AUSTIN, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a much-watched high school curriculum overhaul that cuts the number of standardized tests students must pass to graduate from 15 to five.
The measure is designed to give more flexibility to youngsters who want to focus on career training, not just college-prep courses.
But, amid a major backlash from students, parents and teachers about too much testing, it also slashes the number of state-mandated exams.
Perry said Monday he was originally skeptical about weakening curriculum standards - but that the measure strikes a good balance.
It became law as Texas announced that only 54.3 percent of nine graders passed the English I STAAR exam, down slightly from 2012.
Even under the new law, high school students still must pass an English I exam.