All this talk about Core Standards is just more of the confusion and murkiness that our Education Establishment is so fond of. Here's why:
The word "Standards" is used unpredictably to refer to:
goals or levels that students must reach to pass;
goals we dream of reaching some day;
levels that are good enough in our society;
and the means/techniques we'll use to achieve certain goals.
Ergo, we can never be sure what the Education Establishment is talking about.
Take the simple sentence: "Our Standards are too low." No matter what you take that to mean, they can say, no, we were talking about something else.
Mush Test 1. Visit corestandards.org and read some of the math stuff for younger grades. Decide what these educators mean by "core standards."
For deeper discussion of linguistic confusions, see: "Obama's Ed Plan Is Anti-Ed"