Let's consider first something we claim is much less important than education (although that claim may be tenuous)--football. It would be quicker and cheaper to design a multiple-choice test that is well designed (high reliability and validity) and replace all football games, including playoffs, in order to determine high school, college, and professional championships.
Imagine Friday nights across the US with teams lined up in desks bubbling frantically to reach the state championship!
But we would never stand for this.
Somehow, however, this is exactly what we call for again and again as a solution for improving the education of our children in a free society--higher standards, more testing, and greater accountability.