I think this argument is implying that instead of teachers preparing the students to "race to the top" and succeed in standardized test and exams, they are carrying them to the top and eventually losing some in the race. It also seems to be arguing that the state and national tests are presented as an obstacle to teachers, almost becoming something in their way; ultimately shaping the way they teach the students and the content they present. The teacher and the students look do not look enthused, which suggests that the tests take away from the whole purpose and meaning of education.