NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York state education officials on Wednesday said the state’s third- through eighth-graders – as well as those specifically of New York City – did slightly better on Common Core-aligned math and English assessments than last year.

But the state said the majority of students still aren’t considered proficient in the subjects.

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Results released Wednesday show that 31.3 percent of students scored at the proficient level on the April English tests, compared to 30.6 percent last year and 31.1 percent in 2013.

Math scores were better, with 38.1 percent of students reaching proficiency, up from 36.2 percent in 2014 and 31.1 percent in 2013.

Among New York City students, 35.2 percent met proficiency standards in math, up from 34.2 percent last year. A total of 30.4 percent met standards in English, up from 28.4 percent last year, 1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis reported.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the improvement “great news.”

“For the second straight year and for the first year fully on our watch, New York City’s children have raised up their test scores in both math and English,” de Blasio said.

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Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña credited a sharp focus in several areas.

“Stronger superintendents, more rigorous instruction, more parent-community relationships” were among them, she said.

But city officials conceded that the improvements were just a start.

“We have a lot of work to do. I am not satisfied and I will never be totally satisfied. We need to go from almost there, to good, to great, and that takes time,” Fariña said.

Fariña declared that real progress is steady progress.

The tests given across the state’s 700 districts have become controversial in recent years after being tied to teacher evaluations and the new learning standards, prompting many parents to skip them in protest.

The Education Department says 20 percent of students sat out this year.

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