It is college ranking season again, sponsored by US News and World Report. Once again, US News left Chico State out of their ranking system, I think because the big kids thought that they would lose if it came to any measure of undergraduate education. After all as I have long asserted, Chico State beats UC Berkeley when it comes to quality of undergraduate teaching; what possible advantage could some university in southern California hope to have over any of us in northern California?!
Nevertheless, during this season professors steeped in the scientific method and research courses throw caution aside, and loudly brag about whatever significance such rankings may or may not have. For whatever it is worth the University of Southern California (USC) now out ranks the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a story that made the front page of the Los Angeles Times.
Notably, even the staid Atlantic magazine seems to have taken up my cause, with their recent story which asked “What’s Wrong with the American University System?” by Jennie Rothenbert Gritz, an alumna of UC Berkeley, no less. She agrees with my original posting that the US News ranking system is unrelated to the quality of undergraduate education, too!