Worries that Gov. Rick Perry might veto House Bill 5 ended Monday when the governor signed into law the measure reforming the state’s high school testing and curriculum requirements. We don’t know if Perry actually had considered rejecting the bill, as widespread speculation had it. If so, Perry settled on the right decision.
The legislation represents a necessary correction to excessive changes passed by the Legislature in 2009 that created the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exams. The bill signed by Perry reduces the number of end-of-course exams high school students must take to graduate from 15 to five. It also revises the state’s so-called 4x4 graduation plan. Every high school student no longer will be required to take four years each of math, science, social studies and English but will have greater options to pursue either college- or vocational-relevant graduation paths.
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