Here is the challenge I am having with the CCSS: the standardized tests that accompany it. While the Common Core on its own does focus on important critical thinking skills, which can allow for more student-centered teaching and learning, these multiple choice, fill-in-the-correct-bubble tests are not. In states that have adopted these tests, and use them as measures of teacher achievement, there will be an increased focus on "teaching to the test," which means standardization for our students' education.
Furthermore, while the adoption of the Common Core was voluntary, the Race to the Top funds were predicated on the adoption of the Core and the installation of the testing regime to accompany them. At the time, in the depths of the recession, cash-strapped states had little choice but to take them. In this private-sector frenzy over education, and the big money to be made by the creation and adoption of these tests, I do not see this standardization changing, but instead I see it intensifying.
Common Core COULD be a great thing. But it hasn't worked out that way. Perhaps if real educators, those in the trenches right now, teaching America's children and teenagers, were given a bit more respect about their profession, Common Core and its tests could be successful in making education better for all. But the Obama administration has been largely deaf to that constituency, and I am not hopeful about any future 2016 contender either.
It's a shame.