American RadioWorks |
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

  • 09.02.14

    Teachers embrace the Common Core

    Teachers in Reno, Nevada, were skeptical of the Common Core at first. But they have embraced the new standards as a way to bring better education to students who are struggling in school -- and to kids who are ahead.
  • 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 |
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

  • 09.02.14

    Teachers embrace the Common Core

    Teachers in Reno, Nevada, were skeptical of the Common Core at first. But they have embraced the new standards as a way to bring better education to students who are struggling in school -- and to kids who are ahead.
  • 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.

Back to all reports


MEEKS, GREGORY W, Democratic Party
New York

Total number of trips - 37
Total cost of trips - $147,691.95

Average cost per trip - $3,991.67
Total number of days spent traveling - 154 days
Rank of representative - 16 (Out of 638)


Individual trips


Sponsor(s) - Hopkins, Lawrence and Bailey P.C.
Dates - July 29, 2000 - August 5, 2000 (8 days)
Location(s) - Accra, Ghana

Purpose - Fact-finding mission
Notes - Took wife, Simone-Marie Meeks

Travel Cost - $3,700.00
Lodging Cost - $500.00
Meal Cost - $360.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,560.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Glaxo-SmithKline
Dates - February 18, 2000 - February 21, 2000 (4 days)
Location(s) - Albany, NY

Purpose - NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legis. Speaker
Notes -

Travel Cost -
Lodging Cost - $562.77
Meal Cost - $30.29
Other Cost - $1.50
Total Cost - $594.56

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Faith and Politics Institute
Dates - March 3, 2000 - March 5, 2000 (3 days)
Location(s) - Birmingham, AL - Selma, AL

Purpose - Alabama pilgrimage to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1965 voting rights march
Notes - no list attached - took wife Simone-Marie Meeks and children Ebony and Aja Meeks

Travel Cost - $270.00
Lodging Cost - $214.00
Meal Cost - $280.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $764.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Christopher Reynolds Foundation, General Service Foundation
Dates - May 30, 2000 - June 4, 2000 (6 days)
Location(s) - Havana, Cuba

Purpose - Access the impact of the food and medicine embargo on the Cuban people with a particular focus on the Afro-Cuban population
Notes - Took wife, Simone-Marie Meeks

Travel Cost - $1,394.00
Lodging Cost - $555.00
Meal Cost - $315.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,264.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Association of Airport Executives
Dates - February 21, 2000 - February 27, 2000 (7 days)
Location(s) - HI

Purpose - 2000 Aviation Issues Conference
Notes -

Travel Cost - $925.00
Lodging Cost - $300.00
Meal Cost - $160.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,385.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - New York Caribbean News
Dates - November 9, 2000 - November 12, 2000 (4 days)
Location(s) - Montego Bay, Jamaica

Purpose - Caribbean business conference
Notes - Took wife, Simone-Marie Meeks

Travel Cost - $147.80
Lodging Cost - $610.00
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $757.80

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Amistad America, Inc.
Dates - March 24, 2000 - March 25, 2000 (2 days)
Location(s) - Mystic Seaport, CT

Purpose - Launching of the recreated Freedom Scooner Amistad
Notes - Took wife, Simone-Marie Meeks

Travel Cost - $33.09
Lodging Cost - $112.00
Meal Cost - $22.61
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $167.70

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - New York Stock Exchange, Bell Atlantic, Humpty Dumpty Institute
Dates - June 14, 2000 - June 17, 2000 (4 days)
Location(s) - New York, NY

Purpose - Congressional Black Caucus visit to New York Stock Exchange
Notes - Took wife, Simone-Marie Meeks - "other" expenses for spouse only

Travel Cost - $222.14
Lodging Cost - $668.52
Meal Cost - $139.06
Other Cost - $222.65
Total Cost - $1,252.37

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - CBC Policy & Leadership Institute
Dates - June 8, 2001 - June 11, 2001 (4 days)
Location(s) - Charleston, SC

Purpose - Educational - Trade Policy Conference
Notes - Accompanied by spouse Simone-Marie Meeks.

Travel Cost - $786.75
Lodging Cost - $504.00
Meal Cost - $230.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,520.75

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Information Technology Industry Council
Dates - April 26, 2001 - April 29, 2001 (4 days)
Location(s) - Dallas, TX

Purpose - CBC Technology Summit
Notes - Accompanied by spouse Simone-Marie Meeks. Other expenses for ground transportation.

Travel Cost - $835.00
Lodging Cost - $307.05
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost - $140.00
Total Cost - $1,782.05

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Petroleum Institute
Dates - June 29, 2001 - July 1, 2001 (3 days)
Location(s) - Houston, TX

Purpose - CBC Energy Industry Dialogue
Notes - Accompanied by spouse Simone-Marie Meeks

Travel Cost - $4,676.50
Lodging Cost - $645.00
Meal Cost - $410.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,731.50

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - British Airways
Dates - November 5, 2001 - November 7, 2001 (3 days)
Location(s) - London, England

Purpose - educational fact finding trip
Notes -

Travel Cost - $8,000.00
Lodging Cost - $436.00
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $8,436.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Horizons Marketing Group Inc.
Dates - September 4, 2001 - September 5, 2001 (2 days)
Location(s) - Miami, Fl

Purpose - luncheon speaker
Notes -

Travel Cost - $569.06
Lodging Cost - $153.75
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $722.81

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Todo Puerto Rico con Vieques
Dates - July 13, 2001 - July 16, 2001 (4 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - fact finding trip to visit the island of Vieques
Notes - Accompanied by spouse Simone-Marie Meeks

Travel Cost - $1,928.40
Lodging Cost - $688.00
Meal Cost - $400.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $3,016.40

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Stop the Bombing of Vieques Legal Defense Fund
Dates - July 5, 2001 - July 6, 2001 (2 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - Attend trial of Atty. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. & Dennis Rivera
Notes - Any additional billing from hotel for meals or phone bill will be paid as well. Hotel is slow with the bill.

Travel Cost - $893.60
Lodging Cost - $110.00
Meal Cost - $79.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,082.60

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Stop the Bombing of Vieques Legal Defense Fund
Dates - May 28, 2001 - May 28, 2001 (1 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - fact finding
Notes -

Travel Cost - $1,270.60
Lodging Cost -
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,270.60

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce
Dates - January 8, 2001 - January 8, 2001 (1 days)
Location(s) - Taiwan

Purpose - fact-finding and educational visit
Notes - Accompanied by spouse Simone-Marie Meeks. Other expenses not specified.

Travel Cost - $10,800.00
Lodging Cost - $1,350.00
Meal Cost - $900.00
Other Cost - $740.00
Total Cost - $13,790.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia
Dates - January 11, 2002 - January 19, 2002 (9 days)
Location(s) - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - London, England

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes - spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied.

Travel Cost - $12,145.70
Lodging Cost - $932.18
Meal Cost - $496.96
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $13,574.84

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Democratic Leadership Council
Dates - April 25, 2002 - April 27, 2002 (3 days)
Location(s) - New Orleans, LA

Purpose - 2002 DLC Spring Retreat
Notes - other expenses include $21.33 ground transportation and $45.34 in DLC gifts.

Travel Cost - $255.30
Lodging Cost - $552.80
Meal Cost - $210.74
Other Cost - $66.67
Total Cost - $1,085.51

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Third Way Foundation
Dates - June 6, 2002 - June 10, 2002 (5 days)
Location(s) - London, England

Purpose - symposium
Notes - spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied. Transportation expenses include 243.86 ground transportation.

Travel Cost - $2,136.26
Lodging Cost - $1,829.94
Meal Cost - $349.34
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,315.54

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Inter-American Economic Council
Dates - January 15, 2003 - January 19, 2003 (5 days)
Location(s) - Antigua and Barbuda - Barbados

Purpose - Fact-finding
Notes - Spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied. Airfare was $4236, ground transportation was $200.70. This includes lodging, meal and unspecified other expenses listed on original form.

Travel Cost - $4,436.70
Lodging Cost - $1,659.15
Meal Cost - $278.56
Other Cost - $180.00
Total Cost - $6,554.41

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - NASDAQ
Dates - March 28, 2003 - March 31, 2003 (4 days)
Location(s) - Miami, FL

Purpose - Dialogue between business leaders & gov't officials
Notes - Spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied

Travel Cost - $4,056.00
Lodging Cost - $1,543.05
Meal Cost - $1,050.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $6,649.05

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Inc.
Dates - August 17, 2003 - August 22, 2003 (6 days)
Location(s) - Israel

Purpose - Fact-finding
Notes - Other costs are for administrative fees, buses, etc.

Travel Cost - $3,072.90
Lodging Cost - $872.00
Meal Cost - $185.00
Other Cost - $467.00
Total Cost - $4,596.90

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Carib News
Dates - November 7, 2003 - November 9, 2003 (3 days)
Location(s) - Nassau, Bahamas

Purpose - Annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference
Notes - Spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied. Meals and transfer to and from the airport included in lodging costs

Travel Cost - $600.00
Lodging Cost - $750.00
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,350.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Dates - October 24, 2003 - October 26, 2003 (3 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - Congressional Tri-Caucus Retreat
Notes - Spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied

Travel Cost - $879.20
Lodging Cost - $549.70
Meal Cost - $382.22
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,811.12

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - SAI Women International
Dates - January 2, 2004 - January 13, 2004 (12 days)
Location(s) - Mumbai, India

Purpose - fact finding
Notes - child Ebony Meeks accompanied

Travel Cost - $11,324.88
Lodging Cost - $3,287.51
Meal Cost - $2,582.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $17,194.39

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Pfizer, Inc.
Dates - February 8, 2004 - February 9, 2004 (2 days)
Location(s) - Miami, FL

Purpose - speaker for Pfizer corporate planning meeting
Notes - other costs were ground transportation

Travel Cost - $1,250.56
Lodging Cost - $310.75
Meal Cost - $97.57
Other Cost - $227.42
Total Cost - $1,886.30

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Upliftment Jamaica
Dates - December 19, 2003 - December 21, 2003 (3 days)
Location(s) - Kingston, Jamaica

Purpose - recipient of 2003 Upliftment Jamaica International community Leadership Award
Notes - spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied

Travel Cost - $2,102.34
Lodging Cost - $549.50
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,651.84

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Inter-American Economic Council
Dates - May 23, 2004 - May 24, 2004 (2 days)
Location(s) - Miami, FL

Purpose - Caribbean Trade Ministerial
Notes -

Travel Cost - $260.70
Lodging Cost - $237.30
Meal Cost - $135.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $633.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Brazil-US Business Council
Dates - April 11, 2004 - April 18, 2004 (8 days)
Location(s) - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Purpose - fact finding
Notes - other costs were ground transportation

Travel Cost - $5,680.00
Lodging Cost - $738.00
Meal Cost - $261.24
Other Cost - $376.30
Total Cost - $7,055.54

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Inter-American Economic Council
Dates - January 14, 2004 - January 18, 2004 (5 days)
Location(s) - St. Lucia - Antigua and Barbuda

Purpose - participated in the business roundtables during the inter-American economic council's 2004 congressional delegation
Notes - spouse Simone-Marie Meeks accompanied

Travel Cost - $4,882.00
Lodging Cost - $2,851.50
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $8,233.50

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Legacy Foundation
Dates - July 9, 2004 - July 11, 2004 (3 days)
Location(s) - Miami, FL

Purpose - Tri-Caucus Minority Health Summit
Notes - New York - Miami, FL - New York

Travel Cost - $1,136.20
Lodging Cost - $364.74
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,500.94

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Medical Assn
Dates - June 12, 2004 - June 13, 2004 (2 days)
Location(s) - Chicago, IL

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Washington, DC - Chicago - Washington, DC

Travel Cost - $575.40
Lodging Cost - $264.65
Meal Cost -
Other Cost - $55.00
Total Cost - $895.05

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Inter-American Economic Council
Dates - January 12, 2005 - January 16, 2005 (5 days)
Location(s) - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - Antigua and Barbuda

Purpose - Participated in the Business Roundtable during the Inter-American Economic Council's 2005 Cong. Delegation to the Dominican Republic and Antigua
Notes - Washington, DC - Punta Cana, Republica Dominicana - St Johns, Antigua - Washington, DC

Travel Cost - $4,583.40
Lodging Cost - $1,924.69
Meal Cost - $1,653.88
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $8,161.97

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Arab Chamber of Commerce
Dates - March 19, 2005 - March 25, 2005 (7 days)
Location(s) - Egypt

Purpose - Fact-finding
Notes - Dulles Airport, VA - Egypt - Dulles Airport, VA

Travel Cost - $7,586.00
Lodging Cost - $827.00
Meal Cost - $400.00
Other Cost - $430.00
Total Cost - $9,243.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Inter-American Economic Council
Dates - June 3, 2005 - June 4, 2005 (2 days)
Location(s) - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Purpose - Participated in Inter-American Economic Council IV Annual Business & Investment roundtable session
Notes - NY - Ft Lauderdale, FL - NY

Travel Cost - $438.63
Lodging Cost - $202.58
Meal Cost - $243.70
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $884.91

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Congressional Black Caucus Institute
Dates - August 12, 2005 - August 14, 2005 (3 days)
Location(s) - Memphis, TN

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - New York - Memphis, TN - New York Including spouse

Travel Cost -
Lodging Cost - $118.00
Meal Cost - $198.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $316.00

Additional family members - Yes

American RadioWorks |
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

  • 09.02.14

    Teachers embrace the Common Core

    Teachers in Reno, Nevada, were skeptical of the Common Core at first. But they have embraced the new standards as a way to bring better education to students who are struggling in school -- and to kids who are ahead.
  • 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.