The Interview


Interviewer: Tell us a little bit about your background in mathematics and what you’ve done recently. (0:00 - 1:50)

Glenda Lappan: I’m a professor in the department of mathematics. I’ve been at Michigan State University since 1965. I’ve taken leaves from Michigan State to do other kinds of things. I worked as a program officer at the National Science Foundation for 2 years running the teacher preparation program at the National Foundation. I am also currently president elect of NCTM and I serve on a number of boards in Washington that are policy boards. I serve on the National Board for Research, Priorities, and Policy and I serve on the Mathematical Science Education board and I also serve on the advisory board for the National Science Foundation, Education and Human Resources.

Do you want me to say a bit about my own professional interest?

Interviewer: Yes please, that'd be great.

Glenda Lappan: When I came to Michigan State and took a job in department of mathematics, I was really the first hire in mathematics that had an interest in the teaching and learning of mathematics. So throughout my entire career here my own professional work here has been about trying to get smarter about children engaging in learning in mathematics and in particular how to help teachers structure a classroom, choose mathematical materials, ask the kinds of questions that allow students to engage in mathematics in a way that leads to deep understanding. So I’ve sort of had a lifelong commitment to both teachers and to student learning of mathematics.

Interviewer: You played a key role in the development of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Standards. Can you talk a little about that? (1:50-3:37)

Glenda Lappan: Sure, a group of us at here at Michigan State, two and a half decades ago, looked at the entire K through 12 area and looked for a place at which we thought we would be able to make the greatest difference in the lives in children. All the research at that time and our own looking at things suggested that the middle school was a particular key. That if we could keep people young really interested in and engaged with mathematics over the middle years, that we had a chance of sending them into high school with a commit to continue to study mathematics. Since we all believe that mathematics is a gate to so many different careers in this world, we decided that we would focus our time and energy on the middle school level.

So we started working with teachers, we started running research projects and trying to understand student learning at the level and we did a number of research projects that were actually focusing on teachers. Because we had been focusing at the middle school level and had begun to be noticed in a sense the work that we were doing here John Dossey, who was the President of NCTM at the time that the council decided that they were going to take a stand to write a set of standards that would be helpful to school districts in examining their own programs. He called and asked if I would be involved in the curriculum standards and I agreed to do that. Turned out to be some of the hardest work I ever done in my life but some of the most rewarding.

Interviewer: Why was it deemed necessary to change the vision of what mathematics should be for students? (3:37-5:42)

Glenda Lappan: At the time that we began this, we were already talking about technology and information age. We had a lot of research from cognitive science about human learning. We found out within the mathematics education research community a lot of things about students in their engagement in mathematics. So the combination of knowing more about human learning, the combination of new mathematics being invented all the time, very different demands in our modern world about mathematics in society. Even reading a newspaper placed a different kind of intellectual demand on citizens to even understand because there was so much data being thrown at us. So the feeling was we absolutely had to do something that would give a vision that would help guide states; districts; local school; districts in local school buildings; groups of teachers; to examine what they were doing in mathematics and have some sort of overall goal in very large statements to shoot for. It was never meant to be something that would tell a teacher what to do on a day-to-day basis. It was never meant to be a set of standards that would specify what a school district had to do. It was meant to be a set of standards that would be something we could all rally behind and say,

“Yes, these 13 statements at the middle school level summarize the important mathematics that students need to have the opportunity to learn.”

So when we wrote the standards we were doing it, again, as a voice of teachers in this country through the national council. We were trying to write down what all of us have been trying to do for a good a decade before we did the standards.

Interviewer: Many people feel that the NCTM Standards have changed the vision of mathematics from a traditional view of mathematics. Yet, people feel that traditional mathematics was working fine before these were brought in. Is that the case? Or, why did we make that change? (5:42-9:16)

Glenda Lappan: If you look back over the last 50 years in this country, we had an era in the 50's and 60's when the concentration was on trying to get mathematics more in the minds of students and parents in this country. So we had what’s now referred to as the new math era. There was a backlash to the new math era and we had a decade of the 70's in which we went back to the basics; to direct instructions; to students memorizing basic facts; teaching of algorithms. Very few words were in mathematics text. There was no real push on part of the profession to engage students in understanding how mathematics is useful.

During that period of time, if you look at what happened to any measures you want to look at, whether we’re talking about state results, whether we’re talking about standardized tests, whether we’re talking about national assessment of educational progress, the SAT scores. There was a significant decline of performance in this country.

At the end of the decade of the 70's, the National Council wrote an agenda for action in which the Council was saying,

“This is not what our students need to be able to work and live in a modern world.”

And so we started working on trying to raise the mathematical vision to one that included, and please hear me, one that included students being skillful at basic facts, students being skillful at many of the things that are the heart and soul of mathematics. But the push was to bring things into balance, is the best way that I can describe it. To make absolutely certain that students no longer see mathematics as an esoteric mind game, depending on memorizing but as something that makes sense and is useful in making sense of the world. Something that allows us to mathematize situations and solve problems.

So the real push, was in the long term interest of students who were going to live in a world that is very different from the one I grew up in. Shop keeper arithmetic was just fine for the world I grew up in. But even though ten years ago, we were talking about an information age, I had no idea that ten years later, information age would have a new meaning.

Interviewer: So what we’re really talking about is broadening what students need to learn, not doing away necessary with what they had in the past, but really we’re putting more responsibility onto the students to learn more mathematics.

Glenda Lappan: More responsibility on the students to learn more mathematics and more responsibility on teachers and school districts to make that opportunity possible. To make mathematics be something that’s not seen as a subject that you fear that you’re going to go in, you’re going to take time tests, you’re going to spend all your time trying to memorizing facts and algorithms as oppose to time understanding, getting a sense of wonder at what things you can do with mathematics.

Interviewer: Could you talk about what the math classroom might look like today, versus 15 or 20 years ago? (9:16-11:06)

Glenda Lappan: When you change what you’re going for in mathematics from something that is based on learning paper and pencil algorithmic skills, the kind of instruction that’s needed has to change as well. Direct instruction, the sort of,

“Here’s an example, here are a set of problems to practice so that you can learn to do the thing I’ve just showed you how to do.”

That kind of instruction fits very well when what you are after is the development of a skill, when you don’t necessarily need that person to understand what they’re doing. But if you need understanding, if you’re going for higher order thinking, if you’re trying to help students see mathematics as something that can be used to solve problems, their engagement has to be very different. It can’t be mimicking what a teacher does. There has to be intellectual engagement in problems. There has to be an attempt on the part of students to figure out what’s going on; to articulate what they see in a problem situation; to collect evidence to support what they think they see; to articulate that evidence to create mathematical arguments; and in the final analysis working with the teacher, to abstract the mathematics because mathematics is still about generalization and abstraction. But what we’re trying to do now is to help students to see through problem situations, to see mathematics as something that comes out of real engagement with problems, mathematizing, looking at different strategies, looking for patterns trying to find ways to represent one’s thinking.

Interviewer: Could you talk about the perception people have that as we create a mathematics for all students, perhaps we’re not reaching high achieving students as well as we did in the past? (11:06-18:47)

Glenda Lappan: This is a really interesting question to me. It’s one that I’ve wrestled with a lot. If you interview students that are in new kinds of curriculum that place a great deal more emphasis on higher order thinking and problem solving, they will tell you that they have to think harder than ever before. And yet because these curricula that go through problems, problem-centered curricula, because they give that access to students at many different levels and in many different ways, parents get alarmed. They see students who have traditionally not done as well as their students that are actually able to do something within this new kinds of curricula. They see students that are able to be in the same class with students for whom mathematics is much, much easier to make sense of. And yet the students that have traditionally not been very well served are doing well in these curricula. And so parents naturally say,

“Wait a minute, maybe my student is not getting as much as they should be getting.”

So I think the concerns on the part of parents are absolutely to be expected and absolutely natural that parents would be wanting the best for their children. But I would encourage them to look at what these new curricula are offering: they are offering an intellectual engagement with mathematics that is very different from what students have had an opportunity to engage with in the past. Now having said all that, one of the ingredients that is absolutely essential to make this work, is that teachers that are teaching in classrooms that are problem-centered in which there are students that are all in levels of mathematical ability, have got to remember to always be prepared, to always have in their back-pocket questions to ask that will push the students that are ready for them to much deeper levels of mathematical understanding. So I’ve become absolutely convinced that a teacher that is in a teaching environment where they’re constantly engaged in thinking about how to make this work for all students, that kind of a teacher in the classroom can push those really bright kids in ways that we’ve not done in the past. Now this is a very different vision of serving the needs of these bright kids from the vision that says,

“What we’re going to do is rush these kids as fast as we can through the standard curriculum.”

We can do that. You know, these kids can churn right through the standard, traditional curriculum from the past, they can work through that curriculum faster than students for whom mathematics is more challenging. But the end result of that is when we get students at Michigan State University, is a real mixed bag. A colleague of mine, Elizabeth Phillips, and I, have been looking at entering college freshmen at Michigan State since 1972, and we’ve being looking at their mathematical background and observing where they end up when are placed into courses on our university campus. And this is the story no matter what university you converse with. Students that who were rapidly accelerated fall in to two groups. There’s a very small group, a very small group, for whom this turns out to be an opportunity to engage in higher level mathematics sooner. For the vast majority of those students they end up disengaging from mathematics as soon as they possibly can. We have a large percentage of students and have had over the years, in our low level courses, our mathematics courses that don’t count for anything, that in fact were placed in Algebra in grade eight.

So I would ask parents that concerned to really stand back and look at what long term for their students. After the middle school there are four years of high school in which students can continue to be engaged in mathematics. Students coming out of that that are headed for scientific careers certainly need to be pushed as far as we can push them mathematically. But my claim would be that if they’re really going to be successful at becoming mathematicians and scientists, there’s something more than memorized basic facts and algorithms that they need. There’s something more than symbol manipulation. There’s learning how to actually think mathematically and these new curricula are trying to develop that.

Interviewer: Do you think that the new curricula that are out there are going to create problems as far as getting enough engineers, scientists and mathematics?

Glenda Lappan: No, I absolutely do not. I think that these new curricula are going to keep more students engaged with mathematics longer. Now to be perfectly honest, Dan, we’re in that transition period where Universities are still using placement examinations that are not well aligned with what new curricula are actually doing for students. So students have strengths, mathematical strengths that our placement examinations are not yet picking up. We’ve had some really interesting conversations with high school teachers and the faculty here at Michigan State in which the high school teachers have said exactly that. They’ve said,

“Our students know an awful lot of stuff that you’re not even asking about.”

So I think we’re in a time period when what school districts are going to need to do at the high school level, with whatever curricula they are using, is to look really hard at placement examinations for the kind of Universities that their students are going to be going into. They are going to have to look for places in curricula where they can make certain that they are developing the skills that are still represented on those placement exams.

The bottom line is that the language of mathematics is Algebra. Mathematics is recorded with the small set of symbols and is syntax that gives you the operating procedures on those symbols. That’s still important. Developing a symbol sense, an ability to think with symbols is all we use to try to do. Now we’re trying to do that as well as develop students’ graphical sense and a sense of working with tables and other forms of representations and technology that gives us yet another form of representation and a totally different problem solving approach to mathematical situations.

So we’re trying to do more, but I think at any high school has got to look at their students, look at where they are going, look at whatever curricula they choose and look for places in that curricula, if it’s not already there, that they can embedded addition, little side trips. There will be opportunities in the curricula, you just have to take the opportunity to make certain that the students are prepared to leap over the hurdles that gets them into Universities.

Interviewer: What if our students are without their calculators, the implication being that students are too calculator dependent. Can you address that? (18:47-21:05)

Glenda Lappan: I look at the work world: no one ever asks that question in the world of work. And the world of work include being scientists and engineers. No one ever asks an engineer,

“What do you if your calculator is not available?”

When engineers do their work, they do their work with technology. I would be, as a parent, considerably more worried if my students were coming out of high school not being so thoroughly prepared to use technology in this modern world; that if I were in a school district that was not teaching my students how to use technology in mathematics, I’d be worried. And the notion of being calculator dependent we all have individual horror stories we can tell of a student who grabs a calculator to do nine times nine. To be perfectly honest I have found myself at my desk when I’m working on something really hard, when most of my brain cells are being used to try to be clever about the mathematics, I realize that my hand is over here doing something on the calculator that my brain is completely not only capable of doing but it’s utterly trivial. So in a sense I’m using the calculator to give more of my brain cells the capacity to think about the problem.

My daughter is a high school teacher of mathematics. She teaches in one of the best high schools in the United States. If you were to choose five of the top five high schools it would be on the list. It’s one of the schools in the First in the World Consortium. When those students walk in the door of that high school, they get a graphing calculator in the same way that they get a textbook. Those students go on to the Stanfords, the Harvards, the everywheres. In point of fact, it’s one of the tools of doing mathematics. We have to learn to use it well. But to say that we’re not going to use calculators is sticking our head in the sand.

Interviewer: Glenda Lappan, you’re one of the principle investigators in the Connected Mathematics Project and in Traverse City we’ve adopted that math project for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Could you talk a little bit specifically about the Connected Mathematics Project, your involvement, and the research that went into CMP? (21:05-30:50)

Glenda Lappan: First of all let me say that I am not a sales person for CMP. I would never try to talk anybody into adopting CMP. The group of authors that were involved in the development of CMP did it because we felt like it was a way that we could perhaps make a difference for students and teachers. We get no royalties from CMP. We’ve created a mathematics education fund on our campus into which the University puts its royalties and the authors have signed away their royalties to the University for this Math Ed fund. I want it to be absolutely clear that I’m not a sales person.

Now I am a professional and I will be very happy to talk to you or anyone else about the work that we did from a professional point of view. We had been working at the middle school level for a long time, as I have said early. When the National Science Foundation indicated that it was going to fund some projects to try to play out the standards as the standards related to curriculum at all three grade spans – elementary, middle and high school. The group of us wrote a proposal to get National Science Foundation funding to develop curricula with an eye towards realizing the standards. Now our stance form the beginning was that you had to pay attention to both what mathematics students need to know in order to go on and be powerful and whatever is thrown at them at the high school level. But you also had to worry about teachers. So what we’d done in development of this projects is work very interactively with a group of teachers that were very close to the project. We even hired teachers’ part of their entire academy year to come and work on the project with us. In addition we have a large group of teachers who worked with us in the summertime. We wrote materials, we interacted with a set of trial classrooms around this country. Because there were classes in states other than the ones we have selected at the beginning that wanted to be in on the trials we ended up with trial classrooms in 19 states.

Every Unit that we wrote, every grade level, was trialed for three full years in schools. And it was an interactive process. Teachers worked with the materials. We had an independent team of evaluators that had a grant from the National Science Foundation at Indiana University to track what was happening in the classroom; to get feedback from the teachers; to interview the kids; to do classroom observations; to give us as much input as humanely possible in the development stage of the materials. We wanted to make certain what we provided even with the trial materials was excellent mathematical experience for students.

When we had a version of the materials in all three grade levels, this was the final trial version of the materials. When we were at that stage of the game, this evaluation team worked with the Balanced Assessment to create a problem solving test that covered all areas of the mathematics that we were going for. So there was an Algebra strand, there was a number strand, a Geometry strange, probability and statistics strand and a measurement strand. Balanced Assessment created a test that was a standards test, it wasn’t a test created just to highlight CMP. Balanced Assessment was an independent project that was funded by the National Science Foundation. A team of people from Balanced Assessment, Judy Zawojewski from National Louis University, Jim Ridgeway from the Shell Center in Nottingham England and Diana Lambdin from Indiana University working with Mark Hoover, who was a graduate student who had worked at Educational Testing Service, put together the test; monitored the giving of this problem solving test and performance task in each of the grad levels and CMP classes and non-CMP classes. In addition the advisory board for the Connected Math Project, which was a huge advisory board; it included parents, it included mathematicians, it included school supervisors, it included teachers. This advisory board said to us,

“You have to be able to report to schools and parents what students do on standardize tests that they are familiar with.”

So we chose the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. That project was carried out independently of the Connected Math Project and was written up independently of Connected Math. The story is a very positive one, from our perspective. At the 6th grade level and at the 7th grade level of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, , the CMP classrooms versus the non-CMP classrooms were about the same. CMP kids held their own computationally over the first couple of years. On the problem-solving tests CMP kids were, on every strand, significantly better than the non-CMP classrooms. And you wouldn’t be surprised at this. If students are in a problem-solving environment they are going to learn how to solve problems better.

What we also noticed, and this was a surprise to us, our hope was that we wouldn’t damage children in any way on the development of basic skills. We were not expecting to find that in the 8th grade, the CMP students also significantly out-scored non-CMP students on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills at grade 8. As we began to look at what was happening, when we tested the kids in the spring of the year and tested the kids again in the fall of year, even though there is not a complete match of students. You know how it is in any of the trial sites, kids move in and kids move out. The 7th grade students, about 2/3 of them have had CMP in grade 6 and the same was true for the 8th grade. The 8th grade students, actually all the way along the line, as you moved from grade 6 in the spring to grade 7 in the fall; grade 7 in the spring to grade 8 in the fall, the CMP kids seemed to be losing less. Anyone who has ever looked at test scores on kids in the spring and fall, knows what happens over the summer is really pretty devastating. We think we’re teaching kids something and then we test them again in the fall and we think,

“Where did it go?”

Well, we were finding with a curriculum like CMP kids were remembering more. They were carrying more with them. So we were very delighted about that. We’ve done a number of other research projects. One of the other projects that at a stage in which is written up and we’ve already submitted it for publication was looking at 7th and 8th graders development of proportional reasoning skills. Again we were very careful. We looked proportional reasoning in every kind of incarnation. Proportional reasoning in scaling situations, proportional reasoning in number situations, proportional reasoning in ratio situations, in rate situations and in all of those situations, across the board, Connected Mathematics Project kids at grade 7 and at grade 8 outscored their counterparts in non-CMP classes by about 50%. Now ratio and proportions is still very difficult for kids, even the CMP kids have a way to go on getting to the point at which we’d all like to see students. But they are vastly superior in their performances to non-CMP classes on the development of ratio and proportion. It is a key concept for development of linearity which is a key concept for the development of Algebra.

So we are really pleased with what we are seeing. We’re learning a lot as the materials go out to the tiers of schools that were not involved in the trail classes. We’re finding as we work with sites around the country that those sites are finding the same sorts of results. The students in CMP classes on state tests; in Texas, in Minnesota, in other sites that are working with us, kids are improving. They are improving on standardize tests as well as problem-solving tests. From a research perspective, we are quite pleased. We are continuing to look at other aspects. We have a research project going on at the moment, Jack Smith in the College of Education here and my colleague, Elizabeth Phillips, are working on better understanding what students are learning about Algebra from the Connected Mathematics Project. That looks very promising indeed. We’re not done with that study but we’re finding some very interesting things about what Connected Math kids can do.

Interviewer: As a parent looking at 8th grade CMP, it looks so different from the algebra I would have taken in school. Can you comment a bit about that? (30:50-36:22)

Glenda Lappan: One of the things that we’ve been trying to do with Connected Math and I think the same is true with all of these curriculum projects, we’ve been trying to look at Algebra not as something that happens at a particular point in a child’s life but as something that is a strand that has to develop over a time. If you look at Connected Math as an example, we purposefully begin to deal with Algebraic ideas in grade 6. You wouldn’t find this out by thumbing the materials but if you look closely at the teachers’ edition and the conversations we’re having with the teachers. We’re letting the underpinnings for students being able to deal with symbolic representations of ideas, graphical representations and tabular representations. When we move into grade 7, we have several, what we think of as big Algebra Units in grade 7. We begin grade 7 with a Unit called Variable and Patterns. Well I don’t know about your experiences but certainly when I was going through school, it took me a very long time before anybody ever even talked to me in terms that made sense to me about this thing called a variable and its relationship to another variable in a thing called a function. We’re trying in Connected Math to introduce kids to those ideas early and to use them in real situations, in ways that help kids to become very, very comfortable the notion of function and with function represented in multiple ways. We start Algebra seriously in grade 7 with three Units; the Variables and Patterns; Accentuate the Negative, which is building another kind of number; and with the Unit called Moving Straight Ahead in which we do development of linearity, we solve linear equations by hand in this Unit in grade 7 and as move into grade 8, the eight Units in grade 8 I would characteristic five of the Units as Algebra units. We have a Unit on clever counting, which is combinatorics. We have a Unit on Hubcabs, Kaleidoscopes and Mirrors which is Geometry but if you look carefully at the Unit you also see symbolic representation of geometric ideas. You even see structure. Some of the understanding of the structure of Algebra comes out of looking at structure in a motion sense. We look at the symmetries of triangles and the symmetries of squares, and we build tables, and we look at commutativity, we look at inverses, we look at identity element; things that are thought of and frequently developed only in Algebra, we’re also developing in the Geometry. In addition to that, we have five Units I think are really excellent Algebra Units to prepare all students to do very, very well at whatever they move into in the high school. Now the question you’re probably going to ask me next is,

“What happens to kids coming out of an 8th grade CMP?”

What our goal was, which seems to be playing out in the sites we have around the country. Our goal was that there would be about the same proportion of students or perhaps higher that would be able to go into high school and start with honors geometry and then move right into an Algebra ii. That is still happening. For the rest of the students who would traditionally have gotten their first taste of Algebra in a 9th grade Algebra class and many of them not do very well, our goal was for those students to have 9th grade Algebra, how ever is conceptualized in an high school, be something that more students would be very successful with. And I think that is also turning out to be the case.

So my feeling at the moment is that the 7th and 8th grade Connected Math fully implemented by a teacher who is looking every opportunity that he or she can find to push on kids understanding of Algebra. Those school districts are going to find their students being able to skip an Algebra I in high school. If the students are lucky enough to be in the situation where there is a reform curricula also being used at the high school that is an integrating curricula that is doing Algebra in every level of high school, along with geometry, along with probability and statistics, then there is a natural fit. CMP middle school simply enhances what the students are going to have as they go into high school. Even if it’s a traditional high school. If the high school and the middle school talk together and work together, I think the high school teachers are going to find that CMP kids are going to think about mathematics in ways that students coming to them in the past have not been able to.

Interviewer: I just have one more question, Glenda. How do you see the NCTM Curriculum Standards evolving, and if so, how? (36:22-41:18)

Glenda Lappan: Well, funny you should ask me that. When we did the standards in 1987, 88, and 89. Took us several years to get the standards right because it was an interactive process with the field. But even as we started then, we said,

“You don’t fix mathematics at a point in time. You continue to learn, you continue to have new technologist, you continue to have new needs.”

This is a modern society that we’re living in. More mathematics, more different kind of mathematics is being invented all the time. So our intention was that the original standards would be continually updated. New examples that would help bring them to life would be created over time. And we’re actually in the process of doing that.

We started a year ago. This time rather than producing a draft and then having a conversation about the draft, we’ve been in engaged in a serious conversation with all the mathematics profession societies and all the memberships of NCTM. A serious conversation about what have we learned from the standards? How could we write the standards documents in a way that would be even more helpful to the field? That conversation is taking place, even as we speak. All around the country, at every regional meeting we’re sort of taking stock of how people use the standards, what examples do we have now that would help us to bring to life that mathematics that’s in the standards. This summer in a conference center in California, a group of writers will come together to do a reformulating, I’m searching for a word. I don’t want to use the word a ‘revision’ because the central message of the standards has held up extraordinarily well. But there are somethings we are smarter about. We’re smarter about the kind of misinterpretations of statements in the standards; we’re also smarter about the fact that in 1989 we had a huge system that had a great deal of inertia and we were pushing really hard to get the system started in a positive direction for children. But people interpreted that as kids don’t need to be skillful, they don’t need to know basic facts; they don’t need to be able to do anything with paper and pencil. And we never intended that. If you read the standards carefully, that was never what was said. We said things like de-emphasis, meaning you shouldn’t spend all your time on this. You have to have time for higher order thinking in mathematics classes. So the current effort is to articulate the growth of mathematical ideas over time in a way that will help people to understand the standards movement even better. The central message will remain. We will integrate the Professional Teachering Standards’ vision with the curriculum standards so that as you’re talking about what is the importance mathematical content for students to know, there will be examples of how students are thought to meet that content.

I am truly excited about this work because I wouldn’t want anyone to think that you write at a point in time a particular set of statements and they remain the best set of statements that you can make to try to help us make a mathematical conversation that will help kids. So we’re inviting everyone; parents, school boards, people across this country, as soon as this draft is out, to engage with us and a critique of the draft, a set of suggestions. We hope that schools will come up with wonderful examples, ways in which the standards inspired a curricula in standards inspired mathematics has been helpful to kids. We also hope that school districts will point out concerns that they have. The National Council is the spokesperson for 120 thousand teachers in this country. But we are a spokesperson for that group. We’re not out to try to set standards that have nothing to do with where we are in this country. So we will invite the Traverse City community and all other communities to help us; to make clearer what our goals are to help students in this country.

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

Glenda Lappan: You’re very welcome. It was fun to have the conversation with you. Clearly, you’re asking me questions about things that I passionately believe in and have a lot about over time,

Interviewer: Well it’s kind of hard to interview you because you’re so eloquent, I get wrapped up in what you’re saying and kind of forget where I’m going next with it. But you’re really good at this.

Glenda Lappan: Well, I had in mind I was going to give you very short, crisp answers to all your questions but the problem is that is complicated. And to certain extent it takes some elaboration to help people to understand how complex the issues and questions that we’re facing are really are.