EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) - A University of Arkansas study shows the test scores of El Dorado junior high students are outpacing scores of similar south Arkansas students since the start of a scholarship program for El Dorado Public School graduates.

The report by UA's Office of Education Policy released Sunday tracked scores of students taking the Arkansas Benchmark tests starting in 3rd grade five years ago when the scholarship program began. It shows that 8th-graders in the district now average 743 in math and 790 in literacy compared to averages of 725 in math and 765 in literacy among similar students in other south Arkansas districts.

The scholarship program - called El Dorado Promise - began with $50 million promised by Murphy Oil Corp. Officials with the program say 1,239 students have received scholarships.

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