US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

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TTH
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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby TTH » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:12 am

Renzo wrote:Here's my proposal. We'll determine the rankings in a manner analogous to US presidential elections.

Every year schools will reach out to lawyers for donations (we won't count bequests). Then we rank schools based on donations per capita for average class size. Biggest spender wins. Just like real life it will favor the old money institutions, but it will also allow successful alums to vote up their alma maters, and allow unhappy or broke grads to withhold donations, or even vote for other schools.

Instead of driving up tuition, the rankings should drive it down by providing an alternative revenue stream and rewarding efficiency.


I'm not sure how the bolded differs from the current rankings, but srsly, I like it.

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englawyer
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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby englawyer » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:20 am

cool idea

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby corporatelaw87 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:22 am

This is something I have always thought. Perhaps the rankings should include a component that factor in UG. They could use their UG rankings to determine the scores to that component. I mean come on If I went to a T4 undergrad, LSAT aside, I prob would have gotten into more schools because my GPA would have been higher. It's sad to say, but brain wise I was just average at my UG.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Baloo » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:25 am

Some interesting things to consider w/r/t the impact of lawyers and judges on rankings is 1) the size of a law school and 2) the school's location. I'm willing to bet that schools such as GULC, Harvard, and GW with significantly larger than average classes benefit from this system. Why? Because there are more lawyers/judges out there that went to these schools and therefore more lawyers/judges who would likely rank their respective school from a biased perspective. With regard to location, I'd bet schools in major cities such as New York, Boston, L.A., and Chicago receieve some extra "reputation" points. Law schools in these cities are undoubtedly more notable in the eyes of the legal community in whichever city simply because the school is located in whichever city and more visible to the lawyers/judges in that location. Regardless of whether or not a lawyer/judge went to the school, if they have more contact with students, alum, and faculty of the schools (and the school is at least halfway decent), they are probably more likely to say "yeah, that school is good, or at least better than this school in Podunk, KY." But what do I know.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:26 am

corporatelaw87 wrote:This is something I have always thought. Perhaps the rankings should include a component that factor in UG. They could use their UG rankings to determine the scores to that component. I mean come on If I went to a T4 undergrad, LSAT aside, I prob would have gotten into more schools because my GPA would have been higher. It's sad to say, but brain wise I was just average at my UG.

Naw, you'd have been a dum no matter where you went to school.

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TTH
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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby TTH » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:28 am

corporatelaw87 wrote:This is something I have always thought. Perhaps the rankings should include a component that factor in UG. They could use their UG rankings to determine the scores to that component. I mean come on If I went to a T4 undergrad, LSAT aside, I prob would have gotten into more schools because my GPA would have been higher. It's sad to say, but brain wise I was just average at my UG.


Wow, it's a great night for using Para's cards.

Image

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:30 am

Renzo wrote:
corporatelaw87 wrote:This is something I have always thought. Perhaps the rankings should include a component that factor in UG. They could use their UG rankings to determine the scores to that component. I mean come on If I went to a T4 undergrad, LSAT aside, I prob would have gotten into more schools because my GPA would have been higher. It's sad to say, but brain wise I was just average at my UG.

Naw, you'd have been a dum no matter where you went to school.


I honestly doubt there is a very strong correlation between a UG school's rank and "how objectively difficult it is to get certain grades, all other things being equal." In fact, I've gathered some bits and pieces in discussion on this site that lead me to believe it's the top UG schools where grade inflation is the biggest problem.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby corporatelaw87 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:43 am

LieutKaffee wrote:
Renzo wrote:
corporatelaw87 wrote:This is something I have always thought. Perhaps the rankings should include a component that factor in UG. They could use their UG rankings to determine the scores to that component. I mean come on If I went to a T4 undergrad, LSAT aside, I prob would have gotten into more schools because my GPA would have been higher. It's sad to say, but brain wise I was just average at my UG.

Naw, you'd have been a dum no matter where you went to school.


I honestly doubt there is a very strong correlation between a UG school's rank and "how objectively difficult it is to get certain grades, all other things being equal." In fact, I've gathered some bits and pieces in discussion on this site that lead me to believe it's the top UG schools where grade inflation is the biggest problem.



Well I went to a top public, not private (not sure if they curve diff), but all my major classes were curved to b- median, and yes I fell at median a lot. With response to calling me a douche I am going to give you an extreme example. Take a kid at Harvard UG, any kid (URM, Non URM) whatever. Are you saying if that kid went to a school like SUNY New Paltz he wouldn't do better? Let's say he has a 3.5 at Harvard (which isn't great because we know Harvard does grade inflate a lot), are you saying he wouldn't get a 3.7 or 3.8 GPA. Some schools have less student quality, it can't be helped. If I went to one of my safeties out of high school, I genuinely think my GPA would have been higher.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Renzo » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:50 am

corporatelaw87 wrote:
LieutKaffee wrote:
Renzo wrote:
corporatelaw87 wrote:This is something I have always thought. Perhaps the rankings should include a component that factor in UG. They could use their UG rankings to determine the scores to that component. I mean come on If I went to a T4 undergrad, LSAT aside, I prob would have gotten into more schools because my GPA would have been higher. It's sad to say, but brain wise I was just average at my UG.

Naw, you'd have been a dum no matter where you went to school.


I honestly doubt there is a very strong correlation between a UG school's rank and "how objectively difficult it is to get certain grades, all other things being equal." In fact, I've gathered some bits and pieces in discussion on this site that lead me to believe it's the top UG schools where grade inflation is the biggest problem.



Well I went to a top public, not private (not sure if they curve diff), but all my major classes were curved to b- median, and yes I fell at median a lot. With response to calling me a douche I am going to give you an extreme example. Take a kid at Harvard UG, any kid (URM, Non URM) whatever. Are you saying if that kid went to a school like SUNY New Paltz he wouldn't do better? Let's say he has a 3.5 at Harvard (which isn't great because we know Harvard does grade inflate a lot), are you saying he wouldn't get a 3.7 or 3.8 GPA. Some schools have less student quality, it can't be helped. If I went to one of my safeties out of high school, I genuinely think my GPA would have been higher.

Grade inflation doesn't discriminate. Your GPA would have been higher if you went to a school that inflated GPAs, regardless of reputation. If one of your undergrad safeties was a bastion of "everyone gets an A," then yes. Otherwise, no. So no, I don't your hypothetical Harvard kid would do any better at SUNY.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Lonagan » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:52 am

TipTravHoot wrote:Arbitrary rankings determining which schools are the best is wrong.

Law schools should have a playoff.

/thread


180

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:52 am

None of my classes were graded on a curve actually.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby corporatelaw87 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:02 am

Think about it at Harvard this kid is median, getting only a 3.5 with grade inflation. At a SUNY he'd be one of the "superstars". The quality of student is less (not as naturally smart). If I went to a safety I think I would be naturally smarter then more kids then my real UG. I always put effort in so that wouldn't be the problem. If I am competing against the curve with kids who are not as bright, then I will do better, thus raising my GPA. It's not that complicated, for example i am a big proponent of the fact that the SAT test natural intelligence. People study hundreds of words for verbal but the odds are that one of the words you study are on the test are slim ( I thikn I saw one of the words I studied on an analogy, but that's it). You build your vocab over the years and that's what you use on the SAT. Anyways, I digress, my point is who is naturally smarter the kid with the 1600 or the kid with 1050. If you seriously say they're even then your insane. Now lets say the kid with the 1600 goes to Harvard where a good portion of the kids have 1500+. He's competing with smarter students, thus against a curve he may not stand out all the time. Now let's say that kid with the 1600 goes to SUNY Brockport (avg SAT 1000 something). If you don't think he would smoke pretty much every kid there (maybe there are a couple of outliers) then you sir aren't that bright.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby voice of reason » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:21 am

GeePee wrote:
Rand M. wrote:Does anyone know how the 1-5 scale works on these surveys? For instance, if Yale has a 4.8 does that mean that 80% gave a 5 and 20% gave a 4? Or is a single respondent allowed to offer scores differentiated by a tenth of a point? Just curious. Some of the survey data always seems a bit suspect. Do Lawyers and Judges really hold UVa and CC as the same 4.6? Stuff like this always makes me wonder how they shake this number out.

The scores are given on a very vanilla 1-5 integer scale. However, the real problem with these reputation scores isn't that they exist, it's that they are responded to sparsely. The lawyer/judge rankings have something like a 23% rate of response, which is pretty pathetic. Maybe if we had a better way to make sure that the responses were of a more representative sample, they'd be more conclusive.


I would be more concerned about how the magazine selects its sample in the first place.

The response rate per se is not necessarily important. If nonresponse is random, then the response rate is irrelevant; you can have a perfectly representative survey with a 1% response rate so long as response and nonresponse are randomly determined.

This is not to say that nonresponse is random in that survey. USNWR could do a nonresponse bias analysis if they wanted to, but they lack the methodological integrity to do so.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby awesomepossum » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:30 am

voice of reason wrote: USNWR could do a nonresponse bias analysis if they wanted to, but they lack the methodological integrity to do so.



I hope you don't talk like this in real life.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:38 am

All I can say is that I wish for a better world, one in which "certain people" do not need to proclaim themselves masters of the universe. Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors when these tests are made. And those psychometricians are definitely not blacks. lol.

I also find it curious that Prof. Johnson (along with everyone else who discusses these tests) keeps mentioning African Americans, as if we are the only blacks around. How do African's do on the test? How do Caribbean blacks do. What about Black Brits? I have a sneaking suspicion that they perform much better and their performances debunk the myth that these scores among African Americans are the result of inferiority. Environment and other SE factors are just as responsible.
Last edited by PDaddy on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby voice of reason » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:47 am

Renzo wrote: Grade inflation doesn't discriminate. Your GPA would have been higher if you went to a school that inflated GPAs, regardless of reputation. If one of your undergrad safeties was a bastion of "everyone gets an A," then yes. Otherwise, no. So no, I don't your hypothetical Harvard kid would do any better at SUNY.


This can cut both ways.

Suppose you have a latent academic ability that rates 3.0 on a 0-4 scale.

You go to Harvard. Grades are inflated there so that smart kids don't get too many Bs, so you get a 3.5 GPA.

Or you go to a school with no grade inflation where the grades accurately reflect your ability, so you get a 3.0.

Or you go a school overflowing with weak students, so you really shine. Your professors love you, so you get 3.9.

Or you go to a very rigorous school without grade inflation, where the average student is two standard deviations smarter than you are and you can barely keep your head above water, and you end up with a GPA of 2.0.

A problem with interpreting GPAs is that we usually don't know if a school is the inflated one or the fair school or the weak school or the rigorous school. GPAs are fundamentally incomparable from one school to another, so a 3.6 does not necessarily demonstrate that a student is better than someone who got a 3.3 from another school.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby voice of reason » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:52 am

awesomepossum wrote:
voice of reason wrote: USNWR could do a nonresponse bias analysis if they wanted to, but they lack the methodological integrity to do so.



I hope you don't talk like this in real life.


Oh but I do. It comes from working as a statistician. What's funny about you posting this comment is that when I talk like that, half the time I'm talking to people at the University of Michigan.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:04 am

wired wrote:
SandyC877 wrote:
Here are factors I do care about but matter only by a margin.

25% on actual caliber of the student body (GPA/LSAT) + (selectivity... wtf?)
20% on Job placement + bar passage
1.5% on how much money they spend on the students.
3% on Student faculty ratio
<1% on Library resources

http://www.usnews.com/articles/educatio ... l?PageNr=2



Sounds like you could make your own rankings system then. As for a lot of other people, the judge and peer rankings are all that matter. Judges and lawyers are the ones hiring students for the best positions out of law school.

Rankings bite and cause schools to do things that many people don't like. It's been that way for a long time.


Judges are not qualified to rate schools they have no experience with. I don't mean graduates of such schools; I mean actual, long-term, interactive experience with the schools. The whole "reputation" thing is mythical and should be abolished from any ranking or reduced to 10% at most.
Last edited by PDaddy on Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:13 am

corporatelaw87 wrote:Think about it at Harvard this kid is median, getting only a 3.5 with grade inflation. At a SUNY he'd be one of the "superstars". The quality of student is less (not as naturally smart). If I went to a safety I think I would be naturally smarter then more kids then my real UG. I always put effort in so that wouldn't be the problem. If I am competing against the curve with kids who are not as bright, then I will do better, thus raising my GPA. It's not that complicated, for example i am a big proponent of the fact that the SAT test natural intelligence. People study hundreds of words for verbal but the odds are that one of the words you study are on the test are slim ( I thikn I saw one of the words I studied on an analogy, but that's it). You build your vocab over the years and that's what you use on the SAT. Anyways, I digress, my point is who is naturally smarter the kid with the 1600 or the kid with 1050. If you seriously say they're even then your insane. Now lets say the kid with the 1600 goes to Harvard where a good portion of the kids have 1500+. He's competing with smarter students, thus against a curve he may not stand out all the time. Now let's say that kid with the 1600 goes to SUNY Brockport (avg SAT 1000 something). If you don't think he would smoke pretty much every kid there (maybe there are a couple of outliers) then you sir aren't that bright.


Grades are more a biproduct of effort and work ethic than intelligence and talent. I know people who get all A's and you would swear that they are completely dumb. Of course, they can't be that dumb if they get all A's. But I'm just saying, where do people get this idea that grades tell how smart someone is? And there are many people who just hate school and get lousy grades, but are absolutely brilliant.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:20 am

corporatelaw87 wrote:Think about it at Harvard this kid is median, getting only a 3.5 with grade inflation. At a SUNY he'd be one of the "superstars". The quality of student is less (not as naturally smart). If I went to a safety I think I would be naturally smarter then more kids then my real UG. I always put effort in so that wouldn't be the problem. If I am competing against the curve with kids who are not as bright, then I will do better, thus raising my GPA. It's not that complicated, for example i am a big proponent of the fact that the SAT test natural intelligence. People study hundreds of words for verbal but the odds are that one of the words you study are on the test are slim ( I thikn I saw one of the words I studied on an analogy, but that's it). You build your vocab over the years and that's what you use on the SAT. Anyways, I digress, my point is who is naturally smarter the kid with the 1600 or the kid with 1050. If you seriously say they're even then your insane. Now lets say the kid with the 1600 goes to Harvard where a good portion of the kids have 1500+. He's competing with smarter students, thus against a curve he may not stand out all the time. Now let's say that kid with the 1600 goes to SUNY Brockport (avg SAT 1000 something). If you don't think he would smoke pretty much every kid there (maybe there are a couple of outliers) then you sir aren't that bright.


no u

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:22 am

GeePee wrote:
Rand M. wrote:Does anyone know how the 1-5 scale works on these surveys? For instance, if Yale has a 4.8 does that mean that 80% gave a 5 and 20% gave a 4? Or is a single respondent allowed to offer scores differentiated by a tenth of a point? Just curious. Some of the survey data always seems a bit suspect. Do Lawyers and Judges really hold UVa and CC as the same 4.6? Stuff like this always makes me wonder how they shake this number out.

The scores are given on a very vanilla 1-5 integer scale. However, the real problem with these reputation scores isn't that they exist, it's that they are responded to sparsely. The lawyer/judge rankings have something like a 23% rate of response, which is pretty pathetic. Maybe if we had a better way to make sure that the responses were of a more representative sample, they'd be more conclusive.


I bet they send them to the same judges every year. LOL. I have read that more and more judges are wondering why they have never received one of these "surveys".

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby Xiaolong » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:25 am

The only important question is, if everyone is so dissatisfied with the rankings, why don't schools collectively start to boycott them like dental schools do? My guess is that the leaders of the pack like Harvard, Yale, Columbia et al at the end of the day are probably happy that US News exist. First of all, the ranking methodology favors T10 schools because so much is based on reputation. Secondly, because of their reputational advantage, they can easiliy attract the (numerically) best students which in turn also bolsters their ranking position. And all of this happens at a low cost.

At the end of the day, its all a big self-reinforcing positive feedback loop. What incentive do the top schools have to change a system that makes it easy for them to attract the best students at a low cost (i.e. they don't have to give out large scholarship packages)?

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:26 am


shaville
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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby shaville » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:54 am

.
Last edited by shaville on Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US News Ranking Discussion Amongst deans

Postby shaville » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:55 am

The quality of a school cannot be assessed without some sort of metric that underlies all other constituent qualities. The best way to measure the quality of something is to first determine what it is that thing is supposed to do. The better the thing achieves some result or performs some function, the higher quality it is. To me, law school should help me obtain and retain a good job. Any rankings system should reflect that the overwhelming purpose of law school is to secure employment.
-60% job placement (Biglaw numbers, clerkships)
-40% cost
-I don't care what my classmates LSATS or GPAS were. I want a school that will get me a job above all else. Get rid of "student quality" altogether. That metric is already contained within job placement. That is, the higher quality the student body, the more the graduates will be in demand.




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