The Common Core has opened the door to the American education system in unprecedented ways. Until the creation of the standards, businesses have found breaking into the K-12 market very difficult. States have historically written their own curricula and standards, buying suitable materials and textbooks as they saw fit. Creating content that was accessible to multiple states was difficult and being able to approach the districts within their tiny budget window was nearly impossible. The nuanced field of state, local and federal funding and regulations that companies are forced to navigate takes years to master and states were the ones controlling the checkbook.
From a business point of view, why go to them when you can make them come to you? Many of the people who financially aided the creation of Common Core have investments in place in companies that would do quite well with the standards implementation. By using financial clout and political connections, billionaires, not teachers, were able to influence the landscape of our education system.
* Since the creation of Erin Osborn's chart, Gates contribution to WestEd has increased significantly. The last figure Core Concerns calculated was over $2,987,688. The Colorado Department of Education has asked WestEd to perform a study on assessments of PARCC. WestEd is not unbiased. The funding they have received from the Gates foundation, demonstrates a clear conflict of interest.