Don’t Blame ‘Diverse’ Students for Your Poor U.S. News Rank

Elie Mystal, Above the Law, April 7, 2014

Law deans from schools that did poorly in the U.S. News law school rankings can’t stop making excuses for their schools.

Most of the excuses are comical, but none of them bother me quite like the “diversity argument.” The diversity argument claims that a school’s low ranking is somehow because of the school’s commitment to diversity.

If it were a good argument, it would be an offensive one to make. People who do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do shouldn’t go around begging for thanks and praise for doing the right thing. But suggesting that diversity is somehow antithetical to a strong U.S. News ranking isn’t even a good argument to begin with . . .

American University’s Washington College of Law fell from #56 to #72 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings. The school’s official response has already previewed their displeasure with the U.S. News refusal to take WCL’s diversity into account:

The same publication provides a diversity index that is not factored into their law school ranking, despite the central importance of diversity on the depth and quality of a legal education in particular. AUWCL ranks near the top of this index as one of the most diverse law schools in the country, yet our U.S. News rank fails to take into account, in any form whatsoever, this important and valuable distinction.

Tony Varona, WCL’s Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, takes the argument even further in the NYU Review of Law & Social Change:

The U.S. News ranking methodology ignores student diversity altogether in calculating the rankings. It treats a law school with little diversity as virtually indistinguishable from a very diverse school where pedagogically rich exchanges like those above abound.

For a variety of reasons, the average underrepresented minority student tends to have lower GPA and LSAT scores–the myopic academic credentials that U.S. News “counts”–than his or her White, nonminority counterpart. So, it is easy to see how schools that trade student diversity for higher numbers tend to move up in the U.S. News ranks. By contrast, schools that refuse to sacrifice diversity pay a big U.S. News price for pursuing what most educators agree is best for all our students. U.S. News actually rewards less diverse schools for admitting less diverse classes, and altogether ignores the clear learning advantages at the more diverse schools.

Bullshit. It’s one thing to say that U.S. News should consider diversity in its overall law school rankings. There are lots of things people think U.S. News should consider. {snip}

But suggesting that U.S. News is punishing schools for being diverse is another thing entirely. U.S. News punishes schools for attracting people with low academic credentials. There are lots of minorities and women with high LSAT scores and GPAs. American’s problem is that those students don’t want to go to American. Maybe if American spent more time trying to attract high-scoring minorities and less time insulting the minorities who are there by bemoaning the school’s “sacrifice” in their name, things would be better for WCL.

{snip} American only ranks 30th on the diversity index anyway. {snip}

{snip} A minority WCL student makes this point to the administration:

In fact, WCL ranks 31st on the diversity index. Cornell University ranks first, and is ranked 13th on the list of “Best Law Schools”. Stanford is 19th on the diversity index, and third on the overall ranking. Columbia is 28th on the diversity index, and fourth overall. UC Hastings, USC Gould, UC Berkley, the University of Maryland, and UC Davis also bested American in both diversity and overall ranking. WCL is not even the most diverse school that shares the ranking of 72nd overall–that distinction belongs to the University of New Mexico, 22nd on the diversity index. (Go, Lobos!)

Boom. Debate over. We see that there are a bunch of schools with “better” diversity than American that also do better than American in the rankings. There are also schools with better diversity than American who do a lot worse than American in the U.S. News rankings. You can be a highly ranked “diverse” school, or a poorly ranked “diverse” school: American should try harder to be the former instead of bitching that its the latter.

{snip}

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  • bbshaw

    The truth is offensive.

    • r j p

      If it were a good argument, it would be an offensive one to make.

      Why is a good argument an offensive one to make?

  • D.B. Cooper

    Not one republican would even dare hop on this failure that even white men with advanced degrees dare not utter. Let me dunk your head 10 times in ice cold water. I promise you that you will admit that you are a witch.

    • Lewis33

      Does it weigh the same as a duck?

  • sbuffalonative

    I read the first two paragraphs and said to myself, ‘this guy is black’. The pseudo-intellectual mocking made it obvious.

    Blacks love to present their arguments this way; that their reason, logic, and intelligence make their conclusions undeniable and irrefutable.

    It makes them sound like low-grade hustlers.

    But suggesting that diversity is somehow antithetical to a strong U.S. News ranking isn’t even a good argument to begin with . . .

    To this guy, the argument is so ridiculous it needs to be ridiculed.

    Boom. Debate over.

    To paraphrase the old public service ads, ‘the mind of a black man is a terrible thing and a waste’.

    • Ed

      LOL you called it. Someone just posted a pic.

    • Kenner

      My favorite blog comments by blacks include: ‘FACT!’, ‘LOL!’ and ‘LEARN!’…

      • Pelagian

        Spot on! Good job SBuffalo and Kenner. Youve hit upon a black trait that Ive never seen here on AR before. But its so true.

        They are walking contradictions of their own affirmative action stances.

    • Fathercoughlin

      I hate that kind of horsehockey:”It would be offensive if it were a good arguement.” What da black mayne dont like is offensive? BTW men.the good guys,hooray for men,woo hoo!!! get higher LSAT scores than women. HOORAY! We are superior. But the gap isnt really very high. But still,we’re…better.

  • Martel

    American University, dipped its toe in the water, trying to address a real issue. The nonsensical article above is the answer.

  • “Boom. Debate over.”

    This is Elie Mystal.

    • APaige

      He also forgot to mention what type of diversity is at those schools. I bet they look more like a person that would get John Englemen (sp) all excited, than a fat Albert(hey hey hey)

    • IstvanIN

      Does he have a schrader valve for a belly button?

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        Yes, someone remove the core.

    • Fathercoughlin

      With that ugly mug of his–and his lardass body–you can be sure that many a young attractive white womens(or mens!) has felt the hot fetid breath of Elie Mystal down the back of they shirt:”SUP???”

    • Paleoconn

      He also peppers his writing with obscene language like ‘bullshit’ and ‘bitching’.

      Somebody should call him on his sexism for using the second b-word, it negatively represents women. (I’m joking of course, merely hoisting libs from their own petard)

  • Eagle_Eyed

    “If it were a good argument, it would be an offensive one to make.”

    This really says it all. Even if diversity turns out to be a factor related to a decline in quality, you’re not supposed to mention that fact in a discussion about the quality of (a school, business, etc.). But if diversity trumps quality, why worry about law school rankings to begin with? So what if your school ranks near the bottom if it has the raison d’être of education, namely non-white men?

    Of course the highly ranked law schools can include token diversity because they attract the rare minority talent away from the lower schools, not to mention they also grab the best majority students as well. So no, lower tier schools can’t both have their cake and eat it too.

    • sbuffalonative

      ‘Even if it’s true, we must ignore it’.

    • Pelagian

      “‘Seeing is believing’, … until I dont like what I see.”

  • Unsettled “science.” That’s because the definition of “good” in terms of ranking law schools and the precise definition of “diversity” is not exactly objective, and subject to a lot of manipulation.

  • Luca

    So lets publish the GPA’s by race and “BOOM” we’ll see who’s right.

    Oh, and don’t be fooled by schools with high diversity and high rankings. When you peel back that onion you’ll find “diversity” includes Asians too. “BOOM” again.

    • jambi19

      Yep was just about to say the same thing. This guy wants you to believe the diversity of Stanford (Asian) is the same diversity as American (black). Who is this guy trying to fool? It is almost like the DWL that claims southern states take the most taxes, are the most obese and least educated because of all these white Republicans running around. Didn’t you know? 97% white Democrat Vermont is absolutely no different to 38% black Republican Mississippi. The premise is laughable.

      • Fathercoughlin

        BTW Whites have a higher LSAT than Asians.

      • Jesse_from_Sweden

        Yeah, but you are missing the basic tenet of liberals, namely that we are all equal and the same and there is no difference, therefore a black is just as good as an asian.

        • jambi19

          I well understand that logical fallacy of liberals. In fact my post above ridicules that particular aspect of liberal psyche.

  • bubo

    Lol, American blacks need not apply. I bet Cornell gets all of their diversity points from Asian, Indian and upper class African students. American blacks like Michelle Obama just bring the collective ranking down.

    • Urbane Neanderthal

      Yep

  • Urbane Neanderthal

    California state bar exam results first time pass rate:

    White 74.7%
    Black 44.4%
    Hispanic 57.4%
    Asian 63.6%
    Other Minority 54.5%

    Just because a certain school does better with a more diverse student body than another does not disprove that discriminating against more qualified whites to fill schools with minorities lowers their standing.

    admissions(dot)calbar(dot)ca(dot)gov/portals/4/documents/gbx/july2012stats.122112_r.pdf

    Notice how much smarter those Asians are than white students.

    • libertarian1234

      I think it is very suspicious that blacks have a 44% first time pass rate.

      In fact I think a black pass rate of 44% is suspicious no matter how many times the test is taken.

      • 1stworlder

        If it had any requirements it would be closer to 3.141592653%. It was not just 44% but 44.4 too lazy to use more than one button.

      • Urbane Neanderthal

        If you look at the numbers, 3877 whites took the exam vs 260 blacks.
        A ratio of 15 to 1 with the actual ratio of whites and blacks being 5 to 1 in the US.

        Basically blacks taking the exam were from a much smaller portion of their particular bell curve and they still demonstrated their academic/IQ deficit.

        If we took the top 780 black applicants to law school (or more like 5000 to find 780 to pass school) to equalize the proportion I would expect few if any of the lesser qualified candidates to pass the bar dropping the rate to around 14%

        • Fathercoughlin

          Yet it always amazes me how DUMB the SMART blacks are!! Mr Mystical or whatever this dolts name is, is a case in point. I bet he is from the Islands. He has that weird look. Like he just ate someone that didnt agree with him,heh heh heh.

          • dcc2379

            Most of the smart blacks don’t know they were accepted as the token; many professors have written about passing black medical and professional students because of the affirmative action feel. This is why, after lying for two to seven years, depending on the professional program, students like Michelle Obama can’t pass the Illinois State Bar on their first attempt.

      • Fathercoughlin

        I had the same thought. Way way too high.

      • dcc2379

        Libertarian1234 and others, the pass rate probably is not suspicious anymore than the claim that the average black graduate of high school reads at an 8th grade level and does math at a 6th grade level. Because the high school comparison and the law school comparison is such a statistically small sample, there are bound to be higher rates because the best blacks are the one’s being counted. For example, in my high school comparison, look up the state results for all black high schools for students in 8th or 9th grade. Now, mind you, some states have poor or weak statistics, but at this larger sample, the true nature of mean and standard deviation takes on a picture like one would expect from the Bell Curve.

    • Very interesting. To be fair to the Asians, though, language could be a factor, right? Many of them are probably immigrants.

      • Urbane Neanderthal

        That is possible, I think a more likely explanation is that only a few Asian countries produce high IQ scores. The rest of what are technically “Asian” countries are much lower than the average European IQ.

    • Northerner

      As the other poster alluded to, that percentage for Asian students most likely includes immigrants and those “fresh off the boat” so to speak. If we were just dealing with American-born Asians, it’d probably be higher.

  • libertarian1234

    Only a black could expand on a thesis with assertions instead of concrete examples or referenced sources and expect what he writes to be taken at face value.

    This is just another one of those black excuses wherein verifiable data is being criticized as being insufficient because it reveals the effects of black incompetence, and he doesn’t like it.

    And he does a terrible job of presenting a credible point of view.

    • sbuffalonative

      Blacks believe they’re smarter than they are. Boom. Debate over.

      • I hope “Boom. Debate over.” becomes the new WN catchphrase. We need to start mocking these charlatans.

        • Fathercoughlin

          ‘Specially the Boom part.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    What is scary is this tool is one of the smarter Blacks, and he is a certifiable moron. He hurts his futile cause by making a worthless attempt at an argument. He couldn’t get past a group of 12 year olds in their elementary debate class. America is no more; he got paid for that. First world goodbye, Africa and Mexico is here.

    • libertarian1234

      You’re right on.

      He’s showing the world that the upper echelon black class isn’t much better than the lower ones, and probably behind the average white.

      But, to be sure, he views himself as quite an intellectual giant.

      Black arrogance.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    If it were a good argument, it would be an offensive one to make. People who do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do shouldn’t go around begging for thanks and praise for doing the right thing.

    The moment I encountered this passage early in the article, I thought to myself, “This must have been written by a black. Only a black could be capable of such tortured logic and such a non-sequitur. Sho’ ’nuff!

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Black intellectualism is an oxymoron.

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Malcolm X, you mean the homosexual street walker known as “Red” before he got political and pseudo-religious? Funny, I missed those scenes in Denzel and Spike’s silly propaganda piece on Red/Malcolm!

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Or intellectually intellectual. I don’t get the feeling he is crafty enough for intellectual dishonesty although he has been well trained by those who are. He is just a poor nincompoop who has never lived an honest day in his life. He has been lied to about everything, especially his own abilities and place. There is dishonesty here; of White people who have admitted him to a world-class university and provided him with a lucrative and influential career.

  • JackKrak

    Yes, because when choosing a lawyer to represent you in court, nothing is more important than how many black people he sat next to in law school……

  • superlloyd3 coon

    From the liberal apologists being attacked by the negro race hustler:-

    ‘’The central importance of diversity on the depth and quality of a legal education in particular.’’ This is delusional nonsense. What matters is the ability to learn, logically argue and apply legal maxims and precedents.

    ”By contrast, schools that refuse to sacrifice diversity pay a big U.S. News price for pursuing what most educators agree is best for all our students.’’ More unquestioning, libtard groupthink re. the second part of this assertion.

    From the offended negro:-

    ”There are lots of minorities and women with high LSAT scores and GPAs.’’ Unfortunately, very few, if any, are negroes but other non white demographics.

    The liberal left and their deluded negro pet, both with false premises, are at each others’ throats about negro failure. Ironically, neither party can mention the elephant in the room but have to resort to euphemisms, transparent as they are.

    The convoluted, wrong headed and confused thinking of the negro apologist lobby is beyond parody.

  • libertarian1234

    Look at the dead, lack-luster look in his eyes.

    Typical black pseudo-intellectual: A ton of arrogance with an ounce of intelligence that blinds him to his own ineptitude.

  • John

    Go to the original article and click on his name. His name + bio seems to indicate that he’s a chosenite.

  • saxonsun

    The elephant in the American room we all refuse to deal with even though it’s sitting on our collective chest.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    Maybe if American spent more time trying to attract high-scoring minorities and less time insulting the minorities who are there by bemoaning the school’s “sacrifice” in their name, things would be better for WCL.
    .
    High-scoring NAMs are as rare as hen’s teeth, and get snapped up by the Ivy League schools in a heartbeat. There are not enough of them to go around, and since most don’t pay a dime for their educations, the only thing WCL could do to attract them would be to flat-out pay them to attend.

  • Garrett Brown

    Depends on the diversity.

  • Guest

    If it were a good argument, it would be an offensive one to make./I>
    Why is a good argument an offensive one to make?

  • r j p

    Most blacks law school students do not ever pass the bar exam.
    They end up glorified paralegals working for the likes of FannieMae and FreddieMac.
    And then when the mortgages they rubber stamped burn,
    they aren’t even looked at as being part of the problem.

  • Liberals love the word “somehow.” How ’bout this one: “It’s unfair to say that increasing gender diversity in the military might somehow lead to more incidents of rape.” Does that somehow makes sense because I used the word “somehow?”

  • dcc2379

    Since when is being different but the right different — the modern definition of diversity as understood by academia — a goal over getting the best and the brightest. Hitler was different. So is Elton John. Yet, there differences alone should not and will not make a better engineer, doctor, or lawyer. Being intelligent is very important, and genetics determines that to an overwhelming degree (of course, if anyone wants doctors with IQs of 65 operating on your brain, you would get what you deserve). I myself want uniformity: Competence. Just because some looks different or dresses different should not be a factor in deciding who will be the best professional.

  • jambi19

    They also reproduce at higher rates, own more guns per capita and tend to work in private industry. Congratulations libtard on your morale victory in whatever decaying frozen union state you live in. Are you telling me white people in Miami are fatter than white people in Pittsburgh? Get over yourself.

  • NoMosqueHere

    U.S. News actually rewards less diverse schools for admitting less diverse classes, and altogether ignores the clear learning advantages at the more diverse schools.

    ================================================

    If diverse schools really offered “clear learning advantages,” higher achieving students would want to attend those schools. But they don’t.