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It’s no secret that the York City School District often takes a beating in the court of public opinion.

Sometimes the criticism is fair, other times it’s not.

There is no doubt that the district faces many challenges — a lack of adequate state funding, an underprivileged student population, a difficulty attracting the best teachers and security issues are among them.

There is also no doubt that the bad news the district endures is often trumpeted in headlines.

That’s why it’s only fair that when the district enjoys some positive news, that news should get equal treatment.

This is one of those times.

Making the honor roll: A school district that historically has had some of the lowest test scores in Pennsylvania is among only two York County schools to receive a top honor from the College Board.

The nonprofit recently released its 10th annual AP Honor Roll, based on data from 2017 to 2019, that recognizes school districts for both increasing access to Advanced Placement courses to underrepresented students and increasing the percentage of students earning a score of three or higher.

Of the 250 districts recognized in the U.S. and Canada, 26 were from the state and only two were from York County.

York Suburban Superintendent Timothy Williams on Monday, Dec. 16, noted that his district was one of them.

“The other school may surprise you — it’s York City,” he said.

York City made the honor roll for the first time this year.

A real surprise: York Suburban’s inclusion is no big surprise. Suburban is generally regarded among the best schools in York County.

York City, however, is an entirely different story. It’s the district in the county with the lowest achievement scores on standardized tests.

To have York City listed on the honor roll is a real cause for celebration.

York City School District Superintendent Andrea Berry is justifiably proud.

"It's a huge deal,” Berry said. "We are definitely on the right track."

Huge hurdles remain: This doesn’t mean, however, that the city school district doesn’t still face some huge hurdles.

Advanced Placement courses give students college-level curriculum in high school, allowing them to earn college credit and placement, according to the College Board.

That, however, is just one facet of educating our children.

The low standardized test scores are still a very serious problem. In addition, the state Department of Education recently denied the city district’s request to terminate its financial recovery status. The state instead decided the district hadn't displayed enough improvement in academic and financial benchmarks to exit recovery status.

So, the city district definitely still has much work to do across a broad range of issues.

Progress being made: Nevertheless, being included on the 10th annual AP Honor Roll does show some progress is being made in the city district.

Hopefully, it’s a sign that real improvement will soon be made across the board.

Our city children deserve it.

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