|04-08-2014, 04:41 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Big D
LAw School Deans blame Diversity for POOR RANKINGS
American University’s Washington College of Law fell from #56 to #72 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings. The school’s official response has already previewed their displeasure with the U.S. News refusal to take WCL’s diversity into account:
The same publication provides a diversity index that is not factored into their law school ranking, despite the central importance of diversity on the depth and quality of a legal education in particular. AUWCL ranks near the top of this index as one of the most diverse law schools in the country, yet our U.S. News rank fails to take into account, in any form whatsoever, this important and valuable distinction
Tony Varona, WCL’s Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, takes the argument even further in the NYU Review of Law & Social Change:
The U.S. News ranking methodology ignores student diversity altogether in calculating the rankings. It treats a law school with little diversity as virtually indistinguishable from a very diverse school where pedagogically rich exchanges like those above abound.
For a variety of reasons, the average underrepresented minority student tends to have lower GPA and LSAT scores – the myopic academic credentials that U.S. News “counts” – than his or her White, nonminority counterpart. So, it is easy to see how schools that trade student diversity for higher numbers tend to move up in the U.S. News ranks. By contrast, schools that refuse to sacrifice diversity pay a big U.S. News price for pursuing what most educators agree is best for all our students. U.S. News actually rewards less diverse schools for admitting less diverse classes, and altogether ignores the clear learning advantages at the more diverse schools.