No One Could Have Predicted

That tying a guy’s salary to purely statistical goals he self reports could lead to a scandal:

But year after year, Pless reportedly met or exceeded the goals by falsifying data, concluded a 114-page report by the university’s legal counsel, its ethics office, law firm Jones Day; and Duff & Phelps, a financial advisory and data analysis firm. The university also released thousands of pages of supporting material, including the email exchanges.

U. of I. hired the two firms after the university’s ethics office received a tip in late August that erroneous information had been reported about the Class of 2014, a group the college touted as “the most academically distinguished” in school history, with a median LSAT score of 168 that bumped the college into a “rarefied level.” The class’s actual median LSAT score was 163, a significant drop from the previous year’s honestly reported score of 167.

The report, released Monday, concluded Pless inflated academic credentials for the class of 2008 and the classes of 2010 through 2014. The acceptance rates of four of those classes also were manipulated. Pless “knowingly and intentionally” submitted false data by changing individual students’ grades and test scores or inflating the overall class median, according to the report.

To understand what a drop of 167 to 163 means, a 167 is around the 95th percentile on the most recent test (percentiles do move around on the test,so these previous year’s tests are probably off a bit here) to a 163 which is around the 88th percentile.  That’s a pretty big drop, but part of the problem is the Illinois Law School seems heavily focused on using a mediocre measure of quality in the US News & World Report rankings.

Grades and scores could both change significantly by year regardless of what the Law School does.  Being a slave to USN&WR rankings makes the school a slave to random fluctuations and specifically is an invalid measure to base a strategic plan.  A law school, as any educational institution should, should have a vision of what it does and do that the best it can.   Being a slave to measures that will necessarily fluctuate from year to year creates a situation where the institution is chasing statistical artifacts that have little to no meaning.  That is a corruption of the institution in the worst possible way and a surefire method to eventually turn into a mediocre institution.

Daily Dolt: Joe Walsh

For all the time I’ve been away, he pretty much wins for any number of mind numbingly stupid things the dumbass has done in just a to remain very short Congressional Career.  Even Mike Flanagan had better sense then Walsh.  I, of course, want Walsh returned to Congress, but I doubt even Illinois Republicans will do anything that stupid.

But for all of his stupid utterances, the stupidest and most uncredible is:

Walsh’s ex-wife says Walsh owes more than $100,000 in back child support for their three children. Walsh counters that he and his wife had a “verbal agreement” that he didn’t have to pay child support during years when he wasn’t earning as much.

So, let’s get this clear Congressman.  Your ex-wife, the one who has sued you multiple times for lack of child support payment, just agreed to you not paying child support.

What everyone seems to forget is that Walsh wasn’t just running for Congress and loaning his own campaign thousands of dollars, but he had two homes at the time:


Questions about Walsh’s finances have recently dogged his campaign. After the primary, news surfaced that Walsh lost his Evanston condominium to foreclosure last June, because he owed more than $300,000 on the property. Walsh says he’s a venture capitalist who averaged $40,000 in income the last two years but then fell on tough financial times. However, he still managed to scrape together enough money to rent a $3,300 per month house in upscale Winnetka.

Now, he didn’t pay his child support and he had a condo foreclosed on, but he paid $3,300 a month in rent for a house in Winnetka.  Has he ever heard of Schaumburg?  I have no brief with someone who makes financial mistakes–I have more than a few under my belt.  However, I do find it odd to spend $3,300 a month on a house while  going into a foreclosure and claiming to be too poor to pay child support.