Colleges vs. U.S. News

A group of 115 liberal arts college, known as the Annapolis Group, are refusing to provide information for U.S. News’ college rankings, which they consider “evil.”

However imperfect, the rankings serve a purpose for parents about to spend large sums of money on a college education, writes John Miller on NRO.

The main problem with the U.S. News approach is that apart from weighing freshman retention and six-year graduation rates, its rankings don’t measure the results of a college education. How many students land good jobs shortly after receiving their diplomas? How many go on to earn graduate degrees? How many simply know more?

Several surveys look at students’ engagement with their studies or critical thinking skills, but colleges rarely release these results. The Annapolis Group pledges to create a web site that will provide useful information to help students and parents compare colleges. But will it contain more than professor-student ratios?

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  1. Richard Brandshaft says:

    It happens with things as diverse as SATs and pistol contests:
    –People develop a test or ranking system to measure something or other.
    –Test takers are presented with a choice: 1) Do their best at whatever what ever the test is supposed to be measuring, and accept the test score as an indicator of success, or 2) “Game the test”, that is, make scoring high on the test an end in itself.
    –Guess who gets the higher test scores.
    –People get disgusted with the way the test has distorted getting good at what the test is supposed to be measuring, and decide to scrap the test and start over.