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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Law School Accreditation Debate: Student Learning Outcomes v. Faculty Scholarship

Following up on my previos post, Chronicle: Law Schools Resist Learning Outcome Measures: Drexel Dean Roger Dennis discusses The New Law School Accreditation Debate:

The drive for measurable outcomes is not unique to legal education.  It is part of a major trend generally in higher education accreditation practice to make the rules more output rather than input oriented.  ...  So why are law schools resisting efforts to refocus accreditation on learning outcomes? ...

[A] significant source of the angst about the proposals is the well founded belief that, because the total resources available to a law school are not likely to grow, the new standards would lead to a major reallocation of institutional resources from faculty scholarship to skills teaching.  My assumption is supported by the interest group politics exhibited to date.  The major supporters of the proposal are the organized groups representing clinicians and legal writing faculty.  So stay tuned.  What looks like a modest debate about accreditation may lead to a deep discussion about our future.

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Comments

"The major supporters of the proposal are the organized groups representing clinicians and legal writing faculty." Of course, the opponents have no organized groups, right? Not the ALDA, for example? Now they may not be "organized," but those fearing the reallocation from scholarship are not an "interest group" exercising their "politics?"

One needs to also include as supporters "the organized practitioners bar", as shown in the historical reports and studies presented over the years to the American Bar Association - the Cramton Report, The MacCrate Report, the Carnegie Report, to name a few.

Posted by: Ralph Brill | Jan 26, 2010 4:28:04 PM