MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota third through eighth graders showed big improvements in standardized test scores in math this year and held steady in reading, but math scores for high school juniors declined as more than half failed to meet state proficiency standards.

The Department of Education is publicly releasing results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests on Wednesday. The tests help determine whether a student should be eligible to graduate from high school.

Overall, almost two-thirds of students tested as proficient in math and three-quarters as proficient in reading in the tests taken earlier this year. Those percentages were lower for non-white students, the latest evidence of a persistent gap in academic performances between the state's white and non-white students.