No, these aren’t football rankings (we’ll be talking about those later), but rather the most unimportant-important statistic about colleges were released today. UC Berkeley stands as No. 21 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the country’s top colleges and universities.

Cal also retains its title as “The No. 1 Public University in the Country.”

But of course, the U.S. News & World Report rankings have come under fire as of late, with many schools opting not to give the magazine certain statistics.

This is what Lloyd Thacker, who runs Education Conservancy, told the CC Times:

bq. “It has distorted and skewed how (college) admissions are perceived,” said Thacker, a former college counselor. “Their impact far exceeds their educational relevance.”

And of course, some don’t think the report is helpful at all.

bq. “The kind of work that U.S. News & World Report does doesn’t really get to the heart of what we do here at St. Mary’s,” said Michael Beseda, the Moraga college’s vice provost for enrollment. “They’ve narrowed the discussion in this country of what an undergraduate education should be.”

bq. “Any informed educator who thoughtfully thinks about the ranking systems realizes (the ranks) are inadequate,” Beseda said.

But what are you going to do?

This is a society and a country that lives by the seat of its pants. We (not The Clog, but our society) like things quick, simple and easy (drive-thru weddings, online shopping, SparkNotes, Wikipedia, etc).

If a publication is going to come out every year and give us fast-food style rankings, then this Ritalin-obsessed society is going to eat it up and think that those rankings are important.

Some colleges hope to counter rankings’ sway [CC Times]
UC Berkeley Stays Out of Ranking Dispute [Daily Cal]

Avinash said:
Aug 18, 2007 at 1:50 pm

SparkNotes? SPARKNOTES? Who the hell still uses Spark Notes in college?