Nothing's changed, really, in 20 years. I remember sitting around in grade level meetings and complaining about the very things you talk about here and in your blog (there weren't any blogs then - or even computers LOL). No there wasn't NCLB but VA started the state testing bandwagon and I believe we were the first. They started back in the late 80's and early 90's pushing new programs to meet standards and then we started giving what were essentially beta testing to the students on selected grade levels to see if they were meeting the state-mandated standards.
That pressure, stress, and complaints have been around in some form or another for a very long time.
The other issues? I had to laugh as that brought back so many memories, some good, some bad. I had a teacher friend and we'd make sure we had bus duty in the mornings on faculty meeting days. We hated those meetings with a passion. And trainings -- I graded papers during all of those. We all did openly. And teaching reading in content areas? That's been around for a very long time. OMG I can remember in the early 90's when we were told we had to teach reading in math class because we were getting a new program that taught math solely through word problems. Whew. Wasn't that fun for a year or so till they dumped the program because kids couldn't do math cause kids couldn't read the word problems cause the publisher didn't format the book text on the appropriate grade levels.
Oh and then there was the year that the brilliant higher-ups decided to teach VA history in third grade to meet state standards -- nevermind that VA History had been taught in fourth grade since when I was in elementary school LOL. So we get the books (I'm teaching 3rd grade during this fiasco) and surprise! The 3rd graders can't read the books cause they were written for 4th grade reading level. DUH!! That lasted all of two years and then they switched around the curriculum again.
And of course there's all the meetings and trainings on all this stuff over the year. If I had nickle for every minute I'd spent in meetings and training, I'd be millionare several times over LOL
Good luck with all that -- it will pass as things change again -- everything does to make way for the next new bright idea that comes along.