California joined 29 states today in approving national K-12 academic standards.
The California State Board of Education approved the common core standards unanimously at 12:30 p.m. after much public debate about whether they were as vigorous as the state standards...
State school trustees praised the standards, which were molded to California's standards by a commission over six days last month. They said the standards are more focused than the previous standards and teach critical thinking instead of memorization.
I'm not sure it's possible to teach "critical thinking", especially without a large storehouse of knowledge upon which to draw. Like "grit", it just happens given the right conditions.
More information on these standards, with lots of links, is available at Joanne's site.