POLITICS
06/11/2013 01:17 pm ET

Texas Standardized Tests: Gov. Perry Signs Law That Slashes High-Stakes Exams Requirements

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 03:  Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Co
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 03: Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas. More than 70,000 peope are expected to attend the NRA's 3-day annual meeting that features nearly 550 exhibitors, gun trade show and a political rally. The Show runs from May 3-5. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Texas led the way in implementing standardized tests in the early 1990s. Now, the state appears to be leading the wave of backlash against those very same tests.

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) signed a law Monday that significantly decreases the number of state tests students are required to take before graduating. Starting in fall 2014, students will have to complete only 5 tests, down from 15.

While House Bill 5 was unanimously passed by both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, Perry’s feelings on the bill were previously unknown, reports the Austin-American Statesman. Despite pressures from pro-business groups concerned about students’ job readiness, Perry signed the bill into law, saying that it maintains “proper classroom rigor," according to the Associated Press.

The bill also reduces maximum hours students prepare for tests (from 90 down to 21), creates more flexible diploma plans and abolishes the rule that end-of-year tests count for 15 percent of a course's grade.

Education advocates are pleased with the final bill, according to local outlet KHOU-TV.

"House Bill 5 was a great step forward for public education because it marks a time where we can say we quit depending on tests to show us that schools are meeting students' needs," said Brock Gregg with the Association of Texas Professional Educators, per KHOU.

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