Common Core State Standards were developed under the direction of states, specifically the association of state superintendents and governors, in response to a growing need for schools to align education with expectations for success in careers and college.
Educators and citizens across the country were invited to develop drafts of these learning goals, including all-important reading and writing targets.
As an educator and a citizen of a democracy, I am encouraged that the standards emphasize teaching students to draw informed conclusions using evidence, as opposed to unfounded opinions. Indeed, these goals call for a more rigorous education for all, setting the bar higher to challenge learners to become all they can. Low expectations don't help. Common Core challenges educators to think big and expect more of themselves and students.
It doesn't threaten freedom; it increases it by setting goals for students to read more widely, think more deeply and envision innovative solutions to pressing problems. These standards are a vast improvement over previous heavy-handed federal initiatives. It is heartening that a state-led effort has put in place tools to leverage learning to higher levels, enabling children to more successfully compete for jobs and have a shot at a happier future.
Of course, any promising idea can be corrupted. Narrow minds (e.g. "that's not the way we've always done it") doom the best endeavors. Since education makes the future, we must inform ourselves before jumping to conclusions; examine the Anchor Standards for the English Language Arts at corestandards.org