A History of PGGP
PGGP was conceived of on a Commodore Vic-20. This machine had a whopping 16K of ram and a tape drive for storing programs. The first actual working copy of PGGP was written on a IBM PCjr. in Turbo Pascal 2.0. Because most teachers wanted a program that would run on an Apple // computer, the next version was written for the Apple //e in Kyan Pascal. This version was very successful and made many teachers learn to love computerized grading.
About the time the //e version was up and running, people began to clamor for a Macintosh version. The first Mac version was written in Borland's Turbo Pascal on a Mac Plus. It soon became evident that to make a modern Mac application more robust tools were needed. Version 3.0 for the Mac was written in FutureBASIC. FutureBASIC turned out to be a very quick and powerful development system and PGGP became the strong Mac application it is today.
When dealing with a large district license, it became evident that a Windows version was needed. Being a husband, father, teacher and business manager, I contracted with a programmer. The programmer was not able to get it out the door, so I hired another programmer. After several months it became clear that if the Windows version was to ever come into being, I would have to do it. Windows was started in late March of 1996 and was in Beta Testing by August. Written in Borland's Delphi (Pascal), the Windows version was released in the late spring of 1997.
About this time, I began to talk about services STAZ Software could offer me. Disk duplication, manual duplication, answering phones, shrink wrapping packages, shipping, and the zillion other little things. I can tell you the folks at STAZ were some of the most honest, dedicated, hardworking people you will ever meet.
PGGP was no sooner released when I began to think about a new PGGP. It wasn't that PGGP wasn't good. It was that it could not contain grades for enough subjects. My district was already beginning to use Report Card Time to print report cards. However with PGGP only handling 8 subjects and my particular card requiring thirteen subjects, plus study skills, plus behavior, I found myself having to key in those other grades manually. Because I don't like "manually" when it come to grades, I decided PGGP needed to handle everything elementary teachers had to put on the cards. I know it does not handle everything every district requires, but the new PGGP can calculate information for twenty items on a report card. Being able to keep track of behavior has turned out to be fantastic. Marking papers late was super. When I was able to merge entire student summaries into letters, I even impressed myself.
I worked on PGGP for the Mac first. PGGP 4 for the Mac was tested in eight schools, with new beta copies being distributed through the district wide area network. With the help of many teachers and tech leaders, over a two year period, PGGP 4 became a rock solid application. After about a year and a half, I ported PGGP 4 to Windows and the testing process started again. Teachers from California to New York tested PGGP for Windows. The result? Teachers loved what PGGP could do.
As standards-based education came to schools the need for standards-based grading arose. PGGP 5.0 allows you to mix traditional grades with standards-based grades, have standards-based only or traditional only. You do what works for you.
PGGP was able to print report cards and did so for my home district for years. However this was a Mac application called Report Card Time. Another school district asked for a special progress report and it is still out there working... but it was Windows only. Then PGGP became able to publish grades to Online Grades. About that time teachers began to pester me for report cards. One teacher was especially persistant and Report Card Time was reborn. RCT allows Mac or Windows to quickly upload a report card file. RCT, hosted by my website, produces pdf files containing a class set of report cards. They are beautiful and this is a time saver!
In the Summer of 2011, the plans for the new Apple System 7 became solidified and it was apparent that PGGP would no longer run on Macintosh computers. That was a sad day. PGGP still runs fine on earlier Macs, Windows and Macs running Windows.
Is PGGP perfect? I doubt it. But it is one of the few management tools made just for elementary teachers. I have made every effort to make PGGP dependable and handy. I think you will love it, as others have.