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CRA on NRC

NRC "Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs"

On April 21, NRC revised certain aspects of its disastrously flawed “Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States,” admitting to a broad range of errors.  It’s still a shameful bust.  In the words of the Computing Research Association:

The NRC has released “revised” rankings for Ph.D. programs.  However, this “revision” does not address any of the substantive issues with both the data collection and the ranking methodology that have been raised by CRA and other organizations.  This is regrettable. Accordingly our view must still stand:  CRA does not consider the purported rankings that have been released by the NRC to be an accurate reflection of computing program strengths, will not use them in any of our activities and urges others interested in the field of computing to ignore them as well.

Read it and weep.  And while you’re at it, read this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Jonathan R. Cole, University Professor and former Provost at Columbia University:

After more than seven years trying to improve the quality of the data in the recent study, I was alone in refusing to sign off on it.  Rather than write a dissent, which would have further delayed an already late report, I resigned from the committee before the assessment’s publication.  The report’s quality was not worthy of publication, nor, I believe, did it live up to the standards that the National Academy of Sciences, which sponsored it, should set.

April 24, 2011