Since NCLB was implemented in 2002, high stakes testing has become "bludgeon du force" that drives learning experience in U.S. schools. Make no mistake, when teacher's, administrator's and school's existence are threatened with extinction if children do not score well enough on high stakes standardized tests, the curricula is going to be centered on taking high stakes standardized tests. That means lots of operant conditioning to prepare children for test taking. Children do not respond well to incessant operant conditioning.
What does that mean from a pedagogical standpoint? Despite policymakers and corporate education reformers claims they are not affecting pedagogy, that claim is false. Coerced high stakes testing means test prep and lots of it. Forget about creativity. Forget about teacher and student autonomy. Forget about independent thinking. Forget about student interests. Forget about children's time sensitive ideas. Forget about democracy in U.S. Education.