ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state will maintain its three-day format for annual Common Core testing for at least the next two years.

State education leaders said Monday that they've lifted time restraints and reduced the number of questions on the much-criticized English and math tests. But they say moving to a two-day testing schedule would make it hard to compare the results to previous years and track student progress over time.

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the idea will be reconsidered in 2019, when the state implements new tests to reflect planned revisions in state learning standards.

The annual tests are given each spring to students in grades three through eight. While they don't count against students' grades they are seen as a measure of teacher and school effectiveness.

[STORY BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]