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


ORTIZ, SOLOMON P, Democratic Party
Texas

Total number of trips - 18
Total cost of trips - $108,230.45

Average cost per trip - $6,012.80
Total number of days spent traveling - 156 days
Rank of representative - 31 (Out of 638)


Individual trips


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access Corporation
Dates - April 15, 2000 - April 28, 2000 (14 days)
Location(s) - China

Purpose - Fact-finding and to improve trade relations with China
Notes - Days at personal expense: 4/17, 4/18, 4/19, 4/27

Travel Cost - $4,268.00
Lodging Cost - $525.00
Meal Cost - $275.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,068.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Dates - January 19, 2000 - January 23, 2000 (5 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - Board of Directors retreat
Notes - Other expenses for transportation in PR

Travel Cost - $496.40
Lodging Cost - $720.00
Meal Cost - $195.75
Other Cost - $216.94
Total Cost - $1,629.09

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce
Dates - May 29, 2000 - June 2, 2000 (5 days)
Location(s) - Taipei, Taiwan

Purpose - Fact-finding and education
Notes - Other expenses not specified

Travel Cost - $3,600.00
Lodging Cost - $900.00
Meal Cost - $300.00
Other Cost - $150.00
Total Cost - $4,950.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Singapore Technologies Engineering, Dai Nisshin Corp
Dates - January 28, 2001 - February 4, 2001 (8 days)
Location(s) - Japan - Singapore

Purpose - Fact finding with the city government of Corpus Christi & the port of Corpus Christi as it relates to investment opportunities in Texas
Notes -

Travel Cost - $6,297.00
Lodging Cost - $860.00
Meal Cost - $275.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,432.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce
Dates - May 26, 2001 - June 2, 2001 (8 days)
Location(s) - Taiwan

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Other expenses not specified

Travel Cost - $3,835.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $330.00
Other Cost - $185.00
Total Cost - $5,050.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - International Management and Development Institute
Dates - March 26, 2002 - March 29, 2002 (4 days)
Location(s) - Hong Kong - Singapore

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes -

Travel Cost - $6,747.00
Lodging Cost - $750.00
Meal Cost - $400.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,897.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Singapore Technologies Engineering, Dai Nisshin Corp
Dates - January 15, 2002 - January 20, 2002 (6 days)
Location(s) - Singapore - Hong Kong - Shanghai, China

Purpose - fact-finding trip to secure jobs for the 27th district of Texas
Notes -

Travel Cost - $6,245.70
Lodging Cost - $720.00
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,465.70

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Sony Music/Sony Electronics, Altria, Time Warner, Pfizer, Coca-Cola, Fannie Mae, AstraZeneca, Aventis, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, PhRMA, Puerto Rico Telephone
Dates - October 23, 2003 - October 26, 2003 (4 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - "Tri-Caucus Retreat" to improve relationships between member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; the Cong. Black Caucus and the Cong/ Asian Pacific American Caucus
Notes - Son, Solomon P. Ortiz, Jr.

Travel Cost - $3,696.24
Lodging Cost - $1,139.40
Meal Cost - $901.02
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,736.66

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access Corporation
Dates - August 2, 2003 - August 19, 2003 (18 days)
Location(s) - Hong Kong - Dong Guan City, China - Guangzhou, China - Shanghai, China - Shenyang City, China - Beijing, China

Purpose - fact-finding and a trade mission
Notes - 8/11 - 8/18 at own personal expense.

Travel Cost - $7,500.00
Lodging Cost - $1,050.00
Meal Cost - $525.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $9,075.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association
Dates - January 10, 2003 - January 18, 2003 (9 days)
Location(s) - Tokyo, Japan - Taipei, Taiwan

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes - Son, Solomon P. Ortiz, Jr.

Travel Cost - $6,346.00
Lodging Cost - $3,700.00
Meal Cost - $1,300.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $11,346.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Marathon Oil Corp.
Dates - July 26, 2003 - July 28, 2003 (3 days)
Location(s) - Mexico City, Mexico

Purpose - To give briefing on Marathon Oil project to the US Embassy - met with U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza and other Mexican officials
Notes -

Travel Cost - $2,376.00
Lodging Cost - $400.00
Meal Cost - $150.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,926.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia
Dates - February 13, 2004 - February 23, 2004 (11 days)
Location(s) - Hong Kong - Beijing, China

Purpose - trade mission
Notes - [Personal financial disclosure statement indicates sponsor is Integrity Communications]

Travel Cost - $3,900.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $700.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,300.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access Corporation
Dates - April 7, 2004 - April 17, 2004 (11 days)
Location(s) - Taipei, Taiwan - Hong Kong, China - Beijing, China

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes -

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

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Dominican Association of Free Zone Industries
Dates - April 23, 2004 - April 26, 2004 (4 days)
Location(s) - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Purpose - fact-finding in relation to free trade with the USA
Notes -

Travel Cost - $1,500.00
Lodging Cost - $500.00
Meal Cost - $260.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,260.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese Intl Economic Cooperation Assn
Dates - November 4, 2004 - November 11, 2004 (8 days)
Location(s) - Taipei, Taiwan - Kao-hsiung, Taiwan

Purpose - Fact-finding trip/meeting with high government officials
Notes - Corpus Christi - LA - Taipei, Taiwan - Kaohsiung - Taipei -LA - Corpus Christi

Travel Cost - $5,500.00
Lodging Cost - $1,050.00
Meal Cost - $700.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,250.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access
Dates - March 21, 2005 - April 1, 2005 (12 days)
Location(s) - Beijing, China - Guangzhou, China

Purpose - Fact-finding..
Notes - Corpus Christi, TX - Beijing / Beijing - Guangzhou / Guangzhou - Corpus Christi, TX Personal Expense : 3/30 - 3/31

Travel Cost - $3,695.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $350.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,745.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Integrity Communications
Dates - July 29, 2004 - August 9, 2004 (12 days)
Location(s) - Beijing, China - Hong Kong, China

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Corpus Christi - Hong Kong - Beijing - Hong Kong - Corpus Christi Personal expense: 8/6 - 8/7

Travel Cost - $3,200.00
Lodging Cost - $600.00
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,300.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Law Offices of Filemon Vela
Dates - August 1, 2005 - August 14, 2005 (14 days)
Location(s) - Singapore - Beijing, China - Hong Kong

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Corpus Christi, TX - Singapore - Beijing - Hong Kong - Corpus Christi Personal expense: 8/10, 8/12, 8/13/05 (4 travel days)

Travel Cost - $9,000.00
Lodging Cost - $1,400.00
Meal Cost - $700.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $11,100.00

Additional family members - No

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.