JohnSki, I feel for you and your friend, but only to the extent that you submitted to the arbitrary judgements of the examination panel. All of the comments on this thread seem to point out a common theme, which is that despite some of the best efforts of well-intentioned people who belong, the "PSIA" may have a slight problem with the "Professional" part of the anagram. As many others have noted, Europeans have a much more complex exam which emphasizes all parts of skiing, including racing. And in my book a lot of racers would fail on form according to a PSIA exam, yet they still manage to get down the mountain.
I used to do a little teaching 25 years ago (Central Division) and I always got my best tips from middle aged women who liked the way I filled out my stretch pants and not my skiing technique (while I still think I fill out the stretch pants well I have unfortunately a few problems in the hair dept. so I am pretty sure if I tried this again I would not do as well financially). Of course few instructors would be willing to admit that the "Gigolo", or personality, factor is perhaps more important than what you actually teach your pupils (I still believe some of my repeats may have been failing on purpose, but then again I could just be flattering myself). My wife, who is European, signs up for lessons all the time just to have someone compliment her on her form. There are also lot's of arrogant American instructors out there who ignore this aspect to their own financial detriment since they are "professionals", but trust me that Hans and Francois do not and are not above the occasional drink with a deserving female student. I have also always had the sneaking suspicion that the Central Division is not as rigorous in its application of the examination criterea as Eastern, Western, Intermountain, etc. but then look at people in the midwest who are always trying to make a mountain out of a (mole) hill (since when is 600 feet of vertical a mountain, Boyne?).
Since I like to go fast (like poles behind me, in a semi tuck, skis at least 18 inches apart, doing quick edge changes with an occasional jump turn, catching air on the cat track) on the groomers, I am sure my form would not pass muster with the PSIA. On the other hand, it is the best way to ski at speed with stability and control and a groomer is just no fun for me unless I am pushing the performance envelope. The average ski racer would not pass level III either, with the possible exception of a slalom skier not running gates. Simultaneous edging is in my book is a fancy name for "Wedeln", which is that 1960's style clamp your boots and a**hole together while doing linked parallel turns with a big smile on your face. Let's face it, not a lot of us ski that way, and particularly not free skiiers who like to push the envelope. By the way, when I first hit the slopes in Europe at age 17 and ripped a few runs my European friends and relatives all wanted to know where I learned to ski like that (nothing like the ice in TC Michigan to teach you how to set an edge at speed). Europeans do admire people who know how to go fast, especially on groomers, even if their form is not always perfect. Their ultimate race is the DH where nobody has perfect form (Look at the way they love Bode).
I have recently taught my 16 year old daughter to ski using a similar method. ie figure out how to go fast under control while pushing the envelope. After 4 years off, we started her again last year at an advanced beginner/intermediate level. After about 10-15 days on skis with her over last spring and this fall, she was skiing High Rustler at Alta with me on the last day of our Christmas break. While she probably wouldn't have qualified under the "simultaenous edging" criteria, she did manage to make it down the run (and all of the day on blacks at Alta, without falling) doing mostly linked parallel turns at at least 25 mph. She was as stable as a rock, and under control the whole time. And she was having a blast, especially since she had learned how to ski the pants off of her cousins who were big ski school attendees.
I say forget the PSIA and their antiquitated set of criteria ("Wedeln" indeed, I prefer a much more "loose sphinctered" style). The main thing is that you should be able to ski under control on any slope and have fun while doing it. And in my book, personality and manners still count.
Maybe we should try to start our own ski school to compete? Nothing like an antitrust action to shake up the tight sphinctered ones...