Outstanding free math CCSS resources from the NC Dept of Public Instruction, including the "unpacking" documents for K-5 that explain exactly what students need to be able to do for each standard. I repeatedly refer to this document when I have a question about CCSS math.
SO TRUE. too many kiddos, parents, & even some educators think that EASY is how things happen. It's not. Plain and simple. You've got to work your butt of for success. if you don't work your butt off, then hopefully you are comfortable with mediocre!