ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ State Education Commissioner John King has told superintendents that some standardized tests in New York public schools will be eliminated.

His surprising announcement cites ``a variety of pressures'' that may have hurt instruction. The move comes after years of criticism from teachers, parents and other detractors, some of whom say it still falls short.

King says in a letter sent Thursday that first target will be an eighth-grade math test, which comes at the same time as a federally required standardized test in math. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

King says the Board of Regents is considering eliminating that test and others for other grades. Some tests, however, are required by the federal government. The letter says grants will be provided to help school districts reduce local standardized tests.

King says the Board of Regents discussed the changes in a meeting this week.