American RadioWorks | Hearing is Seeing
Students in Kentucky taking a Common Core math test. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Greater Expectations

The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school. The standards have been adopted by most states, though there's plenty of controversy about them among activists and politicians. Most teachers, however, actually like the standards. This American RadioWorks documentary takes listeners into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Teachers say Common Core has the potential to help kids who are behind, as well as those who are ahead. But many teachers have big concerns about the Common Core tests. The new, tougher tests are meant to let the nation know how kids are really doing in school -- but bad scores could get teachers and principals fired.

Recent Posts

  • 08.28.14

    A teacher loses faith in the Common Core

    New York teacher Kevin Glynn was once a big fan of the Common Core, but he says the standardized testing that's come along with it is reducing students to test scores and narrowing what gets taught in schools.
  • 08.28.14

    Are you smarter than a Common Core student? Try a Common Core test

    New Common Core tests are supposed to measure students' ability to think critically, analyze information, and cite evidence as well as test their conceptual understanding of mathematics and their ability to apply math to the real world. See how you'd do on a Common Core test.
  • 08.28.14

    Questioning the Common Core tests

    In the United States, education standards come with tests. Most students haven't been tested on the Common Core yet. But in one state where they have, the controversy is so intense that it's threatening to bring down the Common Core altogether.
  • 08.26.14

    What is the Common Core?

    The Common Core is a huge change for public schools, but most Americans know little about it. Learn what Common Core is, where it came from, and why it’s become so controversial.

American RadioWorks | Hearing is Seeing
Students in Kentucky taking a Common Core math test. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Greater Expectations

The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school. The standards have been adopted by most states, though there's plenty of controversy about them among activists and politicians. Most teachers, however, actually like the standards. This American RadioWorks documentary takes listeners into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Teachers say Common Core has the potential to help kids who are behind, as well as those who are ahead. But many teachers have big concerns about the Common Core tests. The new, tougher tests are meant to let the nation know how kids are really doing in school -- but bad scores could get teachers and principals fired.

Recent Posts

  • 08.28.14

    A teacher loses faith in the Common Core

    New York teacher Kevin Glynn was once a big fan of the Common Core, but he says the standardized testing that's come along with it is reducing students to test scores and narrowing what gets taught in schools.
  • 08.28.14

    Are you smarter than a Common Core student? Try a Common Core test

    New Common Core tests are supposed to measure students' ability to think critically, analyze information, and cite evidence as well as test their conceptual understanding of mathematics and their ability to apply math to the real world. See how you'd do on a Common Core test.
  • 08.28.14

    Questioning the Common Core tests

    In the United States, education standards come with tests. Most students haven't been tested on the Common Core yet. But in one state where they have, the controversy is so intense that it's threatening to bring down the Common Core altogether.
  • 08.26.14

    What is the Common Core?

    The Common Core is a huge change for public schools, but most Americans know little about it. Learn what Common Core is, where it came from, and why it’s become so controversial.


Adoption stories


The moment Daniil was put in my arms, I was overwhelmed with joy; he was just overwhelmed. February 2002, Ussuriisk, Primorski Krai, Russia.

Elizabeth Delmatoff
Portland, OR

Birth Country: Russia
Decade of adoption: 2000 or later

We have just returned from our second meeting with our new son Daniil. He is gorgeous and so smart. When they first brought him in, I didn't recognize him from his photos. Neither did Bill. We were expecting him to be sickly and coughing, and he was smiling and had a tiny bit of color in his cheeks. I walked up to him and called him a "little bunny" in Russian. He smiled and reached out his arms, and it was true love.

At first, the ladies were concerned that he would be afraid of Bill, because these babies almost never see men. He touched Bill's moustache, then his nose and smiled. He is so cute! I really can't believe it. It was the most amazing feeling. It was like giving birth and getting married all rolled into one. That's the only way I can explain it, but I will never forget it. The dreamy look that Bill's been walking around with pretty much says it all.

Daniil is very small and developmentally delayed, which we were expecting. He appears to be a healthy eight-month-old baby instead of a sickly 14-month-old baby. He is little and cuddly and loves to be rocked. He loves prying open my mouth to count my teeth. I think he has a future in dentistry! He crawls and scoots and pulls himself up. He was standing before, but after a bad bout of bronchitis is quite weak, and is not standing or walking right now. It will come. He is very strong. He's recovering from measles and scabies, so he's a little spotty. He has tiny feet, huge ears, and vibrant blue eyes.

Ussuriisk is so different from Moscow. It could be another world. It is truly Tijuana with the color sucked out. Things are quite bleak and grey, and the life here is hard. Many families do not have indoor plumbing. In fact, outhouses are common. Work is relatively scarce, although there are many educated people because there is a college here. Despite the bleak conditions, the people are wonderful and warm.

Before we left western Russia, we went to a beautiful church. I lit a candle for Jenna and one for Teresa, both in the Mothers' Alcove. I said a little prayer for Daniil's birth mother, too, as they are all part of this incredible journey. It felt good, and I think they all approve.

...

Daniil is a beautiful and brilliant baby. He is exactly the person who could complete our family, and he couldn't be more mine if I had birthed him. He can say a few words: "na" (take), "Okay," "bye-bye," "dai" (give), and "da" (yes). A few Russian and a few Engleski. He does have some special needs, and will require help and physical therapy when we return, but he is strong and smart, and has a beautiful, joy-filled personality. He is loving and sweet, and we have yet to hear him cry. He does have scabies and some other critters, so we probably do as well. We have medicine, so the first day we are in the hotel after he leaves the orphanage we are killing the critters! Yikes. I do not like parasites!

The orphanage is sad, but the ladies who work here are kind and loving to the babies. They hold and hug them when they can, and pay attention to their health. Unfortunately, there is not much food and few supplies, so the children are sickly and small and undernourished. We have been buying lots of formula, yogurt and fresh fruit, and I hear it gets better in the spring and summer. It is hard to see, but I'm glad I know the truth. This trip, more than any other, will change me. I don't know yet how, but it is significant for more than bringing me my son.



Back to Adoption Stories


American RadioWorks | Hearing is Seeing
Students in Kentucky taking a Common Core math test. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Greater Expectations

The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school. The standards have been adopted by most states, though there's plenty of controversy about them among activists and politicians. Most teachers, however, actually like the standards. This American RadioWorks documentary takes listeners into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Teachers say Common Core has the potential to help kids who are behind, as well as those who are ahead. But many teachers have big concerns about the Common Core tests. The new, tougher tests are meant to let the nation know how kids are really doing in school -- but bad scores could get teachers and principals fired.

Recent Posts

  • 08.28.14

    A teacher loses faith in the Common Core

    New York teacher Kevin Glynn was once a big fan of the Common Core, but he says the standardized testing that's come along with it is reducing students to test scores and narrowing what gets taught in schools.
  • 08.28.14

    Are you smarter than a Common Core student? Try a Common Core test

    New Common Core tests are supposed to measure students' ability to think critically, analyze information, and cite evidence as well as test their conceptual understanding of mathematics and their ability to apply math to the real world. See how you'd do on a Common Core test.
  • 08.28.14

    Questioning the Common Core tests

    In the United States, education standards come with tests. Most students haven't been tested on the Common Core yet. But in one state where they have, the controversy is so intense that it's threatening to bring down the Common Core altogether.
  • 08.26.14

    What is the Common Core?

    The Common Core is a huge change for public schools, but most Americans know little about it. Learn what Common Core is, where it came from, and why it’s become so controversial.