.

The SPS is famous IMHO for putting up cherry-picked numbers and drawing absurd conclusions.
This is marketed by the SPS as data driven decision making -- decision making based on hearsay could hardly be worse.

Pick your poison?
Watch out for poison picked by others.

Wow!!! an autocratic oligarchy telling us that it is basing decisions in a manner that is similar to attribution analysis.

I believe my BS detector is in alarm mode at this time.

Anonymous said...

has anybody posting read the entire report. If so you will see a thread all the way through, not just a couple of comments that you are indicating are hearsay or BS.
Said this before, Dr. G-J is concerned about the racism in the APP program and she is going to address it!

Anonymous said...


I was just re-reading your comments and you sound as hyperbolic as the letter writer. No one is suggesting the abandonment of APP students. Their many opportunities cannot be construed as abandonment no matter how victimized you make them sound. I think Kate was talking about greater parity between the haves and the haves-not.

Also, you mix apples and oranges by saying APP students only get $300,000 compared to the millions spent on at-risk students. APP students get basic ed allocation plus the benefit of monies raised by parents at schools such as Laurelhurst. Moreover, the money for Title 1, or at-risk students, goes to pay for an infrasture of support that if, God forbid, your child needed, would be there. Doesn't seem to work the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how
APP students benefit from money raised by Laurelhurst Elem. parents. Can you explain that please? My understanding is that the students benefit from the money raised by their parents at their school. Please set me straight on this, it is news to me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:49 what I said was that our family has not experienced racism. Neither have many of our black friends with kids at SPS. Just because a few families tell an interviewer/researcher that their is racism at the school does not mean it exists. It may, but it may not. Many people read racism into situations where it doesn't really exist. Like the example that I gave of a child calling my son a nigger. He nor his family are racists. Never were, never will be. IT was a child that heard a word, had no idea of the gravity of the word, and used it. My son was sent to detention for calling someone gay the other day. He is certainly not homophobic, he doesn't even know what homosexuality is. He was sent to the office, and later we explained to him what that word meant in a way that a 10 year old could grasp. I do not believe that racism is rampant in this district or in this city. Does it happen. Sure, but rarely. You can believe that racists lurk around every corner it if you want to. You can believe that black kids are being kept out of Lowell if you want to. I can't change that. I don't believe it though. I couldn't live here if I believed it.

Anonymous said...

There's no question that black kids are being excluded from opportunities at Lowell, because the Cogat is the primary testing mechanism used for entry, and the test has a clear documented differences between black and white children's scores.

I personally agree with you that this outcome does not result from a conscious effort by any part of the SPS to exclude blacks from advanced learning opportunities. But, I also believe that blacks are just as capable of achievement as any other group of humans. I further believe that differences in testing outcomes might stem from a number of remediable factors, that instead get exacerbated when we exclude one group from participation in opportunities.

The COGAT, or any other test of ability measures only the development engendered, given opportunity. Thus, when we exclude on its basis, we do the same thing as supporting the differences in opportunity for development that existed in the first place. I am unwilling to allow that outcome in a public school system I support (and will fight it to the best of my ability).

I was also surprised by the reports of overt racism at Lowell (as opposed to the racially suspect outcomes that result from at best, arbitrary selection processes); The stories do not mesh with the Seattle I live in. But,I'm not going to hide my head in the sand and summarily dismiss others' reported experiences because I don't want to believe them or because they don't mesh with my experience (or my friends and neighbors). (as anony@5:49 prefers).

I found an interesting article by one of the minds behind the Cogat on the question of gifted identification that others might find worthwhile reading:

Lohman, D. F. (2006). Identifying academically talented minority students.


Anonymous said...

PS: Basically, Lohamn, one of the developers of the CogAT, comes down solidly on using different cutoff scores for different subgroups of individuals with different opportunities for development:

"A better policy would be to make decisions about potential
using the most valid and reliable aptitude tests and to compare each student’s scores to those of others who share similar learning opportunities or background characteristics. In other words, identification of aptitude should be made within groups who have had similar opportunities to learn the knowledge and develop the skills being measured."

"Emphasize that true academic giftedness is evidenced by accomplishment. Predictions that one might someday exhibit excellence in a domain are not helpful unless they translate into purposeful striving toward the goal of excellence."

from "Cognitively Speaking" Winter 2005


Anonymous said...

"PS: Basically, Lohman, one of the developers of the CogAT, comes down solidly on using different cutoff scores for different subgroups of individuals with different opportunities for development"

Oh, I disagree. Many of the kids I know who've eventually tested into the programs and done well were not at ALL borderline on the tests -- they were way low on the CogAT. Lower cutoffs are no good whatsoever when it comes to plain invalid results. You can't go taking everyone who scores over 37th percentile, just because one kid who scored 37th on the CogAT subsequently came out at 99th on the WISC.

I'd much rather see them have a system where you got points for *any* very high scores, whether ability or achievement, with individual testing and out-of-level achievement possibly given more weight. Something like the Iowa Acceleration Scale. Portland's Access program works something like this.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...


You should read Lohman's analysis It's not my analysis, and in fact, I don't have a particular strong opinion on how to select individuals for APP, since I oppose tracking in any case, and still think differentiation is the only answer for all learners.

Lohman's discussion is pretty systematic, and he also makes suggestions about using combined scores on different testing instruments. The problem with your "or" operation is that you end up with the cumulative variability on all the different testing instruments (basically increasing the randomness of the whole process).

Lohman suggests using an average of different scores (it might be similar to some of the ones you mention).

But, he also advocates using different cutoffs, because he argues that the CogAT, for example, is only valid when comparing among groups who have had similar developmental opportunities. So, for example, using it to compare my children (who are quite priveleged in every way) is valid when we use it to compare them to other children from the same SES and educational opportunities as them. But, using their CogAT scores to compare with someone who has not had their priveleged background does not help us decide who has more developmental ability.

I'm working my way back to my original complaint, and coming to become convinced that our current process is almost as bad as using height to choose kids for APP (even while continuing to maintain that tracking is not the right solution for the problem of addressing the needs of most averagely advanced learners).

Anonymous said...

"Cogat is the primary testing mechanism used for entry, and the test has a clear documented differences between black and white children's scores."

First of all, almost every standardized test has a difference between black and white children's scores.

So what type of "different" test would you like for black kids. A test that uses ebonics? A test that uses basketball analogies?? Fried chicken? What? What would you like to see on the test? Or, maybe we should just give black kids extra points, to make up for their disadvantage??

As a black family, I am utterly ashamed and shocked to think that someone might think my child, for the sole reason of his skin color, can't perform as well on a Cogat test than a Caucasian or Asian student. There may be social reasons that blacks perform lower. Many more people of color are low income, do not attend pre-school, etc. Address those concerns appropriately. As a low income concern. Not a skin color concern.

You would do better to manipulate a test for low income population, than for black kids.

And, if you go to a white low income trailor park neighborhood, you will find that those kids don't perform well on a Cogat test either. Nowhere near as well as their affluent white counterparts. It is not a black/white thing folks.

Anonymous said...

I have not only read Lohman's analysis (though not for a while), I went to hear him speak when he came to Seattle. He's the one I'm always referring to when I call for out-of-level use of the CogAT, which reduces the randomness of the high end scores.

I'm in favor of multiple high test results (and-ing rather than or-ing), but I'm not in favor of any one test result automatically keeping kids out, so some or-ing has to happen. It's a heck of a lot easier to accidentally score low one day (just being a wiggly kid who has to go to the bathroom or something will do it) than to accidentally score high one day.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

"In other words, identification of aptitude should be made within groups who have had similar opportunities to learn the knowledge and develop the skills being measured."

(to quote Lohman).

There's nothing about race in there. It would be reasonable to apply the standard based on SES levels, rather than race per se. (mind you, I still believe that race is still a special handicap in our not race-blind society, but we don't need to go into that difficult decision, if SES level will do).

Anonymous said...

"It's a heck of a lot easier to accidentally score low one day (just being a wiggly kid who has to go to the bathroom or something will do it) than to accidentally score high one day."

This is true for non-random error, but the random error is as likely to go in either direction. Lohman has some interesting simulations (basically, correlations between test/re-test, and the Effect they have on scores). Without an identified reason, it's not reasonable to assume that the lower scores are necessarily less valid than the high scores, especially on a test like the CogAT.

But, I think your proposal (anding, but without a required threshold) is probably quite similar to some of the formulas Lohman derives (which involve averaging, which is a form of anding, that allows high scores in one assessment making up for lower scores in another, with no particular score threshold for any subtest).

There's a lot of new stuff at Lohman's site, well thought out arguments against the use of non-verbal tests, for example (which I also think would be unfortunate, and might cause bigger gender differences).

(mind you, I still don't think this is the right way to address the needs of any learner, included advanced learners. But, if we're going to do it, I want to do it in a way that doesn't turn into a rigged amplification scheme for the socioeconomically privileged. We have enough of those already (private school being an important player).

(I particularly do not like the role that private testing plays in our current system).

Anonymous said...

"As a black family, I am utterly ashamed and shocked to think that someone might think my child, for the sole reason of his skin color, can't perform as well on a Cogat test than a Caucasian or Asian student."

Unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who think that, including Nobel Laureates like James Watson (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article2630748.ece). I think it's great that you think their existence and beliefs doesn't hurt you or the environment in which your children try to excel. But, I feel differently about my own and pretty much expect to encounter people who will judge me and mine on the basis of the colors of their skin. So, when I see a selective admissions process that results in such a skewed outcome, I want to think about why, and whether we're contributing to the problem.

Anonymous said...

"Without an identified reason, it's not reasonable to assume that the lower scores are necessarily less valid than the high scores, especially on a test like the CogAT."

It's just common sense that anyone can score much *lower* than their ability. Granted, particularly on a grade-level test, random factors can put you a bit above level, too, but that can go only so far. Downward, all you have to do is not answer things (or, say, miss a line in the test booklet and get half the questions answered in the wrong place ...) and you can get a score that's as low as you please. That kind of testing error is not accounted for in things like the standard error of measurement -- and it shouldn't be. Nor can anyone remediate for it by tinkering with cutoffs.

I think the private testing business is a lot like the issue of the district having so-so to terrible math curriculum and quite a lot of so-so to terrible math teachers: those with socioeconomic power often get around any poor math instruction by tutoring their kids themselves or paying for tutoring. Those who have less power are therefore more likely to suffer ill effects from poor instruction. But it's hardly the fault of the tutoring parents, who have mostly been advocating for years for better math instruction for everyone.

At this point, I think a lot of the reforms that would help poor and minority students the most don't necessarily have "Solution for Poor and Minority" written on them in large letters. They're just common-sense things that would make life fairer and easier, period. Nothing wrong with that.

Helen Schinske

Charlie Mas said...

anonymous at 9:39 wrote:
"So, when I see a selective admissions process that results in such a skewed outcome, I want to think about why, and whether we're contributing to the problem.

I'm totally in favor of this approach. Let's think about why. Let's not immediately presume that we know why. And then let's take action to address the why.

I would like to point out that the review of APP, the one that was not shy about raising the issue of racism in and around the program, commended the program for:

"Use of high quality measures of aptitude and achievement to gather information about the students’ potential and achievement;

Viewing students’ scores in light of the opportunities they have had;"

So it would appear that a lot of the complaints about the testing were not supported by the review team.