Thursday, October 14, 2010

A new number one

In this PBS "Need to Know" podcast, my fellow rustbelt intellectual, Rick Karr, explores the reasoning behind Washington Monthly's university rankings and the meaning of American meritocracy.

The Washington Monthly approach rewards universities that give a lot back to the taxpayer, and are a sharp contrast to the US News and World Report rankings which focus on selectivity, SAT scores, and perceptions of prestige. Whereas the US News ranking typically puts Harvard University at #1, the Washington Monthly ranking finds that University of California-San Diego is the best university in America. Rick talks to Washington Monthly's Paul Glastris, and then talks to me about some of the differences between the 2 number 1s: Harvard (where I received my PhD) and UC-San Diego (where I now teach).