I was disappointed in the June 30 Metro story "More Schools Meeting Md.'s Test Standards; In D.C. Area, Pr. George's Stumbles Worst on Basics."

How can a school system be characterized as stumbling when it registered gains in achievement in the aggregate as well as in each subgroup assessed? Why characterize a school system as stumbling when it reduced the number of schools not meeting the adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals in a single year, from 120 in 2003 to 55 in 2004?

Among Prince George's County's most challenged schools -- the 19 schools previously identified for school improvement -- we were able to meet AYP goals in 11 of those schools, even though many had been on the school improvement list for six or seven years.

Finally, the article did not mention that as a school system, Prince George's met annual measurable objectives in 16 of the 18 reported areas -- 89 percent -- this year, compared with 10 of the 18 reported areas, or 56 percent, last year.

The county Board of Education and school system staff would consider that "climbing the staircase of opportunities," not stumbling.

ANDRE J. HORNSBY

Chief Executive

Prince George's County Public Schools

Upper Marlboro