Want to get a rise out of any education reformer? Ask about alignment of state tests and state standards. If the rolling eyes and exasperated sighing don't tell the story, just probe a little. You'll hear about state tests that have been in place since the Paleolithic era - or at least since before standards were a glimmer in some crusading teacher's eye. Or you'll hear about state standards that cost millions and took years to develop and are still too vague and squishy to be tested.
What you won't hear, except in the smallest handful of states, is that the standards and assessments link in a seamless system that let all parties see what kids know and are able to do.