RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Fewer third-graders are passing reading tests in Virginia. And that has education experts concerned about their future academic success. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Saturday that the pass rate for the reading tests fell for the second straight year. The average score has fallen from 84 percent to 72 percent in the past decade.

Third grade is when children are supposed to make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Studies suggest that the step has a huge impact on future learning. Connections are often found between poor reading performance in third grade and a failure to graduate high school on time.

Experts said an increase in screen time and a drop in time spent reading are among the reasons for the decline in test scores.