Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another random website cooks up another off-kilter ranking...

...and while this new one is not as off-kilter as the absurd National Jurist effort noted earlier this year, it is still ill-conceived and worthless.  Most remarkably, it includes a factor that U.S. News correctly discarded years ago:  namely, median starting salaries without any adjustment for differences in cost-of-living.  What that means is:  any schools whose graduates primarily go to high cost-of-living cities which pay the highest salaries (namely, New York, DC, San Francisco, and LA) get a huge boost.  (It gets even weirder than that, since it appears the real driving force here is the median public interest salaries, but with no indication how many graduates are actually in the pool.)  Anyway, it's quite an achievement to rank schools based on factors that even U.S. News realized were not meaningful or comparable!  On top of that, 50% of the score is based on "student quality," but that turns out to mean not student quality, but acceptance rate (25%) and median LSAT (25%).  GPA?  Major?  PhDs in the incoming class?  That has nothing to do with student quality in this never-never land (at least U.S. News considers GPA).  Acceptance rate is, of course, a function of local competition:  so, e.g., Stanford's only local competition is Berkeley, while Yale, Harvard, Columbia, NYU and Penn are all battling it out in the Northeast corridor.

I would have let this meaningless excercise pass in silence, but since the Blog Emperor, in keeping with his unfortunate policy of linking to anything without regard for its content, has put it in circulation, I thought I should point out the obvious deficiencies, so as to save others the trouble of having to look at the "methodology" [sic] and the rather childish effort at rationalizing it.

As always, the Internet remains the "nonsense and misinformation superhighway"!

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