BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Student test scores slip. Reading and math scores on Maryland’s state tests for elementary and middle school students have sink to their lowest levels in seven years. So what’s to blame?

Christie Ileto has reaction from the department of education and from parents.

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Maryland student test scores drop a second year in a row.

“We’re just falling behind. We’re just really falling behind,” said parent Denise Howell.

Friday’s numbers show parents like Denise Howell this year’s decline is the largest one-year drop since the Maryland State Assessment test began.

And why? The test material didn’t align with the new Common Core curriculum taught in classrooms.

“I thought it was reasonable they might drop a little bit. They did drop in single digits,” said Jack Smith, chief academic officer.

The state average dipped two percent in elementary reading, eight percent in math, five percent in middle school reading and nine percent in math.

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Baltimore City schools saw sharp declines in their test scores, particularly in elementary math, which took a dive by more than 20 percent.

“It’s a little sad, but hopefully everybody can work together to improve them,” one Maryland teacher said.

The teacher’s union says: “…this year’s results are no surprise and are not an accurate reflection of the hard work of students and educators.”

Robert Small was one of the first parents to speak out against Common Core last fall.

“I am not a fan of Common Core. I don’t think they’re teaching our children what they need to learn,” Howell said.

As for next year: “In 2015, there will be no drop because we’re resetting tests,” said Smith.

New tests for a new curriculum that the teachers union says won’t solve the bigger issue.

The scores from this year’s MSA tests are still higher than when they were first taken by students in 2003.

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