Are you confused about credit scores?

credit scoresDid you know that when you purchase a credit report you are getting what they call an Educational score?  But when a creditor (such as a mortgage lender) looks at your credit score they see something different. In a recent study – Analysis of Differences between Consumer- and Creditor-Purchased Credit Scores – they found that  73% – 80% of consumers, were in the same score categories across the different scoring models. This means that the scores consumers receive will usually give them an accurate understanding of how creditors, using another scoring model, would perceive them. Most of the remaining consumers, 19 %– 24%, would likely have a moderate but meaningfully different impression of their credit score than would a creditor using the other score. A very small portion, 1% – 3%, would receive a very different impression than would a creditor using the other score.

The findings from the report suggest that consumers should avoid relying on scores they purchase as the sole basis for assessing their creditworthiness when making important decisions about obtaining credit. No consumer will know in advance whether the score he or she sees will vary significantly from the score a creditor sees. Thus, each consumer should be prepared for the possibility that the score he or she sees is meaningfully different from the score used by a lender.

In evaluating educational credit scores, consumers should also consider the following:

(1) Many scores exist in the marketplace. It is likely that many consumers incorrectly believe that the scores they purchase are the same scores used by lenders in evaluating their applications for credit. There are literally dozens of different credit models are used by lenders. FICO alone has over 49 credit scoring models.21 Consumers additionally can purchase a range of educational scores or VantageScores.

(2) Consumers should check their credit reports for accuracy and dispute any errors: Before shopping for major credit items, consumers should review their credit files for inaccuracies. Each of the nationwide CRAs is required by law to provide credit reports for free to consumers once every 12 months upon request. A consumer can obtain these reports at Consumers can get information on this and the dispute process at ask cfpb.

(3) Consumers should shop for credit: Some consumers are reluctant to shop for credit out of fear that they will harm their credit score. Many consumers are generally aware that inquiries by creditors can negatively impact their credit score. However, the potentially negative impact of inquiries on credit scores may be overblown. For example, FICO reports that its scoring models treat multiple inquiries made for either a mortgage, auto, or student loan within the same 30 day-window as a single inquiry. Even when credit inquiries are counted separately, as in the case of credit card applications, each additional credit inquiry will take fewer than 5 points off a FICO score. Twenty-two other scoring models such as Vantage also do not heavily weight inquiries. An inquiry will take 1 to 5 points off a Vantage score.23

(4) Providers of educational scores should ensure that the potential for score differences is clear to consumers: This study finds that for a substantial minority of consumers, the scores that consumers purchase from the nationwide CRAs depict consumers’ creditworthiness differently from the scores sold to creditors. It is likely that, unaided, many consumers will not understand this fact or even understand that the score they have obtained is an educational score and not the score that a lender is likely to rely upon. Consumers obtaining educational scores may be confused about the usefulness of the score being sold if sellers of scores do not make it clear to consumers before the consumer purchases the educational score that it is not the score the lender is likely to use.

To read the full report see Analysis of Differences between Consumer- and Creditor-Purchased Credit Scores

Kids are Reading More with eReaders

kids favorites2From a blog post on No Shelf Required

Scholastic recently released a new study on kid’s reading in the digital age. The study found that kids reading of ebooks has nearly doubled since 2010. Full details are on the Scholastic site or you can download the full report with appendices here.

Below are some highlights of the study from the Scholastic site:

Kids, Families, and eBooks

  • The percent of children who have read an ebook has almost doubled since 2010 (25% vs. 46%).
  • Among children who have read an ebook, one in five says he/she is reading more books for fun; boys are more likely to agree than girls (26% vs. 16%).
  • Half of children age 9–17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks – a 50% increase since 2010.
  • Seventy-five percent of kids who have read an ebook are reading ebooks at home, with about one in four reading them at school.
  • Seventy-two percent of parents are interested in having their child read ebooks.
  • Eighty percent of kids who read ebooks still read books for fun primarily in print.
  • Kids say that ebooks are better than print books when they do not want their friends to know what they are reading, and when they are out and about/traveling; print is better for sharing with friends and reading at bedtime.
  • Fifty-eight percent of kids age 9–17 say they will always want to read books printed on paper even though there are ebooks available – a slight decrease from 2010 (66%).

Kids’ Reading Frequency and Attitudes toward Reading

  • Among girls, there has been a decline since 2010 in frequent readers (42% vs. 36%), reading enjoyment (71% vs. 66%), and the importance of reading books for fun (62% vs. 56%).
  • Compared to 2010, boys are more likely to think reading books for fun is important (39% in 2010 vs. 47% in 2012), but they still lag girls on this measure (47% for boys in 2012 vs. 56% for girls in 2012).
  • Frequency of reading books for fun is significantly lower for kids age 12–17 than for children age 6–11; frequency of reading books for school is also lower for kids age 12–17 than for kids age 6–11.

Parents’ Role in Kids’ Reading Practice

  • About half of parents (49%) feel their children do not spend enough time reading books for fun, while the vast majority of parents think their children spend too much time playing video games or visiting social networking sites.
  • The percentage of parents who say their child does not spend enough time reading for fun has increased since 2010 across all age groups of children (36% in 2010 to 49% in 2012).
  • Having reading role-model parents or a large book collection at home has more of an impact on kids’ reading frequency than does household income.
  • Building reading into kids’ schedules and regularly bringing additional books into the home for children positively impact kids’ reading frequency.

Summer Reading

  • Ninety-nine percent of parents think children their child’s age should read over the summer.
  • Eighty-six percent of children say they read a book (or books) over the summer.
  • On average, kids say they read 12 books over the summer.


Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation Lesson Plans

lincoln EPStudents will create a school wide activity to commemorate the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, create a timeline documenting significant historical events and learn about the specifics that were detailed within the Proclamation.

View the video Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation by MSNBC

Discussion Guide

Lesson Plan 1- Commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation

Objective: Students will create a school wide activity to commemorate the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Lesson Plan 2- Timelines for History

Objective: Students will conduct research to create a timeline of significant historical events focusing on the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.

Lesson Plan 3- The Emancipation Proclamation

Objective:  Students will explore the Emancipation Proclamation using a provided online resource

21st Century Core Content
Government and Civics

21st Century Themes
Civic Literacy

21st Century Skills
Think Creatively
Make Judgments and Decisions
Access and Evaluate Information
Use and Manage Information
Analyze Media
Work Independently
Be Self-directed Learners
Produce Results

Additional Resources:; Emancipation Proclamation; Emancipation Proclamation
The Lincoln Papers by Library of Congress
Our; The Emancipation Proclamation
Slavery and the Making of America by PBS

Additional Resources from U.S. History in Context:

BrainTeaser: General Knowledge

credo refenenceThis one is about all kinds of subjects – to test the breadth as well as depth of your knowledge. Need help? Use Credo Reference Online.

1. Which US television series starred six people including Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer?

2. Which of these is not an island: Mauritius, Madagascar, or Mauritania?

3. Who wrote a famous 1892 poem about Gunga Din?

4. A regicide is someone who kills what sort of person?

5. Who directed the films “Rear Window”, “Notorious” and “The Birds”?

6. Which poet called autumn the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”? Was it Keats, Shakespeare or Wordsworth?

7. The Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy was famous in which sport?

8. Is toothwort a disease, a plant, or an insect?

9. Is “K” the chemical symbol for krypton, iron, or potassium?

10. The balls used in snooker have eight different colours. Name six of them.

How did you do?

0 – 1 Mmmm, not exactly brilliant.
2 – 5 A reasonable stab.
6 – 8 A good showing. But there’s still room for improvement!
9 – 10 You really know your stuff. Well done!

Questions set by Tony Augarde (

Remembering the Unforgettable: Artifacts from the Holocaust

From Hollie Davis, MLIS Senior Editor Antiques Reference – p4A

This month (today, January 18, in fact) marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the single largest revolt during the Holocaust and one that resulted in the eventual leveling of the Ghetto and the deaths of almost 70,000 Jews.  (13,000 were killed in the Uprising while the majority were executed at Treblinka.)  Like the rest of the world, the auction business still struggles with how to treat the Holocaust – as an act of horror best left firmly in the past, as a event requiring historic preservation, as a crime against humanity so large that no one should profit from it even through the sale of artifacts.

Much of the time, this is an esoteric, rhetorical discussion, as so little survives.  (Nazi-related material, of course, survives in greater quantities, but many auction houses still opt not to sell it.)  Judaic silver finds its way to market periodically and, if it is pre-war, commands the prices one would expect from early, quality, sterling silver.  (The Shabbat candlestick with menorah pictured above was actually made in Warsaw in 1860.)  But war-related ephemera is far rarer, although the objects that exist are surprising – mostly mail and paper currency.  It’s not something we normally expect, but generally speaking, prisoners in the concentration camps were allowed to send mail.  Of course, the circumstances were limited, it was heavily regulated and heavily censored, but letters and postcards survive, like this group from Theresienstadt.  (Peter Spier, illustrator of the children’s classics Petunia and The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night, and his family survived their internment at Theresienstadt.)

Some of the concentration camps, including Theresienstadt, issued “currency” as well.  In reality, it was more like scrip, in that it had no value outside of the camp.  The extent to which this currency was actually used versus simply served as propaganda is still debated, but it too survives, speaking volumes, just as the remnants of walls around the Warsaw Ghetto do, about how organized, extensive, and chillingly sanctioned the Holocaust was.