Colorado Gov. Roy Romer said Friday states have begun "a creative movement" to improve education, although a National Governors' Association report shows only mediocre progress in reforming school systems.

Romer released the final report of a five-year study of education progress begun by the governors in 1986 under the leadership of former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, nominated last month by President Bush as education secretary.The report, entitled "Results in Education, 1990," used as evidence of progress increases in teacher salaries, use of alternative teacher certification programs to enlarge the pool of teachers and growing interest in allowing parents to select the schools their children attend.

The preface of the report, written by New Mexico's outgoing Gov. Garrey Carruthers, said that "although some states are moving toward deregulation and greater flexibility, comprehensive change has not occurred and student achievement remains at a standstill."

Asked whether education has progressed since the governors began a wave of education reform in 1986, Romer acknowledged that the evidence is mainly anecdotal.

The report said 36 states now require teacher candidates to pass a multiple-choice test and complete an approved program and at least 20 states have enacted laws to promote collaboration between schools and homes. Most states, however, lack a centralized effort to involve parents in education.

Thirty-four states have followed Missouri's lead in offering a parenting program to families of infants and preschoolers.