This April 1999 study was written by Andrew Rotherham for the Progressive Policy Institute. Rotherham served as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Clinton administration. He went on to found Education Sector, a thinktank, and Bellwether Education Partners.
This study is significant because it was made by a Democrat who argued in favor of restructuring the Title I program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (republicans long had criticized Title I as wasteful and ineffective.)
In short, Rotherham argued for reducing federal red tape and mandates (which states favored) in exchange for states testing their students. The logic was potent and became dominant in federal education policy—if states received education funding, they ought to show how effectively they are utilizing it. This thinking is part and parcel of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.