The cart of testing is firmly before the horse of quality education in American schools, rather than the more appropriate other way around. It's creating an inertia that is all but impossible to change.
It is inarguable that the quality and accessibility of public education has distinguished the United States from the rest of the world, and was directly responsible for our emergence as the global superpower.
The rise of inter-disciplinarity has not diminished the hyper-specialization in the academy, and the resultant pursuit of status through esoteric language has deepened the gulf between humanists and the public.
Latino children in the immigrant gateway states of the Southeast have a high chance of being in low-income families and linguistically-isolated households, but have lower rates of obesity and incarceration.