Yes. You can measure and compare and that does not have to have a direct pedagogical function.
Generally, however, standardized testing is designed to dis-empower teachers (and then students) expropriating control of education from professionally self-regulated cadres and placing that power into the hands of politicians and the moneyed interests that own politics.
Political cultures call this “accountability” but it is only possible once teaching has been so degraded as a profession as to inspire little confidence in people – even below the minimal confidence we have in politicians.
The point is that people are desensitized to the sources of oppression, and when these sources are removed or disappear our impulse is re-create the missing tyranny.
To avoid this, education needs to be re-directed toward nurturing and supporting the emergence of certain critical literacies that are essential to the competent self-direction of democratic society. One of the reasons why we keep going back to failed solutions is that we are unable, as a society, to competently evaluate conditions and rationally consider proposals for action. Some of the issues we are talking about here have been continuously discussed for four hundred years already.