The 2013-14 school year began with the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards in Maryland, the District of Columbia and 44 additional states.
The new national standards in English/language arts and mathematics symbolize a shift in what it takes for students to be "college and career ready."
"It's very challenging," said Richard Weisenhoff, executive director of academics for Baltimore County Public Schools. "It's requiring a lot more out of our students. They're going to be more fluent in mathematics, and they're going to be better writers and readers based upon what the Common Core is requiring us to do.
"The National Governors Association was the driving force behind it. They decided that, in language arts and mathematics, there was a need for a national standard to be developed," he said.
"My take is, we're getting involved with this so that all the materials that are being developed across the country from educators would be available in our schools as well," he said. "If everyone's teaching the same thing, why reinvent the wheel."
In English/Language Arts, students must "demonstrate independence," "build strong content knowledge," "value evidence," "comprehend as well as critique" and "use technology and digital media strategically and capably," according to the Common Core State Standards website.
In mathematics, students must "make sense of problems and persevere in solving them," "reason abstractly and quantitatively," "attend to precision," "look for and make use of structure" and "look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning," according to the website.
The confusing language describing the standards has been met with much criticism by parents and educators alike.
"That's one of the real problems we've got," Weisenhoff said. "It's hard for a real person to understand.
"I wish it wasn't that way but education shoots ourselves in the foot with all the jargon we have," he said.
Just like Obamacare, Obamacore has been hyped and oversold to the public and it's becoming clearer and clearer that the standards are as half-baked, under-developed and problematic as the ACA program and website.
Given the incompetence with which Obama and his merry men and women rule, it's like President Bush and his merry men and women never left.
Although as Michael Fiorillo often says about the DOE and SED, it's hard to know where the incompetence ends and the malfeasance begins.
Same can be said of Barack Obama and his administration.