Nearly 3,000 third graders pass second reading test

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Almost 3,000 more Mississippi third graders passed a toughened reading test on the second try in May, cutting the number of students in danger of not advancing to fourth grade.

The Mississippi Department of Education said Tuesday that of 8,941 students who failed the initial test, 7,445 were retested and 2,911 passed.

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Mississippi is one of 16 states that demand third grade students pass a reading score threshold or flunk. While 25 percent of students failed the first test, 17 percent could still fail. Students get a third chance later this summer. Final numbers won’t be published until fall.

Officials predicted passing rates would drop from last year’s 94 percent when students had to reach the second level.