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Rating System

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BUSINESS
By Bill Barnhart and Bill Barnhart,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | March 15, 1998
No mark of distinction is more sought after in the mutual fund business than a five-star rating by Morningstar, the Chicago-based mutual fund research firm.Although Morningstar officials continually insist that their rating system of one to five stars is not intended to predict future performance, the prominent use in mutual fund advertising clearly carries that implication.The success of the Morningstar system in becoming an investor guide to buying mutual funds naturally has drawn critics, who over the years have faulted the system for various reasons.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 29, 2013
There is little doubt that an informed consumer makes better choices. That's why pharmaceuticals should include information about side effects and drug interactions, why food should carry nutrition labels and why potentially dangerous products carry warnings. Public education has gotten much better about informing taxpayers about its product, too. At the touch of a few buttons, Maryland parents can find out how their child's school performed in standardized tests this year and other years, how much their school system is spending on a per-pupil basis and how many are dropping out or graduating in any given year.
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FEATURES
By James Bates and James Bates,Los Angeles Times | April 27, 2007
Jack Valenti, the urbane Washington lobbyist who served as Hollywood's public face for nearly four decades and was best known for creating the film rating system, died yesterday afternoon at age 85, according to Warren Cowan, his longtime friend and publicist for the MPAA. Mr. Valenti had been in ill health since suffering a stroke in March. He was treated for several weeks at the Johns Hopkins Hospital but was released Tuesday and returned to his home in Washington, where he died. For 38 years until retiring in 2004, Mr. Valenti headed the Motion Picture Association of America, guiding the trade organization from a clubby group of movie studios led by autocratic moguls into a collection of global media conglomerates involved in television, the Internet and an array of other media businesses.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2013
Some Maryland education officials lauded a presidential plan to make colleges more affordable by assigning them value ratings tied to federal financial aid, yet others feared the state's historically black colleges and universities would suffer. The reactions came Thursday as officials tried to determine what President Barack Obama's proposal might mean for their institutions. "The devil, of course, can be in the details," said Dennis O'Shea, a spokesman for the Johns Hopkins University, in a statement.
NEWS
By Edmund L. Andrews and Edmund L. Andrews,New York Times News Service | June 30, 1993
WASHINGTON -- Hoping to stave off a federally imposed system of ratings for violence on television, the nation's four broadcast networks have agreed to provide a warning to parents just before shows laden with mayhem are shown.The warning would also be made available to newspapers and magazines that publish television listings, allowing them to establish what would amount to a special coding for violent shows.The agreement, which will be announced by top officials of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in Washington today and could take effect during the next programming season, comes amid a growing outcry in Congress about the depiction of violence in entertainment programming and its possible harmful effects on some viewers.
NEWS
By Sherrie Ruhl and Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer | May 16, 1993
For years, parents at older schools in poorer areas hav complained that the Harford school system ignores their pleas for long-overdue repairs and renovations.Now, stung by intense criticism, the school system has made public a 30-point rating system used to decide which schools are renovated when.The rating system evaluates older schools, using a point system to measure the need for repairs of everything from plumbing to the school's parking lot. Necessary repairs to some major parts of a school, like the heating and cooling system, receive more points than others, such as windows or floor tiles.
NEWS
August 29, 2013
There is little doubt that an informed consumer makes better choices. That's why pharmaceuticals should include information about side effects and drug interactions, why food should carry nutrition labels and why potentially dangerous products carry warnings. Public education has gotten much better about informing taxpayers about its product, too. At the touch of a few buttons, Maryland parents can find out how their child's school performed in standardized tests this year and other years, how much their school system is spending on a per-pupil basis and how many are dropping out or graduating in any given year.
FEATURES
November 9, 2001
Amelie ** 1/2 Page 2e Grateful Dawg ***Page 6e Haiku Tunnel *** Page 6e Heist ** 1/2 Page 6e The Man Who Wasn't There * 1/2 Page 3e Shallow Hal * 1/2 Waking Life **** Rating system: Excellent: ****; Good: ***; Fair: ***; Poor: *
FEATURES
By Newsday | February 17, 1996
The Fox network -- in what appeared to be a pre-emptive strike against ABC, CBS and NBC -- became the first major television network to embrace a ratings system for violence and sex.In a statement Thursday, Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch (above) said, "We have decided to implement the MPAA-like [Motion Picture Association of America] rating system for the TV programs on Fox."The three other major networks also indicated that they will consider adopting a rating system for the so-called V-chip that will alert viewers to whether TV shows contain explicit violence or sex.Until this week, the networks had vowed to fight any imposed ratings system, arguing that it violates their First Amendment rights.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | May 16, 1996
A new "report card" would rate county teachers in part by how well their students perform, but school board members said last night they would like that link made even stronger.A committee developing the rating system wants to try it in one group of schools this fall, then expand it to all schools for the 1997-1998 school year.The new teacher rating system would be like the one now in use in that it would measure a variety of teaching skills.But it would include only one measure of performance directly tied to how well students perform.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | June 5, 2013
Baltimore's park system has slipped from 15th to 21st in an expanded ranking of open space in the nation's 50 largest cities with relatively low funding cited as a continuing problem. The nonprofit Trust for Public Land gave Baltimore's 4,905 acres of parks the same overall grade Wednesday as it had last year -- three out of a possible five "park benches," or stars, in its ParkScore rating system. But the city lost ground in the rankings because the trust added 10 new cities to its review of  municipal parks, several of which topped Baltimore, including Minneapolis, which came in #1, Omaha, Neb. (#11)
ENTERTAINMENT
by Richard Gorelick and The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2012
A new information box will accompany this Sunday's review of Family Meal, Bryan Volaggio's new Frederick restaurant. At a glance, you'll be able to see, along with the information we've always provided about hours of operation, prices and location, some additional context that readers have been encouraging us to provide. We are now including notes about parking and reservations as well as, when applicable, about dietary considerations and accommodations for children. We'll also let you know about the noise level.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2012
For 35 years, Maryland has enjoyed a unique exemption from the federal government that allowed it to regulate hospital rates so that patients are charged the same no matter where they seek care. But the system that state health officials say has created an egalitarian way of charging for health care now faces an unprecedented challenge. The state has come dangerously close to failing a test it must meet every three months to keep the exemption, under which the federal government gives Maryland larger Medicare payments than other states.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2012
As Baltimore's Public Works Department issues more than $4.2 million in water bill refunds, Howard County officials say they will likely avoid similar issues because of recent upgrades to the county billing system. "We just finished a total upgrade of our water billing system in the last two years; we do not use the same system Baltimore uses," county spokesman Kevin Enright wrote in an email. He said the error rates are now at 1 percent. Water meters are read and transferred electronically using a radio interface.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | December 16, 2011
Maryland was one of nine states that won a federal competition Friday for early education funds intended to boost the quality of programs available to young children. The state, which has been seen as a strong proponent of early childhood programs for the past decade, will receive $50 million to help young children become better prepared to enter kindergarten. Thirty-seven states entered the Race to the Top for early learning, and the winning nine states will split $500 million. "Maryland has been a remarkably progressive state in early childhood for a long time," said Sharon Lynn Kagan, co-director of the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2010
A prominent credit-rating firm has placed Annapolis on notice that the city's rating might soon be downgraded. Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announced Wednesday that Moody's Investors Service has placed the city on a watchlist for a possible downgrade of its credit rating of general obligation bonds. The downgrade would affect about $79.3 million in debt, said city officials, citing Moody's. The city's credit rating is currently Aa1 — the second-highest rating in Moody's rating system.
BUSINESS
By Dana Hedgpeth and Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF | February 20, 1997
State legislators have killed three bills to change the state's new, relatively laissez-faire system of regulating auto and homeowners' insurance rates, but a fourth bill that would give refunds to consumers of excessive rate increases is still alive.Members of the state Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday against the three bills, each of which would have changed the state's market-driven "competitive rating" system to a more regulated system requiring state approval for any rate changes.
FEATURES
By COX NEWS SERVICE | February 27, 1997
WASHINGTON -- On the eve of the first hearing on the television industry's voluntary age-based ratings, congressional critics moved yesterday to effectively require a system that shields children from programs that depict violence."
NEWS
By James Drew and James Drew,james.drew@baltsun.com | February 13, 2009
Maryland law should be changed so that hospitals are required to provide charity care to more people and give financial-assistance information to all patients, according to the state agency that sets hospital rates. In a report to Gov. Martin O'Malley that will be released today, the Health Services Cost Review Commission recommends several changes to the state's unique rate-setting system, which was designed in part to guarantee all Marylanders hospital care whether they could afford it or not. The commission also recommended that hospitals be required to provide written notice about the availability of financial assistance to all patients before or as they are discharged, and that hospitals and their collection agencies be barred from adding interest and penalties on bills to uninsured patients for periods before court judgments are entered against them.
NEWS
By James Drew and James Drew,Sun reporter | June 19, 2008
Nursing homes will get a "star rating" from the federal government to help consumers pick the best facilities, a sweeping initiative that a Maryland regulator predicted will create "peer pressure" among owners to improve care. The ratings, from a low of one star to a high of five, will be posted starting in December on the Nursing Home Compare Web site of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the federal agency's acting administrator, Kerry Weems. "I don't think we'll see very many people who are going to be anxious to put a loved one into a one-star home," Weems told reporters yesterday during a conference call.
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