The Week in Regulation

A wild week in regulatory activity resulted in a steep increase in 2014’s cost burden, but an even steeper decrease in its cumulative paperwork burden. Agencies added nearly $8 billion in total costs. Energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigerators and the Department of Education’s new “Gainful Employment” rule were the main cost drivers. Yet, largely thanks to a proposed Transportation rule, the year’s net paperwork burden fell by nearly 15 million hours.

Modest Assessment Results Still Result in Poor Performance

The results for the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the “Nation’s report card,” which measures fourth and eighth grade student performance in reading and math have been released.    While the results show some progress, roughly two thirds of American fourth and eighth graders still are not performing at or above grade level in these critical subjects.   Specifically,  just 42 percent of fourth graders and 35 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficient in math and only 35 percent of fourth graders and 36 percent of eighth graders can read at or above grade level.  

The Cost of the Administration’s Income Based Repayment of Student Loans

While most eyes are focused on the lackluster implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Administration has quietly embarked on a massive campaign to attract students to its income-based repayment program for student loans.  Should the Department’s effort prove successful, it will have massive implications for taxpayers, who will end up footing a tremendous bill for these loans.

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