On Tuesday, State Rep. Mike Villarreal filed a bill that would change the requirements of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness program.-- also known as the STAAR program.

Many students and teachers say the STAAR program is just too intense.

Although it only started last spring, Villareal says it needs to change.

"Don't get me wrong, there will always be a system for testing. The question is, how far should we go?" said Villarreal, "I believe -- and I'm not alone -- we have lost our way on our testing system."

Currently, for students in grades 3-12, STAAR test scores count for 15 percent of a students final grade.

Students also have to pass 15 assessments to graduate from high school.

"There's a lot of pressure. You want do good, you want to do your best," said Allura Guerra, an eighth-grade student at Young Women's Leadership Academy.

"It's a lot of stress for them and we should not be petrifying our kids in terms of testing," said Rachel Ponce, a grandmother of a third-grade student.

Under House Bill 596:

  • The number of testing days would be limited.
  • The number of tests required for graduation would be reduced from 15 to 4.
  • STAAR scores would no longer count towards a students final grade.
  • Test scores would no longer determine if a schools are rated as "recognized" or "exemplary".

If the legislation were to pass, students and teachers it would take effect by fall of this year. It would also be retroactive so past test scores won't affect students.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.