Arlington School Superintendent Larry Cuban this week released the results of the annual parent survey, which indicated that 78 percent of parents with children in Arlington schools rated the schools as "good" or "excellent."

About 5,450 surveys were returned in the poll taken last January, representing parent response for nearly 50 percent of the students enrolled in Arlington schools.

"These local surveys . . . show high satisfaction and endorsement for the course the school board has charted so far," said Cuban.

The superintendents compared the Arlington results to those in a similar Gallup Poll last year. In the national survey, Cuban said, only 49 percent of public school parents rated their schools as high as Arlington parents.

The Arlington results come near the end of an academic year in which the school system has suffered sometimes severe criticism from several County Board members.

Despite the overall high ratings for the schools, parents had criticisms on some points. The lowest marks for the school system were in the areas of communications and guidance counseling. Of the parents who responded to the survey, 27 percent rated communications from the school system as needing improvement or poor. Another 26 percent said guidance counseling in the schools needed improvement or was poor.