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Florida 3rd grade reading scores jumped up in 2017

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's third graders are scoring better this year on a key state test that helps determine whether or not they get promoted.

The Florida Department of Education announced Friday that 58 percent of third-graders scored a 3 or higher on the state's language arts test. That's four percentage points higher than in 2016.

The 3rd grade test is important because it is one of the main factors used to determine if a student should be promoted to the 4th grade. More than 228,000 third graders took the language arts portion of the Florida Standards Assessment.

A group of parents last year sued the state after their children were held back because they "opted out" of the reading test. That legal challenge is now pending before the Florida Supreme Court.