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.


in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Assist in re-education if jobs not available

File under: education, welfare, job training, civil rights

4 (1 votes)

From: David F., Lafayette, LA

I had hoped to supplement my government disability income, but the system is very quick to penalize you and to remove benefits or to make you pay for them. So working part time can cause you to have less money. Of course, blind people have lived with high unemployment rates, from 68 to 80 percent, for decades. If our unemployment were in line with the national average (nearly 10 percent), we'd actually be doing very well!

I thought education would help me get to a better place and leave an abusive work situation. I obtained a Master of Library and Information Science degree in 1998, and looked for work all over the country. I thought my good grades and participation in campus organizations relating to my degree might help. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever work anywhere, especially anywhere supportive that might really value me as a person and care if I show up or not.

I do think education is a key, but perhaps shorter kinds of education such as specialized training that builds on a degree but is not a degree itself. I am told now that my state's rehabilitation agency will not fund any further training for me, not even something online. I had hoped to be chosen to compete on a trivia-type game show and use the possible winnings for further my education. But this simply has not happened. All I can say is education has to count for something, and surely someone out there believes in chances and can think out-of-the-box in a notable way. I have not yet found this person, but I hope I do one day and am able to have a successful employment history.


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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.