Please. I'm a teacher, my wife is a teacher, and my relatives who are far, far older than I am (read "grand" style older) were also teachers. That is such a specious argument it's laughable.
Since we're all teachers in our family, we often speak about how things were and are for ourselves. If I've learned nothing else, it's that being a teacher has become far more onerous a task, with far more oversight put upon the teacher, that I cannot fathom a conversation between ourselves that goes something like, "We're not as held accountable as you guys once were." My grandparents tell me all the time how they used to be able to teach the curriculum in the order they wanted, spend the time they wanted on the sections they could see students struggling with, and so forth. They didn't have proscribed "curriculum maps" which dictated not just the topics, but in some cases the exact page numbers in a textbook they must teach, nor did they have "curriculum timelines" that dictated not just the order of the topics ("you must teach Chapter 5 before Chapter 2 - don't argue, just do it!"), but also the exact number of days you must teach each unit.
In other words, when the students I teach have spent their requisite time on differentiation, if they still have trouble with the derivatives of trigonometric functions, tough luck, sucker - we have to learn integration of trig. Wish I could help you, Johnny, really do, but we'll just have to do that outside of class after school - and I hope you don't get further behind either!
Now, to blame those kind of issues on teachers - as you are doing - is deceiving and disconcerting simultaneously. My student test scores (on my own teacher-made tests, which I worked my way through my master's in education to learn how to improve and reinforce) have steadily declined, even though I've actually become better and more informed as an educator in my subject area. The most glaring reason I can see (beyond sampling error in my students, which is always an issue) is that I have lost the creative freedom I once had 6-7 years ago as an educator to organize and present my curriculum in the most meaningful, most easily connected way possible. In the past, I saw my administrators when they felt there was a need to tour my room, or when I invited them to come, and the district kept its hands off of my teaching. Now, instead, I have administrators doing daily walkthroughs, which is counterproductive to the learning of my students because they [and myself] spend more time worrying about whether or not the student in the back with the cut-off shorts may get pulled out by the administrator for a dress code violation, and myself disciplined because I allowed the student to sit there in cut-offs and [gasp!] learn. I have district personnel who are mandating a progression of curriculum who have no degree in the subject area at all - and therefore no business in dictating how it's taught - but have the authority granted to them by the school board to make such decisions. (Case in point: Try teaching how to apply the Law of Sines or Law of Cosines to solving an oblique triangle before you're "allowed" to teach students what sine or cosine even is. Sure, it can be done, but why?)
The reality is nothing is ever as simple as you portray it. What I've described already shows you how teachers such as myself are being micromanaged to the point of being made automatons. Accountability is high for us as well, especially in our state where test scores are essentially all that matters. Our annual evaluations, and potentially job retention, by law must be > 50% determined by the state assessment. The problem is, the test is a single-day, 3-hour long test. Students can, and do, have bad days. I've personally seen students who were outstanding, 4.0 GPA candidates, and had an especially strong case of the flu, and took the test and failed it that day. There's no recourse for them but to take it again the next year - but the teachers of that student are marked down, along with the school, because of that single test. Admittedly this is a rare occurrence, but you would be naive to presume that every single student will always perform at their true level of ability on a single-day test. What about deaths in the family, or other situations?
What ends up invariably happening, though, is that districts become nervous about these results, so they mandate that schools must include practice curriculum into their schools. This, in turns, leads to knee-jerk reactions of new programs be instantiated, which in turns leads to the need for progressive, formative assessment throughout the year. Naturally, this means a poor student will be subjected to anywhere from 4-6 different testing days scattered throughout the year so the school can get a "snapshot" of their performance. The end result is a student who is so tired of testing by the time the true state test comes around that they are "burned out". The scores end up lower, the school ends up lower, the teachers end up lower, and the problem perpetuates itself while politicians control education without any formal training in education at all. It's not a recipe for success, and it's one which our political society loves to throw completely upon the shoulders of teachers because, quite frankly, it's easier for the common Joe to believe that there's a bunch of lazy and useless teachers out there keeping their kid down than to accept that politics needs to stay the F out of education. After all, if I have power in Washington, do I want my job to go away or some nameless teacher in my district?