Voices across the country are raising concerns about the new Common Core State Standards. But if you listen carefully to the conversations, the main concern is not about the standards, themselves, but about the consequences of high-stakes tests attached to the standards. And those concerns are well-placed.
"Teaching to the test" is a monumental miscalculation reminiscent of the bleeding practiced by doctors in previous centuries. Coercing thousands of students to focus all of their attention on achieving good scores on a few "core" subjects does not make them smarter, even if they do score better on tests.
The Common Core is not a national curriculum, because it is not a curriculum at all. It is only a set of standards, and that's completely different from the scope and sequence of curriculum planning. But like that terrible Match.com date you went on, the standards/curriculum distinction only looks good on paper.