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Students perform better than expected on Smarter Balanced tests: A preliminary batch of test scores released Thursday suggest Washington students performed better than expected on the new Smarter Balanced exams, which are tied to Common Core standards. In reading, more than half of students earned a score of proficient or better — higher than the 30 to 40 percent that was predicted based on an earlier national field test.

Disagreements over education spending holds up special session Olympia: A meltdown over what to do with Initiative 1351, the class-size measure voters approved last fall, has created a $2-billion hole in the state operating budget, which was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee late Tuesday. Some Senate Democrats have withheld their votes on a delay for I-1351 in an effort to push through House Bill 2241, a measure that changes high-school assessments and helps some 2,000 students at risk of not graduating because of a failed biology exam.

State approves computer-science funding: The new state budget includes about $2 million for the 2016-17 biennium to train teachers and set up computer science programs across Washington.

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