Joanne Yatvin, "How to Improve Common Core: A Critic's View", Sept 2013.
Former president of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), resigned to the inevitability of the CC, suggests a few reforms to improve them.

Anthony Cody, "The Door We Open When We Defeat the Common Core," Education Week, Nov. 2013.

Peter Greene, "Can CCSS Be Cleansed?" Curmudgucation blog, Nov. 2013.

In Apr. 2014, Peter Greene followed up this article with a three-part series in which he imagines what might replace Common Core:
Part I: "What Would Winning Look Like?"
Part II: "What if There Were 50 Standards?"
Part III: "What about Palloohkaville?"

Marion Brady, "We Need the Right Kind of Standards, Not CCSS," Diane Ravitch's blog, Jul. 2014.

Jake Miller, "Flights of Fancy," Harvard Medicine, 2014.
Subtitle: "Free play shapes a child's brain—and bestows a lifetime of benefits"

Learning from Finland

David Greene, author of Doing the Right Thing," speaks on the differences in approach toward education in the USA compared to Finland, Nov. 2014.

Teacher Ken, "A Different Approach to Education," Daily Kos, Mar. 2014.
Includes a link to a Powerpoint file created by Pasi Sahlberg showing the differences between US and Finnish education systems.
Direct link to Sahlberg's Powerpoint pdf file:

Sophia Faridi, "Happy Teaching, Happy Learning: 13 Secrets to Finland's Success," Education Week, Jun. 2014.

Tim Walker, "How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play," The Atlantic, Jun. 2014.

Caitlin Emma, "Finns beat U.S. with low-tech take on school," Politico, May 2014.