Passing rates in math, English lower on SC tests

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Results for the first year of South Carolina's new state-standardized tests show fewer elementary and middle school students earned passing marks in English and math.

Data released Thursday by the state Education Department show more students passed science and social studies tests in 2009.

Passing rates on the state's new Palmetto Assessment of State Standards ranged between 60 percent and 80 percent. That compares to passing scores in 2008 under the Palmetto Achieve Challenge Tests of between 56 percent and 88 percent.

Students took the tests in math, English, science, social studies, and one new subject - writing.

Three times as many elementary and middle schools met every federal standard last year, compared with 2008. But officials say that's largely because of the way the new tests were evaluated.

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