The controversy over the Common Core standards has died down since so many states have renamed and rebranded them as if they no longer exist. But below the eye of public attention, Common Core does what it was intended to do: It has created a marketplace for vendors. 

Alex Harwin, in her update of the marketplace, writes that more than two-thirds of district leaders say they are still buying CCSS products.

This is a good time to recall that Arne Duncan’s chief of staff Joanne Weiss wrote in the Harvard Business Review blog that building a national marketplace for vendors was one of the central goals of CCSS:

Technological innovation in education need not stay forever young. And one important change in the market for education technology is likely to accelerate its maturation markedly within the next several years. For the first time, 42 states and the District of Columbia have adopted rigorous common standards, and 44 states are working together in two consortia to create a new generation of assessments that will genuinely assess college and career-readiness.

The development of common standards and shared assessments radically alters the market for innovation in curriculum development, professional development, and formative assessments. Previously, these markets operated on a state-by-state basis, and often on a district-by-district basis. But the adoption of common standards and shared assessments means that education entrepreneurs will enjoy national markets where the best products can be taken to scale.

In this new market, it will make sense for teachers in different regions to share curriculum materials and formative assessments. It will make sense for researchers to mine data to learn which materials and teaching strategies are effective for which students – and then feed that information back to students, teachers, and parents.

If we can match highly-effective educators with great entrepreneurs and if we can direct smart capital toward these projects, the market for technological innovation might just spurt from infancy into adolescence. That maturation would finally bring millions of America’s students the much-touted yet much-delayed benefits of the technology revolution in education.

Weiss previously ran Duncan’s Race to the Top program, and before that, was CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which raises money for charter schools.