Update To The Story Of A Nationally Lauded High School : NPR Ed Partners to the P-TECH collaboration continue to disagree. But exceptions will be made for struggling students.

Update To The Story Of A Nationally Lauded High School

President Obama speaks at Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama speaks at Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Since our story last month on the nationally watched P-TECH high school program in New York City, the partners involved in that innovative effort continue to disagree.

IBM disputes that story's characterization of an email exchange in late 2015 between IBM and P-TECH officials on one side, and the City University of New York (CUNY) on the other.

IBM officials say they never sought to "bend the university's rules for students with low grades."

CUNY officials, however, maintain that the story is accurate.

A statement, attributed to Stanley Litow of IBM and Rashid Davis, principal of P-TECH, reads: "P-TECH provided ample documentation that it consistently followed the rules established by CUNY from the time the school opened in 2011, and did so for over four years. It never sought nor received any exemption from those rules. Last fall CUNY submitted a draft change in those rules, which it then adopted. P-TECH will comply with the new policy as it did with the old policy, when the new policy takes effect this fall. We provided clear documentation that the school's extraordinary outcomes were achieved by following all CUNY policies."

They maintain that until the winter of 2015, PTECH students were officially considered non-matriculated: high school students, not college students. And as such, they should not have faced penalties for getting Ds or Fs in college courses.

CUNY officials, meanwhile, have repeatedly maintained that the story is accurate as published. They say the 2.0 minimum GPA rule has always applied to every student seeking a degree from CUNY, notwithstanding status as high school students.

The policy in question, circulated by CUNY in fall 2015 was never marked "draft," they say. "To assist all participating partner high schools, our staff produced a compilation of existing college and university policies of academic standards for college credit," Michael Arena, a CUNY spokesman, said in a written statement. "The document was circulated for comment. The comments were reviewed before the guide was distributed to ‎all early college high schools, including P-TECH."

Both sides do agree that CUNY has since agreed to make case-by-case exceptions to the minimum 2.0 GPA rule for P-TECH and other early college high school students.