Thursday, March 2, 2023
U.S. News, Department Of Education, And Law Schools Take The Gloves Off In Rankings Battle
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Why Elite Law and Medical Schools Can’t Stand U.S. News, by Eric J. Gertler (Chairman & CEO, U.S. News):
The decision by some elite law and medical schools to opt out of the U.S. News & World Report ranking surveys has ignited a national debate on meritocracy and equity. But lost in this discussion is the reason U.S. News ranks academic institutions and why our rankings are so important to aspiring students. ...
Our rankings don’t capture every nuance. Academic institutions aren’t monolithic or static; comparing them across a common data set can be challenging. But we reject our critics’ paternalistic view that students are somehow incapable of discerning for themselves from this information which school is the best fit.
Moreover, the perspective of elite schools doesn’t fit with that of the broader law- and medical-school community. Our editors held meetings with 110 law deans following the outcry over our rankings. Excepting the top 14 law schools, almost 75% of the schools that submitted surveys in 2022 did so in 2023. For medical schools, the engagement level was higher.
While we know that our rankings are important to students, we’re incredulous that our critics blame our rankings for just about every issue academia confronts. ... [E]lite schools object to our use of a common data set for all schools because our rankings are something they can’t control and they don’t want to be held accountable by an independent third party. ...
By refusing to participate, elite schools are opting out of an important discussion about what constitutes the best education for students, while implying that excellence and important goals like diversity are mutually exclusive.
Is it tolerable to leave schools unaccountable for the education they deliver to students? We think not.
Reuters, U.S. News Rankings Come Under Fire at Yale, Harvard Conference:
The U.S. Secretary of Education on Wednesday criticized annual higher education rankings published by U.S. News and World Report, saying they have "created an unhealthy obsession with selectivity."
Secretary Miguel Cardona was speaking at a conference organized by the law schools at Harvard and Yale universities, amid a backlash over the magazine's influential law school rankings.
“We need a culture change," Cardona said, asserting that U.S. News' emphasis on selectivity and exclusivity has helped steer underserved students to lower-tier institutions. "It’s time to stop worshipping at the false altar of U.S. News & World Report.”
Wednesday's conference, held at Harvard Law School and focused on "best practices" involving law school data, follows a large-scale exodus of law schools that once participated in U.S. News’ rankings. ...
Yale law dean Heather Gerken on Wednesday reiterated her view that the U.S. News rankings have damaged legal education. We can think about how to do better,” she said.
U.S. News Press Room, An Open Letter from U.S. News & World Report to United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona:
Dear Secretary Cardona,
As an educator, you have recently expressed your concern that higher education institutions “that serve the most students with the most to gain from a college degree have the fewest resources to invest in student success.” At U.S. News & World Report, we commend your dedication to these institutions, especially in a time where it is crucial to equip students with the necessary skills to excel in a complex work environment.
When you deliver your keynote address at the “Conference on Best Practices for Law School Data” today at Harvard Law School – one of the most highly-resourced academic institutions in America – we would like to offer some suggestions on how you can leave a lasting impact on students. In short: require more data, not less. ...
Regrettably, not all schools make their data readily available to the general public. For instance, law schools are required to report extensive data about their institutions to the American Bar Association, but often only disclose a portion of that information on their own websites. Similarly, while undergraduate programs are mandated to disclose detailed information to the federal government, there is a dearth of federal data on graduate schools, leaving prospective students with limited resources to rely on when making important decisions about their future.
U.S. News will continue to fight for access, transparency and accountability of data that empowers students to make informed decisions. You recently stated, “As leaders, it’s time for us to stand up for students and expect more in education.” We couldn’t agree more.
Therefore, we call on you today to use your platform and voice to demand that all schools – including elite law schools – provide open access to all of their undergraduate and graduate school data, using a common data set. This would enable prospective students and their families to make meaningful comparisons between institutions, based on factors such as financial information, admissions data, and outcome statistics, including employment rates at graduation.
Observer, Defending Its Rankings, U.S. News Claims Elite Universities Are Evading Accountability:
U.S. News accuses top-ranked universities of having ulterior motives for leaving the publication's annual rankings.
Inside Higher Ed, Cardona vs. ‘U.S. News’:
At Harvard-Yale conference on law school rankings, the education secretary joins the call for all colleges to stop participating.
Chronicle of Higher Education, Colleges Protesting ‘U.S. News’ Rankings Say They’re Doing It for Low-Income Students. Do They Mean It?:
The U.S. News revolt of 2022-23 has reached the undergraduate lists. Colorado College, ranked among the top 30 liberal-arts colleges, announced on Monday that it would stop cooperating with the magazine. It’s among the first institutions to withdraw from the undergraduate rankings in the current wave of protests.
The college’s decision underscores a paradox in the movement against U.S. News & World Report. Since last fall, the deans of dozens of law and medical schools have said they won’t send information to the magazine ... Often, the “We’re leaving” announcements cite how the U.S. News algorithm hurts students from low-income families. Yet many of these leavers have among the nation’s wealthiest student bodies. Will ditching the ranking help them serve society more equitably? Or is it performative?
Nowhere is that paradox more prominent than Colorado College. In 2017, an analysis published in The New York Times found that nearly a quarter of the college’s students came from families with incomes in the top 1 percent of the country, while just 11 percent came from families in the bottom 60 percent of incomes. Only one other college had a starker difference between the two student populations than Colorado College did. Though the institution was exemplary, it wasn’t an anomaly. Several colleges with law or medical schools that have left U.S. News lists, such as Duke, Georgetown, and Yale Universities, had more undergraduate students from the top 1 percent than from bottom 60 percent.
U.S. News coverage:
- Yale Law School Will No Longer Participate In 'Profoundly Flawed' U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 16, 2022)
- Harvard Joins Yale In No Longer Participating In The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Nov. 16, 2022)
- UC-Berkeley Is The Third Top 10 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 17, 2022)
- With Stanford, Columbia And Georgetown, 6 Of The T14 Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Nov. 19, 2022)
- The U.S. News Law School Rankings Are Like The Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave (Nov. 19, 2022)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings, ABA Optional LSAT, And Harvard Affirmative Action Supreme Court's Case (Nov. 21, 2022)
- Why Law Schools Outside The T14 (Like UCLA, Wash U, George Mason, Boston University, Pepperdine) May Refuse To Join The U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Nov. 21, 2022)
- Michigan Is Seventh T14 Law School To Refuse To Participate In The U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 21, 2022)
- Antitrust Implications Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Nov. 21, 2022)
- With Duke And Northwestern, Nine Of T14 Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Law School Rankings (Nov. 22, 2022)
- Colin Diver: Are The U.S. News Rankings Finally Going To Die? (Nov. 22, 2022)
- UCLA Is Tenth Top 15 Law School To Refuse To Participate In U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 22, 2022)
- Dan Solove: Slaying The U.S. News Law School Rankings Dragon (Nov. 23, 2022)
- Bill Henderson: The Dollars And Math Behind Yale Law School's Withdrawal From U.S. News — 'Are Limits on Federal Student Loans The Best Way To End The Rankings Madness?' (Nov. 23, 2022)
- UC-Irvine Is First Non-Elite Law School To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Nov. 24, 2022)
- Chicago And (Maybe) Cornell Are First Elite Law Schools To Refuse To Join U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Nov. 24, 2022)
- Is This The Beginning Of The End Of The U.S. News Rankings Dominance? (Nov. 25, 2022)
- Penn Evaluates Whether To Join Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings By Ten Of Top 15 Law Schools (Nov. 26, 2022)
- Law School Admissions Without LSATs, Race, And Rankings (Nov. 26, 2022)
- Here’s Why Top Law Schools May Be Pulling Out Of The U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 28, 2022)
- Yale Law School’s Revolt Of The Elites (Nov. 28, 2022)
- UC-Davis Is 12th Law School (5th In California) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Nov. 29, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 1) (Nov. 30, 2022)
- Wash U Joins Chicago And Cornell In Refusing To Boycott U.S. News Law School Rankings (Dec. 1, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 2) (Dec. 2, 2022)
- With Penn And University Of Washington, 14 Law Schools Are Not Participating In U.S. News Rankings; Georgia Is 4th School To Resist Boycott (Dec. 3, 2022)
- George Mason Is 5th Law School To Reject Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 5, 2022)
- The Impact Of The U.S. News Rankings Boycott On Individual Law Schools (Dec. 5, 2022)
- NYU Is 15th Law School (And 12th Of Top 15) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 5, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 3) (Dec. 6, 2022)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Is A Big Nothing Burger (Dec. 8, 2022)
- A Law School Rankings Revolution? Hardly. (Dec. 9, 2022)
- The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Is A Chance To Rethink Legal Education (Dec. 10, 2022)
- Virginia Is 16th Law School (And 13th Of Top 15) To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 10, 2022)
- Simkovic On The U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Dec. 12, 2022)
- Deans Of Lower Ranked Law Schools Join Boycott And Criticize U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 13, 2022)
- Dean Of Georgia Law School (1 Of 5 Schools Publicly Not Joining Boycott Of U.S. News Rankings) Has Questions For The 17 Boycotting Schools (Dec. 15, 2022)
- New Hampshire Is 18th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 16, 2022)
- CLEA Statement On U.S. News Rankings For Clinical Programs (Dec. 17, 2022)
- More Commentary On The U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott (Part 4) (Dec. 20, 2022)
- With Southwestern, 10% Of ABA-Accredited Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 20, 2022)
- Cal-Western Is 20th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 24, 2022)
- Morrison: AALS Should Provide A Law School Guide To Supplant The U.S. News Rankings (Dec. 27, 2022)
- Muller: What Is The Endgame For Law Schools Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings? (Dec. 28, 2022)
- With UC-SF, St. John's, And Idaho: 23 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 7, 2023)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Scorecard (Jan. 9, 2023)
- Fordham Is 24th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 14, 2023)
- Roger Williams Is 25th Law School To Boycott U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 18, 2023)
- Law School Rankings Revolt Spreads To Medical Schools: #1 Harvard Will Not Send Data To U.S. News (Jan. 18, 2023)
- With Maryland, USF, And South Texas, 28 Schools Are Now Boycotting The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 19, 2023)
- U.S. News Law School Rankings Boycott Scorecard (Updated) (Jan 23, 2023)
- Will The U.S. News Law School Rankings Arms Race Resume In Three Years? (Jan. 23, 2023)
- The Clash And The U.S. News Law School Rankings: Should I Stay Or Should I Go? (Jan. 25, 2023)
- With Gonzaga, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, And Seattle, 36 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 26, 2023)
- With Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Tulane, And Creighton, 40 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Jan. 28, 2023)
- WSJ: Rebellion Over U.S. News Rankings Seems Likely To Fail (Jan. 30, 2023)
- Two Perspectives On The Growing U.S. News Rankings Boycott (Feb. 2, 2023)
- In Defense Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Feb. 4, 2023)
- Will The Boycott Actually Strengthen The U.S. News Rankings? (Feb. 9, 2023)
- With Connecticut And Pittsburgh, 42 Law Schools Are Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings (Feb. 11, 2023)
- The U.S. News Rankings Drama And The Future Of Legal Education (Feb. 25, 2023)
U.S. News Response to Boycott
- In Response To Boycott, U.S. News Dramatically Changes Law School Rankings Methodology. Who Are The Winners And Losers? Will Harvard Be #1? (Jan. 2, 2023)
- U.S. News Drops Student Loans And Employment-At-Graduation (In Addition To Expenditures-Per-Student) From Forthcoming Law School Rankings (Jan. 3, 2023)
- Muller: Did Schools Boycotting The U.S. News Rankings Kill Law Faculty's Golden Goose? (Jan. 4, 2023)
- More Coverage Of The U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology Changes (Jan. 4, 2023)
- Muller: Winners And Losers In The Elimination Of At-Graduation Employment In The U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 11, 2023)
- U.S. News Provides Additional Information On Forthcoming Law School Rankings (Jan. 13, 2023)
- Summary Of Changes To The Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 14, 2023)
- Muller Models And Projects Forthcoming U.S. News Law School Rankings (Jan. 18, 2023)