Dear SOE Community,
The School of Education has dropped from No. 6 to No. 17 (out of 385) in the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) rankings of “Best Graduate Schools, Education,” largely because of a change in methodology that resulted in our “academic selectivity” rating falling from 5 last year to 179 this year, based on one heavily weighted factor.
The new methodology unilaterally penalizes schools with low GRE response rates, producing an “academic selectivity” variable that in some cases gave more selective universities much lower scores than less selective universities. The change affected SOE because a small percentage of matriculated students reported a GRE score. Since SOE does not require EdD students to take the GRE, very few of our doctoral students report the score.
I think this unannounced methodological change is unwarranted and results in inaccurate rankings. I have made that clear to USNWR staff. They have agreed to my request to convene a group of experts to identify a better solution to what is, essentially, a missing data problem. Unfortunately, any solution will not be put in place until next year’s rankings.
While this ranking is a surprise, it should not undermine the important progress we have made on many fronts—including several noted on this year’s USNWR ranking, including improvements in selectivity and in assessments of quality by administrators who hire and work with our graduates. It reaffirms the importance of our academic rigor and our impact on education research, policy, and practice.
I look forward to working with all of you to continue to bring visibility and prominence to the School of Education.
Christopher C. Morphew, PhD