- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Superintendent Mick Zais says he’s disappointed by the declining scores on South Carolina’s last exit exam.

Zais said Friday that while students will no longer take the exit exam, the state must work toward improved outcomes on the two college- and career-readiness tests that replace it.

Data shows 77.4 percent of first-time test-takers passed both the English and math sections of the High School Assessment Program last school year. That’s down from 82 percent in 2013 and was students’ worst showing since 2009.

Education Oversight Committee director Melanie Barton says the overall drop is clearly due to lower achievement in math. The passing rate on that portion fell 5 points to 78.7 percent.

Barton says the law that passed in April eliminating the test had no bearing on the drop.

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