THE BRONX - More New York City public schools than ever received As and Bs this year from the city's grading system.

Based on a curve and on individual attainable goals, 84 percent of K-8 schools received an A this year, compared to 38 percent last year.

"If you set real criteria and say if you meet those criteria, then you deserve progress and you'll get the grade that reflects it," says Chancellor Joel Klein.

But many critics contend that the grades may be inflated because they depend primarily on state standardized tests.