Many argue, "but we have to have tests". Yes but these standardized tests are racist/classist in origin and merely suit to make big bucks. How about TEACHERS and not psychologists, eugenicists, and non-educators, make the tests. Not on their own like a classroom exam but a big panel a think tank of JUST TEACHERS (wow what a concept). They will ensure the exams align to state standards. And heck while I am at it, let's NOT base funding and a child's future on just one exam, as statistically, that's...statisticians would never do that, it's bad data and sampling. But instead of more and more tests, do projects, presentations, reports... "real world" stuff, graded on a rubric which has been created and agreed upon in the same manner I mentioned for the tests. I feel this is a brilliant idea, teaches real life skills (but still keep some pressure to perform), puts the power in the teachers' hands... but then what would textbook and especially testing companies have to gain? Nothing, so sadly this will never happen. School is a business like everything else and the testing companies, textbook publishers, psychometricians, special interest lobbyists, elitist think tanks, and DOE bureaucrats would be out of a job. So that won't happen and our children, our future, will continue to suffer.
Addendum: Include students in on this process as well.