I am so glad to see this editorial. The Common Core Standards are the elephant in the living room. Unless kids are motivated and engaged, they are not learning. Here is an example of a Common Core Standard for 3rd graders:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Oh please! Third graders should be falling in love with books. If they become avid readers, the skills will take of themselves. Forcing this kind of drill on eight-year-olds just makes them hate reading, and ensure they will never gain the skills they need.