"California has lousy standards and assessments. If you want to see a state that gets it right, check out what they've done in [StateName]."
Actually, I've never seen this criticism. I hope for it every year, but it never comes through.
While it is a great and worthy exercise to criticize California's published and readily-available standards and assessments, the product of such criticism is a statement of "how it would be if I were king." And those are great. But alas, you are not king. Nor am I. (Make no mistake; I should be king. But I am not.) There is a process by which standards and assessments come about. The process is filled with panels, committees, the legislature, the state board of education, obligations to state and federal law, etc. None of which fetter your (or my) vision of the perfect assessment tool.
My challenge to the critics is to point out the state that got it right. Did Idaho nail it? Was it perfected in Kansas? Should we hope to emulate Texas? Which state does it in a manner you would approve of? (And your own state of mind doesn't count on this one.)
Some come close to this criticism when they mention Advanced Placement, SAT Physics, or the Force Concept Inventory.
The problem is that none of those are standards-based, criterion-referenced assessments intended for all high school students. That's what the CST is. So comparisons between the CST and those other exams are apples and oranges.
So let me rephrase to make the challenge more clear. California's statewide assessment of high school physics (The Physics CST) is the best one in the country. There isn't a single state in the union that does it better. If you think I'm wrong, let me know. And name the state.