Portland, OR -

The results of Oregon's standardized tests tumbled this year, and were down markedly in high school writing.

The Oregonian reports state education leaders blame the poor performance on budget cuts that have resulted in fewer school days and larger classes, and on limits on the number of test do-overs.

State schools chief Rob Saxton says the results are overall disappointing.

In high school writing, the share of juniors who could write an acceptable essay dropped to 60 percent, down seven percentage points from the previous year. Those students are now seniors who must pass the writing test or an equivalent to earn a diploma.

Among other results: Reading performance dropped in every grade from third through eighth, and passing rates in mathematics fell in five of seven grades tested.