Dr. Norman Bradburn presents a thoughtful critique of law school rankings and by extension other academic rankings in "Outranked and Underrated" in Legal Affairs. Dr. Bradburn takes rankings, specifically US News, to task for
- Implying that the distance between adjacent ranks is uniform (it isn’t) and that there is a clear, measurable difference between two schools ranked side by side (there isn’t).
- Ignoring the inevitable bell curve and presenting a flat distribution.
- Using quality indicators of questionable value.
- Relying on data from the institutions being ranked.
Unlike so many other law school rankings critiques that blame all ills in law school academe on the rankings, Dr. Bradburn sees that rankings are here to stay. Like others he actually calls for better and more ratings or surveys to will measure different criteria and obtain feedback from different stakeholders.
Sounds like the b-school scene to me.