COLUMBIA - The results of the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) are in and at least one education official called them "disheartening."

The Post and Courier's Amanda Kerr reported statewide, South Carolina's students continue to struggle to make gains academically, with more students failing to perform at or above their grade level in several subjects.

Melanie Barton, executive director of the Education Oversight Committee said declines in English language arts and math were not unexpected because of changes in the PASS exam related to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Other states that have implemented Common Core standards and assessments have seen a decline in test results due to an increase in academic rigor, she said.

But what concerned Barton were the declines in social studies and science - where no changes to the standards or PASS were made. The Department of Education is expected to comment on the results today.

In other news:

Charleston voted friendliest city in U.S. again by Conde Nast readers (The Post and Courier)

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn discusses Obama impeachment, ACA, DSS (The Post and Courier)

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham praises new veteran health care bill (The Associated Press)

SCDC opens unit to help those who harm themselves (The Post and Courier)

Fire marshal under Gov. Hodges returns to South Carolina role (The Associated Press)

Nikki Haley's campaign touts welfare-to-work program in latest ad (The Post and Courier)

SC suit against climate rules criticized (The State)

Sexual assault allegations are often made in civil, not criminal, courts (The Herald)