Sixty-one College Presidents Withdraw from the College Rankings System —
Yale to Host Conference on Developing Alternative Ways to Compare Colleges
Portland, Oregon, August 9, 2007
The Education Conservancy (EC) has garnered 61 signatures to a letter committing college presidents to disengage from U.S. News and World Report's rankings, EC Executive Director Lloyd Thacker announced today. The letter is part of a campaign to reform college admissions and represents an unprecedented renouncement by college presidents of the current rankings system. Signatories of the letter agree not to complete the U.S. News reputational survey and not to mention their institutions' rankings in their promotional literature. In addition, the letter asks presidents to participate in efforts to find viable alternatives to current rankings practices. www.educationconservancy.org/presidents_letter.html
In a related development, the Yale University Office of Undergraduate Admissions has agreed to host a conference sponsored by the Education Conservancy, and including experts from education, business and technical fields. The conference, "Beyond Ranking: Responding to the Call for Useful Information," will take place on the Yale campus on September 25, 2007. It will focus on developing a robust and easily accessible system of information that families, students and counselors may use to obtain and compare educationally relevant information about colleges.
"Ranking distorts the ways in which education is perceived and pursued," said Lloyd Thacker, founder and director of the EC. "It implies a false precision and authority that is simply not supported by data or by the educational sensibilities of many students, parents and educators. By working together, college presidents now have an opportunity to develop a more legitimate system of information and guidance."
Yale's Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, Jeff Brenzel, said "We know that ranking systems produced by commercial publications can be misleading or irrelevant to the college search process. So we are supporting efforts that the Education Conservancy is making to determine whether there are feasible alternatives. The important thing to understand is that educators truly want students, parents and counselors to have more and better ways to compare colleges and universities than they have now."
About The Education Conservancy
The Education Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works with leaders in higher education to make the college admission system more appropriate for students, families, schools and colleges. For more information, visit the Education Conservancy at www.educationconservancy.org.