In a day and age where there are so many thoughts on how students learn and why the US has fallen farther behind in the world, maybe we should examine not what we do but how we do it? Many countries have moved away from using many standardized tests and infused more of a well-rounded and balanced curriculum that stresses the mastery of real-life skills. The PISA study sheds some light on this. I agree data is needed to help drive instruction and can both formatively and summatively assess students, but should we sacrifice time in learning for several standardized tests? http://www.nea.org/home/38711.htm Maybe we should try a more balanced approach where teacher input from their own assessments combined with some standardized exams will help maximize student learning and growth. Look to Finland’s educational growth as an exemplar. I wouldn’t say any country has the complete answer, but it would be foolish not to examine success stories from around the world and possibly infuse them into our best practices.