The answer to that question is “yes” and “no” and “maybe.”  In some states (Georgia and Alabama), Common Core is an improvement.  In other states (Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Missouri), Common Core is a downgrade.  In the most recent issue of Education Next, Harvard University’s Paul Peterson and Peter Kaplan examine the quality of state standards before most of them adopted the Common Core State Standards in English and math.  North Carolina (#33) received a C- in 2011.