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

  • 08.29.14

    Greater Expectations transcript

  • 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.

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

  • 08.29.14

    Greater Expectations transcript

  • 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.


Adoption stories


Beverly Fish
Ypsilanti, MI

Birth Country: South Korea
Decade of adoption: 1990s

Being an adopted parent has changed my life in a truly wonderful way. I became a member of a very special group of parents who shared their experiences of home studies, visa papers and the overwhelming, at times, amounts of paperwork needed to be completed for our adoption caseworkers. Instead of labor pains, we share the agony of waiting day by day for the phone to ring, telling us we have become new parents. Whether it is your first adoption or a second or third, there is always the suspenseful wait. I remember getting the call that I had received my referral from Korea for a baby boy. He immediately became my son, Morgan.

From that moment, I was a mother. The hard part for adoptive parents is often the fact that all you have is a photo. That photo becomes your lifeline. I carried it with me at all times, showing it to everyone. I think I even showed it to strangers at the supermarket! Fortunately, I had become a member of a support group of adoptive parents who helped me through the wait. I shopped for baby things, had a baby shower and fixed up Morgan's room. Every night I sat in his room holding his picture, in my rocking chair, dreaming of the day when I would actually be holding my little boy.

December 16 will always be a special day in my heart as Morgan's arrival day. Most adoptive families celebrate "gotcha' day" or "airplane day" as the first day that their child became part of their "forever family." For me, it is the day to reflect on the long struggle to jump through all the hurdles that it took to finally become a mother. As I watch the video of the first time I saw my son in his orphanage, I always feel tears well up in my eyes. I will always remember holding him close to me and how he put his little arms around my neck and nuzzled my shoulder.

Two years later, on March 29, I repeated my experience as I held my daughter in my arms at Metro Airport in Detroit while friends and family gathered around to see Morgan's new baby sister. That night, once all the visitors had left, Morgan ran upstairs and brought down his special "blankie" and wrapped it around his little sister.

Today, I am an avid supporter of adoption. As a member of our Korean Culture Camp and our Families for Children support group, my life has been enriched through all the wonderful people I have met who share the one thing that bonds us: a love for our children and their Korean heritage. I am always happy to share my stories with anyone who is thinking about becoming an adoptive parent. It will change your life forever.



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

  • 08.29.14

    Greater Expectations transcript

  • 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.