Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 8, 2012/ 13 Shevat, 5772

College rankings aren't always reliable

By Dan K. Thomasson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everyone knows there is cheating in colleges. Now it turns out some of the institutions themselves cheat. Well, well, imagine that. Who would have thunk it?

And guess what? This isn't one of those scandals involving the athletic department, where schools caught with major NCAA infractions end up being penalized for lack of institutional control -- a phrase right out of academia, designed to hide the true extent of the matter and soften the blow to chancellors and presidents. This cheating goes right up to the top of higher education, where there is a yearly mad scramble among college administrators to gain position in a ratings game.

Suddenly, we find out what we have all suspected for some time: that some citadels of scholarly integrity aren't really. They have been embellishing the records they report to U.S. News & World Report and others who determine the "best" colleges and universities in America. The stakes are high. Making it to the top 50 or even 100 can improve an institution's attractiveness to applicants, and that translates into millions of dollars in tuitions and alumni donations.

The lid on this scam was lifted by Claremont McKenna College in California, the ninth-ranked liberal arts school in the nation. It has acknowledged it got there by falsifying the SAT scores sent to U.S. News, a former weekly news magazine that has become the leading judge of academic excellence. A spokesman for U.S. News was quoted as saying Claremont was the highest-ranked school ever to admit cheating, and a spokesman for Claremont said one official took the blame and has resigned. Are you surprised?
How widespread and common is this behavior? Other schools, including Iona in New York, have conceded they too played fast and loose with the statistics on which the rankings are based, and a large number of colleges and universities are suspected of submitting data that is not totally accurate. In addition, critics of the system long have contended that some of the data used really doesn't accurately portray the true picture of an institution. They also note that institutions that have complained vigorously about a low evaluation suddenly have seen a jump in the next cycle's ratings.

So do we now believe the validity of this exercise? Can students count on the findings as a guide to the best education? The truth is that they may or may not.

When one examines the rankings over the years, there are warning signs about accuracy. The Ivies dominate the top 20 along with a handful of other regulars; the rest, many of which are equally as good, get short shrift, with little hope of cracking that line up. Even surveys on such esthetics as campus attractiveness produce about the same results. Urban schools whose campuses are barely discernible in the downtown centers ranked high in non-academic value. And because peer-group evaluation is a consideration, professorial prejudices can taint the process.

What everyone should realize is that this is a commercial enterprise. U.S. News began its ratings years ago to keep up in the news magazine competition, where it ranked third behind Time and Newsweek. Americans love lists, and the magazine began devoting more and more effort to telling college-bound students and their parents which schools were the best in every aspect. Ultimately, it dropped out of the weekly print business altogether but maintains its name and viability with this enterprise.

Now with evidence that there is at least a germ of dishonesty in the ratings, U.S. News' credibility can be expected to suffer badly. This has been brought on by the institutions themselves, which salivate over high rankings or cringe over low ones that they may or may not deserve.

The only really accurate measurement of a college's standing lies in the success of its graduates -- and that depends, to some degree, on the collective pedigree and dedication of the actual teaching faculty, not just those high-priced big names that come to hunker down and do their own thing in a rarefied atmosphere.

Is the system corrupt? As much as it depends on total honesty, one would have to say yes.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


02/01/12: Millionaire Fans Watching Millionaire Players

01/30/12: Kiriakou case may plug leaks, stifle democracy

01/09/12: Feds need to find if Brit hackers targeted 9/11 families

12/23/11: NIH flu-strain decision endangers us all

12/09/11: U.S. Postal Service may be beyond saving

11/30/11: Do-gooder gets deserved earful

11/24/11: Lawmakers should pledge to think on their own

11/22/11: Iowa: Vital to GOP now, irrelevant later

11/16/11: Pentagon's ‘senior mentor’ service takes hit

11/14/11: With Congress, expect more intransigence

11/08/11: Paterno's illustrious career faces tarnished end

10/31/11: The FBI is burned by its Boston informants

10/18//11: President Inexperienced again picked style and enthusiasm over caution. He must pay

10/10/11: Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining

10/04/11: In Christie,shades of William Howard Taft

09/27/11: One word for Obama's prospects --- ‘bleak’

09/26/11: Obama quickly running out of time

09/23/11: Big-time college football is now all about the money

09/22/11: A trip to the dentist cleans out your wallet

09/06/11: College rankings a useless exercise

08/31/11: Thankful a mother isn't alive to see this hungry mess

08/30/11: ‘Supercommittee’ should meet in secret

08/22/11: Is college still worth it? Some majors are

08/15/11: Pray for miracle from debt committee

08/09/11: S&P mixes credit ratings with politics

08/08/11: Politics again takes precedence over common sense

08/04/11: In modern society, a distinct pattern of senselessness

07/29/11: A debt solution: Throw the rascals out, all of them

07/21/11: Campaign finance reform --- you're kidding, right!?

07/08/11: Casey Anthony jury did its job

07/05/11: Nailing a prominent figure or institution should come at a heavy risk — and an even greater price if proven a hoax





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles