The editorial ''A Challenge to Maryland Schools'' {Nov. 23} made the suggestion that ''this is the kind of program that could eventually show lagging school systems how more effective districts manage to overcome similar problems.''

I assume you mean by this that systems like Montgomery and Howard counties', which did well, could advise systems like Baltimore City's, which did poorly.

That sort of suggestion is certainly no help to systems struggling with the effects of urban decay, family disintegration and poverty. What would these affluent systems suggest: That Baltimore get students from more educated families? That Baltimore double it's tax rate to spend as much as Montgomery County?

As the principal of a Baltimore County middle school, I know that only a serious infusion of cash and a reorganization of the schools, both instructionally and administratively, has any chance of helping some systems meet the new state standards, and I will be amazed if the state, in its current financial position, makes any more than token moves in that direction.

Suggestions like those of The Post's editorial fade to silliness compared to the magnitude of the problems of education in disadvantaged areas. RALPH B. WOOD Principal Johnnycake Middle School Ellicott