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

Eliminate the link between politics and money

File under: government, other

2 (1 votes)

From: Perry L., Devils Lake, ND

I have worked in the field of poverty reduction through the Community Action Network for more than 34 years, and in my observations, eliminating the link between money and politics is the only answer. To have an open, honest, truthful and productive discussion about what causes poverty, people who finance election campaigns need to be part of the discussion, but not have veto power over whether the discussion happens or not. If national and statewide elected officials have to raise huge sums of money to seek re-election, that reduces their ability to focus on the needs of the nation or state. This lack of time and the need for daily fundraising allows lobbyists to gain greater influence over the governmental decision making process at the expense of almost everyone else impacted by the actual decision being made.

Almost every issue of national significance that would positively impact those who live daily in poverty has been decided based on some political calculation that benefits those most involved in financing political campaigns. The recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission may have created a situation where those with the power (i.e., campaign resources) can have even more influence on the governmental decision making process.

Eliminating abject poverty is well within the grasp of this country. If the relationship between money and our political process is not changed, however, although there may be some things that can be done, ultimately we are dealing with various forms of income redistribution. And those with the highest incomes, the individuals that strategically finance political campaigns, will increasingly use our broken political process to insure that poverty remains a constant within our society. The Bible says the poor will always be with us. As a country, we continue to do everything possible to make sure that statement remains eternally true.


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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.