This from WSJ.com
The Common Core national math and reading standards, adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia two years ago, are coming under attack from some quarters as a federal intrusion into state education matters.
The voluntary academic standards, which specify what students should know in each grade, were heavily promoted by the Obama administration through its $4.35 billion Race to the Top education-grant competition. States that instituted changes such as common learning goals received bonus points in their applications.
Supporters say the Common Core standards better prepare students for college or the workforce, and are important as the U.S. falls behind other nations in areas such as math proficiency.
A 2010 report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning educational-research group, said the Common Core standards "are clearly superior to those currently in use in 39 states in math and 37 states in English. For 33 states, the Common Core is superior in both math and reading."
But conservative lawmakers and governors in at least five states, including Utah and Alabama, recently have been pushing to back out, or slow down implementation, of Common Core. They worry that adoption of the standards has created a de facto national curriculum that could at some point be extended into more controversial areas such as science...