I am a teacher and I couldn’t agree more. I used to work at a private school and while we set high expectations for the students (We had second graders starting to answer essay questions on tests) because we were not public (we were in NJ) we didn’t have to do the PARCC or NJASK. (we had something called Terranova tests).
The freedom to be creative allowed me to better teach my students. We had songs to help us with lessons. I had them do research projects. We wrote essays and even our own word problems. Being creative helped the students be more motivated and want to learn instead of feeling like they had to learn.