Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Flaws in U.S. News Mathematics

I know that for a school like ours, the U.S. News rankings aren't very relevant (3rd tier regional, if I remember correctly).  However, it is interesting to see a report about how flawed the statistics are that create the rankings.

With statistical profiles like the VSA on the way, it is a good reminder that these numbers are easily gamed and essentially meaningless.

1 comment:

Lammers said...

>With statistical profiles like the VSA on the way, it is a good reminder that these numbers are easily gamed and essentially meaningless.<

That isn't what the article said at all. It's main theme was that schools are evaluated on the basis of seven criteria, that different students would not weight those criteria equally, and that the rankings can vary depending on which criteria are weighted most heavily.

As I recall, one of our "failings" is that a very low percentage of our alumni contribute to fundraising (a failing we share with UC Berkeley, according to the article). That is exactly the sort of thing that just may not be all that important to many of our students, to the quality of their experience here.