i understand all of the above and i agree with lots of it. but....how do you evaluate what kids learn if you don't test. in jerrymacs oil change, you can have the person demonstrate the oil change. when it comes to things like geography, or math, etc. i don't know how you would know that a kid learned a thing if you didn't test them. if the test is the measure of knowledge, then of course you would teach what is on the test.
when i was a kid we used to memorize things. times tables, state capitols, dates. it worked. when you took the test, the things you had memorized and didn't even know you knew, were there for retrieval. for kids like me, who see answers, flash cards were great. when my kids were in school, all that was gone. i don't think they learned as much or what they learned did not stick as well. i remember proof reading one of my college sons' papers and wondering how he got through high school and didn't know the difference between there, their, and they're.
i don't know how other countries do it, but i remember when i was in Japan years ago and the kids were drilling, drilling, and memorizing everything and freaking out because of the tests they had to take. i'm sure it was stressful and i know it was harsh, but there is a reason those kids can do math and kids on this country can't.