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.

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    Greater Expectations transcript

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  • 08.28.14

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Get banks to fund a microcredit program for poor in the United States

File under: income, microfinance, geneva global, opportunity international, HOPE International, mediamavens.com, enrichment.com

4 (1 votes)

From: Mike S., Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Microcredit (or microfinance) is working in developing countries. Poor, working people (primarily women) are given a small loan, funded by donors through an NGO (non-governmental organization), to operate a small business. This lifts them and their family out of intractable, chronic poverty.

Microcredit hasn't had a real launch in the United States, because the small loans would obviously have to be larger here than what they would be in the developing world.

Let a bank -- e.g., Bank of America -- sponsor a fund that would be targeted to poor, working people in each of the market areas of each branch bank. Monies to loan out would come in through bank customer donations (the bank could appeal to customers to give "x" dollars each month from their checking accounts), and through a percentage of the bank's own monies. The bank would work with one or more acknowledged microfinance agencies for distribution.

The public relations for the bank would be terrific; this could be a customer magnet for new accounts, far offsetting whatever the bank would be doling out.


Comments:

Tina W.
From Minneapolis, MN

Like with many things in the US I would be afraid it would be exploited. However it could work if the people "donating" the money got their money back when the borrower begins paying back the loan. This is how Prosper Marketplace, Inc works. But, I like this idea. Give everyone who wants it a reason to be proud of themselves, and feel good about giving back to their local economy. The biggest problem as I see it, is that you have to use people in order to get ahead these days. This is why I will never have enough to make ends meet. But a bunch of small local businesses who can even barter would be good. A little money is exchanged, a promise to help when needed, and the heart of our communities could be returned too.


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.