These days most of the news coming from CMS has been negative, and sometimes down-right depressing. However, this week we have something to cheer about. Pass rates on high school exams rose from 76 to 79 percent in one year – and increased 85 percent counting retests. The four-year graduation rate rose from 66 to 70 percent.

CMS’s black, Hispanic and low-income students significantly outperformed there Wake County peers, the Observer reported. Until recently, they trailed Wake County students, especially in high school.

“Our folks did unbelievable work,” especially in a climate of budget cuts and layoffs, Superintendent Peter Gorman said at a news conference, the Observer reported.