Report cards are out, released Friday by Alabama’s Department of Education. These shouldn’t instill a sense of dread in students; instead, they report on the progress of the state’s public school systems.

Four area school systems have something to cheer about — Enterprise City Schools, along with the county systems in Houston, Geneva, and Dale counties, each brought home A grades, a notch above their previous year’s scores.

The report cards are a result of the Alabama Legislature’s move to simplify assessment. The new model has been in place three years, and draws a conclusion based on test scores and the measure of student improvement in reading and math, as well as other data about student proficiency, academic growth, absenteeism, school demographics and educators’ credentials and experience.

None of the 12 area school systems dropped a letter grade, although three — Coffee (B), Barbour (D) and Henry (B) systems — each lost points while maintaining the previous year’s grade.

Dothan City Schools, now in the first weeks of a revamped system, increased to a B for the 2018-19 school year over the previous year’s C grade.

Next year’s report should be highly anticipated to determine the effect the local school board’s restructuring effort will have on achievement.

We commend these public school leaders and administrators whose systems improved and encourage officials in those systems that did not. But the credit for improvement belongs largely to the classroom teachers and the students, as the success of classroom learning is what public education should make a priority.

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