I’ve taught high school English for 37 years. Here’s the reality:
Students who are avid readers—which means they will be advanced readers, excellent writers, and have wide knowledge frames of reference—and who have exciting, innovative, well-educated teachers, will learn any subject rapidly and easily.
The Common Core discourages students from developing a love of reading, and teachers from being innovative and exiting. To see this, all you have to do is read through them, if you can manage that without falling asleep.
So encourage avid reading, hire and support innovative teachers, and take to heart the suggestions of other posters that resources be put into alleviating poverty and adequately funding schools.