See Bill and Checker.
See Bill and Checker cry about White House power grabs, ED control, and bad tests (in 1997):
As for the argument that voluntary national tests would reduce local and parental authority: If they are done right, the opposite will occur. The tests will empower parents by providing them with information critical to the success of reforms such as charter schools and school choice. And keep in mind: these tests would be voluntary. We are a nation at risk – and our flawed testing regime is one reason why. A good voluntary national test would be an important step forward. A bad testing program, on the other hand, would be a giant step backward, which brings us to the Clinton proposal.
In a brazen power grab, the administration has attempted to promote its version of a voluntary national test without seeking authorization from Congress. The Clinton plan would hand the test-development process to the very kinds of organizations and groups that have helped ruin modern American education. It would dumb down the test standards and reflect the "trendiest" – read: "worst" – ideas in education, things such as "whole language" reading and "constructivist" math. The result would be tests that wouldn't indicate whether students could read or do math. The Clinton plan would remove responsibility for national testing from the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) – a well-respected, independent, nonpartisan body created to set policy for NAEP – and give de facto control to the Department of Education.
For those with strong stomachs, here is the Washington Post link.