Robert Reich on College Rankings and the Value of Public Universities

ACADEME BLOG

In last week’s iteration of his syndicated column, Robert Reich takes on college rankings. After noting that the Obama administration has decided to give up on the idea of providing some sort of federal rankings to U.S. colleges and universities, Reich describes the most widely promoted college guide, that produced by U.S. News and World Report, as being “analogous to a restaurant guide that gives top ratings to the most expensive establishments that are backed and frequented by the wealthiest gourmands–and much lower rankings to restaurants with the best food at lower prices that attract the widest range of diners.”

After pointing out that the magazine’s rankings are far from “neutral” because they are clearly weighted to favor the most “exclusive and expensive” institutions, Reich argues for the often overlooked importance of public universities:

“The U.S. News rankings perpetuate the myth that these elite institutions offer the best education…

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