THE PROGRESS, as measured by the latest test scores released by the Baltimore schools, is welcome news indeed for this city, region and state.
For a school district that once was being written off to show three years of gains in basic math and reading scores in the primary grades is little short of miraculous. Especially strong have been the gains of the past two years.
That more than half of first graders have scored above the national average in reading and math (vs. 29 percent and 30 percent, respectively, in 1998) is testament to key elements of the city public schools' reform effort. Those include the emphasis -- in the earlier grades -- on smaller classes, new reading texts and teacher retraining.
Unlike too many trends in Baltimore this page has noted recently, the schools are showing movement in the right direction. Students, teachers and administrators deserve congratulations and thanks.