Education-News1RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A further reduction in high-stakes standardized tests taken by Virginia schoolchildren is advancing in the Virginia Senate. On a 3-2 vote Monday, a subcommittee approved a bill from Sen. John Miller that would reduce the number of Standards of Learning tests to the minimum required by federal law within three years. Miller says the number of required tests reached as high as 34 before being reduced to 29 by the General Assembly last year. The Newport News Democrat says his bill would cut the number of required tests in grades 3-8 to 14. Miller says the testing pendulum has swung too far in the direction of rote memorization, causing undue stress and stifling kids’ curiosity and creativity. The Virginia Education Association, the state teachers group, supports his bill.