Eleven-year-old Leo Tuttle is a fifth-grader at an Indianapolis private school, where he struggles to keep up with the demanding curriculum.

But the school is where Leo’s mother, Erin Tuttle, wants him to be, rather than a public school or even the Catholic school he previously attended.

Erin Tuttle moved Leo to the private school when her home state of Indiana, along with 45 other states, agreed to follow the Common Core State Standards Initiative for all its public schools and those following the charter school program, such as the Catholic school. The Common Core standards are a set of guidelines for schools, initiated federally, to improve and make consistent education standards in math and English language arts.

The goal of Common Core is to “… articulate what students need to know in grades K-12 in order to be ready for college or a career after they graduate,” said Mike Casserly, executive director of the Council of Great City Schools, which supports and promotes the standards.

Many students and teachers saw the standards for the first time this year, as the program was being phased in nationwide. And now that they’ve seen it, many are not happy with it, and they’re joining an ever-increasing group of critics who are lining up against it.

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