The Education Oversight Committee says students' scores are disappointing, but a drop was expected as teachers transitioned to new benchmarks for what students must learn in math and reading.

Passing rates on the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards range between 63.5 percent in third-grade science to 83.7 percent in fourth-grade social studies. The tests are taken by third- through eighth-graders in five subjects: writing, reading, math, science and social studies.

The percentage of students passing fell in 22 of the 30 total tests taken. The worst drops occurred in sixth- and seventh-grade reading. Both declined by 5 percentage points.

The state Education Department has not yet commented.