Should Americans embrace the Common Core State Standards? Developed by state officials and educational experts, the Common Core is a set of academic standards in English and math for kindergarten to 12th-grade students across the country. Supporters claim that they will encourage critical thinking skills and raise student performance, but opponents charge that they are too rigid and based on unproven educational theories. By instituting the Common Core, has the federal government overreached and saddled American schools with flawed and misguided standards? Or will the Common Core raise the bar and improve the quality of education?