The Washington Post has a great column here asking if President Obama really understands the havoc his education policies are causing. I have to say that while I admire and respect President Obama, I am very concerned that his Race to the Top, and now these Common Core Standards are not good for children.
In my 37 years of teaching high school English, the truth that became engraved on my soul, was that students only really learn when they are engaged and excited about the subject. If they are bored, or if the material is too difficult, they find various ways of avoiding assignments: copying from friends, downloading Internet material, watching a video, etc. Then, of course, they learn nothing.
Our main goal should be to develop a love of learning. When children become excited about something, they can quickly learn endless amounts of material. Ask a child to describe his favorite video game to you.
A love of reading, and an excitement about learning new areas of knowledge will stay with children their whole lives. Material learned under duress for a test is knowledge quickly lost.