Seth Godin does a great job of explaining why doing well on standardized tests does not a great nation make in this video.
Listen as Godin explains how the founders of public school worked to preserve the interests of corporations (Andrew Carnegie) and government (Woodrow Wilson). Godin quickly outlines that to which those like John Taylor Gatto has devoted hundreds of pages.
We needed public school for two reasons:
1) We were afraid we'd run out of good factory workers.
2) We were afraid we'd run out of folks who wanted to buy stuff.
So we created public schools to serve two purposes:
1) Train people to be compliant factory workers who were great at sitting in rows and following instructions.
2) We needed to teach people that if they wanted to fit in they needed to buy the stuff we told them to buy.
Our standardized tests measure our success in accomplishing these goals.
That's why people like Yong Zhao who heads Global Ed for University of Oregon explains countries like China are not proud when their students do well on these tests. They know they kill innovation and creativity.
Parents, teachers, administrators, do these test scores really make you proud? If not, what will you do about it?