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 photo was taken two days after she was put in our arms. We are getting ready for our first outing outside. She is a beautiful little girl (and I don't think we are biased).

Catherine Calvin
Colorado Springs, CO

Birth Country: CN
Decade of adoption: 2000 or later

My husband (who has a 23- and a 20-year-old son from a previous marriage) and I decided to adopt a little girl from China after reading about the plight of so many infant girls in China. We knew we had what it would take to "start over" and bring a little girl into our lives. The process took exactly one year. We attended our orientation on Valentine's Day 2004, and boarded our plane to China to pick up our daughter on Valentine's Day 2005 -- how appropriate! We used an agency in Denver, Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI), which is phenomenal. They walked us through the entire process and held our hand through every step in China! I would recommend them to anyone!

Our daughter, Grace, was put into our arms, and there are no words to express the explosion in our hearts. Among babies screaming and in trauma, our little one looked at us with wide eyes, and accepted us within minutes. Within 24 hours, we taught her some sign language to communicate and how to blow kisses. Our connection grew the minute we pressed our lips to her perfect face, and hasn't ended.

Six months later, she is full of laughter, hugs, kisses and wonder. Her big brothers adore her, as does anyone who meets her. We forget she is Chinese and not ours by birth.

For those couples who wonder if they could accept another child that is not theirs biologically, there is not a difference. The minute my husband saw her picture four weeks before we departed to China, he said with tears in his eyes: "This is exactly how I felt when they put my boys in my arms in the hospital -- no difference."

We continue to have tears of joy in our eyes every morning she wakes up and signs "I love you" and smiles! Adoption is a wonderful thing!!!!



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.