Eighty-three per cent of Grade 10 students in Ontario who took the standardized literacy test for the first time last March passed.
The Education Quality and Accountability Office says the success rate was down one percentage point from last year and two points from the year before.
A total of 143,246 students wrote the Grade 10 test for the first time this year.
It's the first year officials were able to track students' progress through three provincial tests - from Grades 3, 6 and 10.
Officials say 104,030 students who took the test had been in the Ontario school system for the provincial tests in Grade 3 and Grade 6.
Eleven per cent of the students in that group who failed also failed the reading and writing standard in Grades 3 and 6. The group's chair, Brian Desbiens, says there must be renewed efforts to identify and support students who are having difficulty in school as early as possible.