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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Student scores on standardized tests are down in most subjects in Missouri.

Statewide figures released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show that fewer students scored "proficient" or better this year on tests for communication arts, mathematics and science, compared to last year. The only overall improvement was in social studies.

The decline comes after several years of general improvement in student test scores.

The State Board of Education was meeting Tuesday to discuss the test results. Several explanations were offered, including the use of new test questions and the loss of instructional time this past school because of severe winter weather.

Test results for specific districts are to be released later this month.

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