Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a much debated high school curriculum overhaul that cuts the number of standardized tests Texas students must take.
The measure is also designed to give more flexibility to youngsters who want to focus on career training, not just college-prep courses.
House Bill 5 was a response to backlash from students, parents and teachers who complained about too much testing.
It reduces school tests that must be passed for graduation from 15 to five: Algebra I, English I, English II, biology and U.S. history.
Rep. Diane Patrick, an Arlington Republican, was among the lawmakers who supported the legislation.
"What this means by virtue of the schedule most students typically take is that they will have completed that battery of tests by the time they are a junior or senior, so that gives them the opportunity to remediate if they need a year or to do that, " Patrick said.
Perry said Monday he was originally skeptical about weakening curriculum standards, but he believes the legislation strikes a good balance.
He signed the bill as Texas announced that only 54.3 percent of nine graders passed the English I STAAR exam, down slightly from 2012.