The Senate unanimously approved its version of the Legislature’s main vehicle for overhauling Texas’ standardized testing and high school graduation system, following an all-day debate over 29 amendments Monday.

The bill would reduce the number of tests that high school students must take to graduate and make sweeping changes to the state’s graduation requirements and accountability system.

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Senate’s Education Committee chairman, said the bill will go to a conference committee within a couple of days, to reconcile it with House Bill 5, which cleared the House earlier.

“I believe if there are areas where we disagree, we’ll find a solution,” Patrick said. “This is one of the most important bills that we’ve passed this session, and that we’ll ever pass.”

The bill would decrease the number of state tests high school students need to graduate from 15 to five, broaden graduation requirements to include career and vocational pathways and amend the state rating system used to label school districts.

High school students still would need to pass five high-stakes state tests: Algebra I, Biology, U.S. History and English I and English II.

The measure also would do away with current high school graduation requirements, which allow students to get a diploma under a “minimum,” “recommended” or “distinguished” program – the “minimum” plan requiring only 22 credits and precluding students from applying to a four-year college or university.

Instead, all students would be required to accrue 26 credits, but could choose among career and vocational pathways, two of which would not require students to take Algebra II, a point of contention for opponents of the bill who say it scales back rigor.