Juicing the numbers
July 31st, 2005 by JTJ

Some weeks back we were quite critical
of Newsweek coming out with what we concluded was a bogus index of the
best high schools in the United States.  Such lists or indexes are
not new, of course. 
U.S. News & Report has been doing them for years but, according to a piece in the NYTimesEducation Life” supplement, it is the only publication to rank law schools.

Today's story, “The $8.78 Million Maneuver” lays out an interesting tale of how some law schools can juggle their numbers to increase their ranking in the U.S. News' list
Such little fiscal slight-of-hands as including the law school's water
bill in the school's total spending.  That, in turn, adds to the
“spending-per-student” factor, which is part of the ranking
index.  Turns out some schools DO add such utility costs, others

course the real question is, exactly how significant is the qualitative
difference between No. 1 Yale and No. 3 Stanford or No. 26,
Illinois.  We suspect it only matters to the alumni.

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