November 17, 2012
U.S. News Releases FAQ on Defrocking of George Washington
Following up on my prior posts (links below): U.S. News has released FAQs on George Washington University’s Data Misreporting:
Claremont McKenna College and Emory University misreported data that were used in the 2012 Best Colleges rankings. Why did U.S. News unrank GW but not Claremont McKenna or Emory?
In all three cases, U.S. News did a statistical simulation of what each school's numerical ranking would have been in their U.S. News ranking category if the corrected data had been used. In the case of George Washington University, the simulation showed that the school's numerical ranking would have been lower as a result of the large change in the school's corrected high school class rank data.
When U.S. News did a simulation of the rankings using corrected data for both Claremont McKenna College and Emory University, the difference using the new data was not large enough to result in a change to their original numerical ranks; they therefore were not unranked.
It is U.S. News's policy that if a school's numerical Best Colleges rank would have been lower by even one or two spots than its originally published rank, it will result in the school being "Unranked" until the next Best Colleges rankings are published. Since GW's numerical rank was determined to be lower than the originally published rank, the school has been unranked.
Prior TaxProf Blog posts:
- Rankings Scandal at George Washington (Nov. 10, 2012)
- U.S. News Strips George Washington of its Ranking Due to Cheating (Nov. 14, 2012)
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So, it's like murder vs. attempted murder. If you're a bad shot, then the penalty is less, even though the intent was the same.
If this was college football, the NCAA would make them all forfeit scholarships and make them inelegible for bowls for two years.
It doesn't much matter in the case of U.S. News. There aren't one-hundred people who read it any more.
Posted by: Woody | Nov 18, 2012 10:55:35 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but under common law, the penalty is the same for attempt crimes and completed crimes. Perhaps the same underlying philosophy should hold here too.
It seems that part of the academic reputation ranking might be based on peer faculty/administrators reviewing erroneous class stats. Emory and Claremont should have received some sort of penalty.
Posted by: HTA | Nov 20, 2012 1:12:05 PM