Rankings: Confusing Impressions Indeed

October 25, 2011

Well-informed people offer thoughtful advice; U.S. News and World Report thumbs its nose at them.  That’s the story today and it has been the story over the past two decades regarding USN&WR’s college rankings.

The thoughtful advice from well-informed people this week came from NACAC, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, who put two years and considerable effort into reviewing and finally offering advice about how to improve the rankings.  The report’s overall thrust is that the rankings create “confusing impressions” for college-bound students.  A summary is here; the full report is here.  The Inside Higher Ed news story is here.

The NACAC critique contains nothing that hasn’t been said against the rankings dozens of times over the past two dozen years.  The recommendations are constructive ones, though modest.

Here’s a link to my own critique of rankings, delivered to a gathering of Annapolis Group presidents in June 2007.

About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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