Journalist Owen Davis explains in this article how the giant British education publisher Pearson made a killing as American politicians went gaga for standardized testing.
it is important to bear in mind that annual standardized testing is neither necessary nor customary. No other nation requires every child in grades 3-8 to take standardized tests every year. The US didn’t do it either until after the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001. NCLB was a bonanza for Pearson and other testing companies. They beefed up their lobbying operations to make sure that the testing industry was well protected in DC and in state capitols. One of the architects of NCLB, Sandy Kress, went home to Dallas and became a well-paid lobbyist for Pearson.