In traditional schools, students are taught a specific curriculum each year. Now with Common Core, students of a grade level all across America will have pretty much identical lesson plans, regardless of their background, prior progress, personal aptitudes, or anything else that can drastically affect the appropriateness of the subject matter. In order to advance to the next grade level, they have to exhibit an adequate mastery of said subject matter, but of course a student’s preparedness almost never affects their “progress” through the grade levels. The obvious problem is that what gets taught has to be so watered down and averaged out, that it’s appropriate for almost nobody. Some are lagging behind and feeling frustrated, others are bored stiff. I know it’s a tall order to expect students to plan and execute their own educations, but not unreasonably so. If the effort were invested in making them good learners and letting their studies take them where they will, rather than forcing everyone like uniquely-shaped pegs into uniform little holes, they’d all be way better off.