Due to the gravity of the errors made, I am herewith forwarding all of my critical decision path communications from just before the construction of the entrance function to Paul's note that launched the first set of second looks at the data.

Friday 04 April

At 22:25 I sent out the report now found at: http://shark.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/entrance/31mathentrancefirstlook.html relating to work I had done Friday evening on the mathematics section of the entrance test data. This report had no bearing on later events which solely involved the English components of the entrance examination.

Saturday 05 April

At 7:00 I sent out the attached  "A Saturday morning romp..." which looked at correlations between the sections of the entrance test.  This report would have no direct impact on the incident.  The report would, however, later be repeated to look at whether the actual PICS essay scores were different from those predicted by a correlation function.  This was sent from my house.
At 8:49 I would send home from the College the first broken tile.  The message was short:
Structure = 10*(1.158*raw+21.47)
Reading = 10*(0.9150*raw+21.92)
The attached toeflconversion.xls spreadsheet reveals the fatal flaw: I had been given a TOEFL reading conversion table for a fifty question test.  The spreadsheet confirms this: I used the bottom of parallel range bins.  The raw scores end at 48: the top of the bin was 50.
I have never seen nor administered the structure section.  I had absolutely no way of knowing that the total possible was incorrect.  At this point the whole process was doomed to an incorrect conclusion. 
That morning and on into the afternoon would be spent marking essays.
At home that afternoon and late into the night I was entering essay scores. 

Sunday 06 April

I would spend Sunday morning working on the entrance function.  I used the flawed reading function to convert reading scores into projected TOEFL scores. The structure function, while possibly not from the correct table for the structure section administered, was at least on the correct number of questions.
I was working with the number 600 in my head - the number the admissions board had indicated we traditionally admitted to the national campus.  When I got down to the 600th student I noticed we were near 470. 
For some time now the admissions board has used an Excel spreadsheet function designed by me - one that made cuts at 400 and 470 to divide up state, IEP, and national admission.  I realized that I could use the same basic function and thereby use our previously approved cut points.  This seemed to me to be a logical approach: by using the cut points that we have used for the last few years we would be consistent in our standards.
At lunch time Sunday I had been at the computer every waking moment since Saturday afternoon.  My family insisted that I needed to get some sunlight and took me to the Village.
By mid-Sunday afternoon I felt I understood and had solved the "boundary value problems" generated by the equation.  Sometime in the middle of Sunday afternoon I sat back in my chair and stared at the equation for a long time.  I realized as I looked at it that few would comprehend the equation, its cut points, and its boundary value problem solutions.  I surmised that in the upcoming admissions board meeting the committee would look at the equation, trust my work, and approve it.  As Jonathan noted in an earlier email, what other option did the time-pressed committee have? 
I turned to my family and said words along the lines of, "I have just decided who gets to go to Palikir and who does not.  I do not want this responsibility.  No will spend the time I've spent to make sure this is right.  I will be alone on this one."  I then said a prayer hoping I'd got it right. 
Unfortunately I had neglected the adage of the computer age: garbage in equals garbage out.  Although my work was solid, it was based on a flawed conversion function, the incorrect tables I had been given Saturday morning.  I had trusted the tables to be correct.
I knew I had to send out a thorough report with statistics and data so that others could vet my work thoroughly.  At 17:27 on Sunday I sent out "Predicting the future with an equation..."  That email contained the following critical information:
Projected destination (ProjDest) 3: National Campus: 694
2: IEP: 225
1: State Campus: 440
I did not know the historic values for these numbers.  I was counting on someone responding if those numbers were out of line.  Apparently they were, and badly so.  The IEP numbers are apparently way low against historic norms, or so I am led to believe. 
I think the complication was that no one person carries the total IEP count in their head: Pohnpei knows their number, Kosrae knows theirs, Yap knows theirs, and so forth.   No one, however, walks around with the sum in their head.
I knew the email was important and I sent a copy to both Ringlen's college and Hotmail address in the hopes that he was remaining in contact while on the road.  The email also went to to admissions board personnel and others who had worked on the entrance test.
I do note one omission from the email list: as far as I can tell from the To: list the director of the Kosrae campus did not get a copy of that email.  In addition the Pohnpei campus copy went to Patty Grandos.  Joakim and Lourdes did, however, receive copies of that note. 
My apologies to director Kephas, I was hand typing the address list and I was at that point dizzy and tired from having spent 20 of the prior 26 hours sitting in front of a computer working. 
Paul would know, but I think I might have bcc'ed my division and him.  I have always looked to Paul as I know he catches stuff I miss. 

Sunday evening

I would spend Sunday evening looking  at the high school results in the email "A look at the high schools".  Here a second error, completely mine, would be made.  The critical omission was the following table:

2001 Grand 2003 2002 2001 2002 0.95
HS Count Average StDev Average Count Average StDev Average Count Average Avg Rank Rank Rank Conf
CCA 9 619.04 50.4 475.44 10 592 55 432 7 536 437
1 2 39
Xavier 26 628.21 29.63 475.44 25 536 44 432 26 548 437
2 1 18
PSDA 22 566.02 67.18 475.44 40 519 60 432 30 528 437
3 4 19
YSDA 5 461.52 64.25 475.44 15 505 64 432 5 533 437
4 3 36
PATS 24 544.97 63.94 475.44 40 486 59 432 37 493 437
5 5 19
SCA 42 514.56 60.4 475.44 46 478 51 432 42 470 437
6 12 15
PICS 325 523.18 62.1 475.44 242 467 56 432 259 477 437
7 7 7
YHS 103 513.28 88.21 475.44 109 458 74 432 117 474 437
8 9 14
KHS 126 512.85 72.49 475.44 140 452 66 432 96 460 437
9 14 11
Mizpah 22 471.98 44.7 475.44 18 449 46 432

OIHS 28 509.41 68.24 475.44 19 444 54 432 24 384 437
11 20 26
OHWA 10 494.6 79.72 475.44 8 433 77 432 9 433 437
12 16 64
Nukuno (NCHS) 11 392.51 49.29 475.44 6 373 69 432

SNHS 89 402.47 46.39 475.44 72 366 38 432 80 418 437
14 17 9
CHS 268 411.94 58.81 475.44 209 362 49 432 219 369 437
15 22 7
Weno 113 386.4 46.83 475.44 103 357 62 432 97 366 437
16 23 12
Berea 24 446.21 60.28 475.44

24 481 437

CSDA 13 510.38 70.87 475.44

13 439 437

Woleai (NICHS) 29 458.56 64.24 475.44

30 402 437

PentLHA 38 421.22 56.45 475.44

29 356 437

The problem can be seen in the "Grand Average" columns.  I had a 43 point rise in the TOEFL average, an average for which I knew the historic amounts of movement to be on the order of five points. 
That night I looked back over my work, including the conversion functions, but could find no flaw in the data, functions, or statistical analyses.  I was hesitant to report a 43 point rise.  As Paul would later note that this would trumpeted as proof of the greatness of the high schools.
I, however, was aware we had dumped one section of the TOEFL (listening) and I knew that Jonathan had reworking one of the other sections.  Whenever a test is changed, the new data can be very different from the old data.  The rule in statistics is that if one makes changes that are significant, new results cannot be compared to old results. 
Tired, and unable to another explanation, I opted to omit the above table and said:
Many things changed on the entrance test this year.  Too many.  As a result I have to re-engineer most of the statistics I report.  I begin with mathematics as I will present a new way of measuring high school performance.  The result will be NO HISTORICAL comparison data this year.  That will come next year. 
In English the change in the structure of the test created similar problems with historic comparisons.  For now I will report simply a pseudo-z value rank order.  The z-value is the school average on the structure and reading sections minus the averages of the schools (not of all the students) and then that difference is divided by the standard deviation of the schools.  These values then provide the capacity to generate a rank order. 
Unfortunately the 43 point jump was not a result of test changes.  It was result of the factors cited by Jonathan, including the use of an incorrect table.  Correcting the table, however, would be expected to only drop the jump by 10 points.  This leaves a 33 point jump, still a large jump.  The use of the wrong conversion table alone is not the only thing that altered the placement.   Other changes either made the test easier or the high schools really are getting better.
As we rush to impale ourselves on our swords and seek ways to financially save the IEP programs, let us not unduly deride the high schools.  It may well be that PICS and KHS are producing fewer IEP level students.  The table only explains 10 of the 43 point nationwide jump.  And KHS experienced a 61 point in their TOEFL score.  All of the errors put together cannot explain this away.
Bear in mind that the essays, and independent variable for KHS, correlate highly with the reading and structure.  And 59% of the KHS students wrote a 4, 5, or 6 essay.  These are, against the rest of the nation, good essays. 
So when Paul later wrote questioning the high admissions, my look back at my data suggested the boost was REAL.  Even now, correcting the data is still likely to leave far higher than usual admissions from KHS. 
I have not studied PICS results in detail, but maybe, just maybe, the high schools are starting to get the job done in English.  Where this happens, IEP is dead.  Sorry all, but if the high schools produce stronger students then the IEPs are likely to die.  And I still cannot rule out underlying improvement in the high schools as a contributing factor to the decrease in IEP and increase in national campus admission.
For those concerned about my having a national campus bias, I would ask that my record be reviewed.  I have been a strong supporter of the state campuses.  I have taught in the state campuses both here in Pohnpei and on Kosrae since 1993, with my only hiatus being the five years I was with Title III.  I wrote a long tome last July arguing for stronger state campus offerings and in support of state campuses.  
As I worked on the admissions work I was concerned about the state campuses, they are near on always in my mind when I do curriculum or admissions work.  As noted, however, I did not have the historical numbers and hoped someone else would holler if I something was amiss.

Monday 06 April

Monday was absorbed with the fallout from the PICS essays. VPIA Spensin James met with the principal, but the meeting did not end with an agreement.  I visited the principal in the evening and then drove to Nett to talk to Jonathan. This is the dogs, children, and underwear meeting he mentioned in one of his notes.

Tuesday 07 April

I continued to work on the PICS data.

Wednesday 08 April

I produced "Admissions: What percentage were admitted where..." which went out at 10:30 that night. This contained the critical table:

26 26 0 0 1 3

9 9 0 0 1 3
1 22 23 0 0.04 0.96 2.96
1 21 22 0 0.05 0.95 2.95
PATS 1 3 20 24 0.04 0.13 0.83 2.79
PICS 19 40 266 325 0.06 0.12 0.82 2.76
SCA 3 6 33 42 0.07 0.14 0.79 2.71
OIHS 3 4 21 28 0.11 0.14 0.75 2.64
KHS 10 27 89 126 0.08 0.21 0.71 2.63
YHS 16 20 67 103 0.16 0.19 0.65 2.5
CSDA 3 1 9 13 0.23 0.08 0.69 2.46
KSC 2 1 6 9 0.22 0.11 0.67 2.44
Mizpah 3 8 11 22 0.14 0.36 0.5 2.36
Ohwa 2 3 5 10 0.2 0.3 0.5 2.3
NICHS 7 8 14 29 0.24 0.28 0.48 2.24
3 5 0.4 0 0.6 2.2
Berea 10 5 9 24 0.42 0.21 0.38 1.96
PLHA 19 12 7 38 0.5 0.32 0.18 1.68
CHS 178 50 40 268 0.66 0.19 0.15 1.49
SNHS 66 16 7 89 0.74 0.18 0.08 1.34
Weno 87 18 8 113 0.77 0.16 0.07 1.3
NCHS 9 1 1 11 0.82 0.09 0.09 1.27
Sums: 440 225 694 1359 0.32 0.17 0.51 2.19

At the time this email went out the admissions letters had not been prepared.  The state campuses were sent this information, with the email going specifically to: --deleted from web page version --

At each step I was hoping others were looking at the data I was generating and would let me know if something looked amiss.  Of course this is period in which the time crunch hurt us: we were trying to move to letter production as fast as humanly possible. 

Friday 11 April

On Friday I sent out the "Admissions letter wording..." at 1:29 P.M.  Tropical Storm 02W had shut the campus down for two days, the lull provided the time I needed to work on the admissions letters.  Due to the non-work day on Friday, nothing would be done with this letter until the following week at the earliest. 
At this point, having heard nary otherwise, I presumed the numbers that were being generated were acceptable.

Saturday 19 April

Eight days later, in the middle of Easter recess, at 8:20 A.M. on a Saturday morning Paul compliments the national campus geniuses and begins the ball rolling on a second look at the numbers.  At this point I am convinced I am running on solid ground and offer a rebuttal sharing the followign cross-table:

MS 090 MS 065 MS 095 MS 098 MS 100 MS 101 MS 150 Sum
Cert 10

IEP 23 2
Natl 50 12 10 15 2 89
Sum 83 14 10 17 2 126
The cross-table gets sent on Sunday.

Monday 21 April

Paul gives me the first historic numbers, the first indication that something went wrong. 
Over the last 6 years I have kept detailed stats of my own regarding the perfomance of KHS students. I try to keep track of how many seniors can get 60% of the questions right on each section, the standard pass/fail requirement. On the old TOEFL this translated to a 500 average. When removing Upward Bound from the mix KHS had somewhere between 5-10 students each year who could attain this level.
I realized the import of his data: I deeply understand the sluggishness of statistical change.  This was a indication something was not valid.   I remain grateful to Paul for providing me numbers - up until then I was in the dark as to the historic values.  His note later that same day would confirm both the usual sluggishness and the sudden change:
1999- 39 Regular Students
2000- 29 Regular Students
2001- 27 Regular Students
2002- 32 Regular Students
(trumpets please
I then went back over everything and could not find an explanation.  At this point, however, the idea that something was amiss was forming.  A rolling ongoing discussion began.

Monday 05 May

Jonathan shared information from last year's results that suggested we admitted 100 more than the previous year, 694 versus 591.  Various reasons why this might have happened were cited.

Tuesday 06 May

I was talking to Bastora when she noted that our cut-offs appeared to be wrong.  Bastora has a deep and intuitive sense with regards admissions from her years of working with the data.  She was the first person to mention to me the possibility that the number of questions was amiss.
Jonathan wrote another note listing all of the now known factors that led to the problems. This then led to an avalanche of email on the topic.

Thursday 08 May

The drop-dead critical as a heart attack admissions board meeting is postponed so curriculum committee can meet.  Depressed and angry that no resolution will be in the offing until Monday, I could not muster myself for a curriculum meeting.
In the evening I went and visited Deep Kool-Aid (DK), my student informant at PICS in regards the essays.  Holding pride of place on the wall over her bed was her admissions letter to the national campus.  Her older siblings had placed into the IEP program, she was excited that she had successfully gained admission to the national campus.  Were she to now get a letter changing her admission, she would either be crushed or angry, possible both. 
Because I work in the cold and harsh world of statistics I always force myself to know the stories behind the anonymous piles of numbers I crunch. 
Extrapolate from DK to all of the students impacted and we will have found one more way to tick off and alienate our students.
Do not get me wrong, I do not oppose any of the ideas in circulation. In fact at this point I neither oppose nor support any idea.  Since I was in the chain that led to the incident I am recusing myself from backing any particular solution.
I would suggest that we apply our corrections based on the errors made.  The error was in the reading scores, someone get me the CORRECT table and I can rerun the scores with the correct function.  If someone would get me the CORRECT structure conversion I would that.  Then I could rerun my analysis using our traditional cuts at 400 and 470 and see what change occurs. 
Bear in mind that these changes may not have a big impact in KHS.  Paul notes that usually only 5 to 10 non-UB students gain national campus admission.  The UB students, by and large, gain national campus admission.  I think two last year (2002) did not.  Use Paul's cut-off of 500 but add 10 for the fault reading conversion, so look only at students above 510. 
There are 63 students above 510, only 15 of whom are UB.  13 of the 17 UB students are clustered at or above a 563 average.  Yet there are 18 non-UB students at or above this 563 number.  KHS, all by itself and without the massive resources of UB, lifted 18 non-UB students to a UB level.  Sure, out of 126 this is only 14%, but apparently the capacity is there in some classes.  In the world of the FSM this is a solid high school.  Whoever handled those 18 did a great job. 
This genius continues to believe that there was real improvement in some high schools and that this also contributed to the lowered IEP numbers.  What I am saying is that our efforts to correct the errors should not be a zero-sum game: we should not shoot to remove all statistical improvement in the numbers who achieved national campus admission.
If I am going to run tomorrow morning at 7:00 in the fun run then I must go to bed, it is after one in the morning now.
I know I have miswritten some things, left out negatives, etc.  Please forgive me. 
Thank-you for reading and studying this!