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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

ABA: Legis mandate partly to blame for FAMU law woes

Are some problems at the FAMU law school rooted in unrealistic enrollment goals set by the Legislature? Yes, some faculty members have concluded, according to the American Bar Association site team report that was the basis for this story in today's St. Petersburg Times.

"The Self-Study makes clear that one of the factors driving the admissions decisions is the legislative mandate that the Law School reach an enrollment of 750," the report says. "The faculty and administration believe that this would not be in the best interest of the Law School and report that they intend to see if a lower enrollment target of 650 students might be acceptable to the Legislature."

The self-study describes the challenges that come when many law students don't have academic credentials "as strong as would be desirable," and recounts efforts faculty have made to respond to low bar passage rates, including a tougher grading curve and increased attrition. "The Report is candid about the clumsy and ill conceived manner in which the latter two steps were taken, leading to widespread student complaints," the site team wrote.

The report includes a ton of interesting information that couldn't be squeezed into the Times story. To see it in full, click here. To read FAMU's response to the ABA report, click here. And to read more about the accreditation process, click here.

- Ron Matus, state K-12 education reporter

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:57am]


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