'I have so many state standards I have to teach concept-wise, it takes time away from what I find most valuable, which is to have them inquire about the world,' said one teacher."
They're doing it wrong. It should be "How do I teach the students to inquire about the world and still meet the state standards?". When you have a well designed curriculum, that's what happens. A side effect is that the you don't need endless practice tests to pass the state tests, at worst, you just loose a day when the students take those tests.