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      STAAR Test Overhaul Bill Passes

      Only a year after the STAAR testing system replaced the TAKS, Texas standardized tests will receive another major overhaul.

      Educators and students said it was too much to require 15 state tests for high school students and legislators listened.

      A bill passed late Sunday drastically reduces the number of tests to just five a year for high school students.

      McAllen-American Federation of Teachers President Ruth Skow says the changes are what administrators, teachers, parents and students all wanted.

      "We have all realized it's too much testing. We couldn't possibly need to do all that," Skow said.

      The changes are more than reducing student's stress levels. It also allows teachers more flexibility to teach material not included in the state tests.

      "You're testing the child so much they don't have time to learn new things as they should, and in McAllen we have the iPad and that is another training children need to have," said Skow.

      The bill also no longer requires students to take as many advanced math and science classes like algebra two to graduate, making advanced tests optional, and no longer rates schools based on the scores of advanced tests.

      The bill also dramatically increases the number of charter schools allowed to operate statewide from 215 to 305 by September 2019.