Here’s a great post on college rankings. The thing is, we already know that universities can’t magically bring back the mid-tier jobs that have been lost to productivity increases and outsourcing. But we keep blaming the universities (and in the case of state run institutions, legislatively micromanaging them) because it’s something we can do.
In my last post, I took issue with the PayScale college rankings, as well as with how economics reporters framed these rankings, citing their low calculated Return on Investment as evidence that these colleges “make” students poor. Jordan Weissmann has graciously responded to my critique. The Senior Vice President from PayScale itself has also responded in a comment on my post, defending the rankings as useful to high school seniors who later tell him, “I wish I had known this before.” I’m glad for the dialogue, and I think this issue connects to a larger debate on the value of higher education in general, as well as the relative value of different colleges, so I am going to keep the conversation going with a more extensive response.
Weissmann is not alone in his framing of PayScale’s rankings. While his headline at Slate reads “Which College Will Make You Poorest?” Derek Thompson at the Atlantic treads…
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