Archive for August 15th, 2012

August 15, 2012

Quick Takes — Bernanke ‘predicts’ student loan bailout, female authors dominate YA fiction, ineffective reading programs used for 40 years, & more

by Grace

—  Bernanke just guaranteed that the student loan bubble will be the next “Financial Stability Issue”

Apparently we can rely on things turning out just the opposite of what Bernanke predicts.

“At this juncture . . . the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime markets seems likely to be contained” – Ben Bernanke, March 28, 2007

“I don’t think student loans are a financial stability issue to the same extent that, say, mortgage debt was in the last crisis because most of it is held not by financial institutions but by the federal government” – Ben Bernanke, August 7, 2012

Uh oh.  But Tyler Durden has a catchy name for the upcoming bailout program:  CASH FOR FLUNKERS

—  Why Do Female Authors Dominate Young-Adult Fiction? (The Atlantic)

And why do male authors dominate NPR’s list of top science-fiction and fantasy books?

—  Reading Program Ineffective for Students With Learning Disabilities (Education Week)

new report from the What Works Clearinghouse questions the effectiveness of a longstanding, widely used reading program, developed by McGraw-Hill, for students with learning disabilities.

In a report this month, the WWC found that there is evidence that Reading Mastery has “no discernible effects on reading comprehension and potentially negative effects on alphabetics, reading fluency, and writing for students with learning disabilities.”

Looking at the 17 studies about about Reading Mastery Classic and Reading Mastery Signature, specifically for students with learning disabilities, the WWC found two of them met its research standards.

Reading Mastery is used in all 50 states and internationally, and more than 6,500 schools across the country use Reading Mastery Signature, McGraw-Hill said. The cost per student, the WWC said, during the first year of implementation ranges from $200 to $300 and pays for materials including storybooks, textbooks, workbooks and textbooks. Buying a full set of teaching materials costs between $650 and $1,000 per grade level.

Wrightslaw poses this question on its Facebook page:

How can a reading program with no research to support its effectiveness be used in thousands of schools for over 40 years? Just asking …

—  Upper-Middle-Income Households See Biggest Jumps in Student Loan Burden (WSJ)

Rising college costs and a sagging economy are taking the biggest toll on a surprising group: upper-middle-income families.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of recently released Federal Reserve data, households with annual incomes of $94,535 to $205,335 saw the biggest jump in the percentage with student-loan debt from 2007 to 2010, the latest figures available. That group also saw a sharp climb in the amount of debt owed on average.

The surge is leading many such families to look closer at cost and value when choosing colleges….

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