Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, points out that in the US the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been monitoring student performance since the 1970s:
The overall scores for that whole period have been stagnant. There was improvement for blacks and Hispanics early on, but it leveled off. Scores for 9- and 13-year-olds have risen over that period, in both reading and mathematics, but the rate of improvement before NCLB [No Child Left Behind legislation] was passed was greater than the rate of improvement afterwards, except for Hispanic 13-year-olds.
Test-based accountability has been tried and it has failed. Indeed, the data I just shared strongly suggest that test-based accountability has resulted in a lower rate of improvement for minority and low-income students than they would have experienced if test-based accountability had never become the law of the land.
If you have any examples or updates you would like to contribute please email them to me and I will add them here. Please give references for where you sourced the information.