Jan 11, 2007, 9:18 AM
Post #295 of 764
Re: [HopperFu] Another New MFA Ranking
This may surprise you a bit...but I actually agree with you. 11 spots has a significant "emotional" impact. I think the only distinction I would draw--which makes, in a sense, my "MoE" analogy inapt--is that we're not talking about one unscientific ranking being 11 spots "off" from the "truth" (in which case that difference really could skew that "truth"), we're talking about one unscientific ranking being, at most, 11 spots off from another unscientific ranking. That is, because we can't know which if either is correct, it's not entirely surprising to see a larger MoE because there needs to be more "space" for the "truth" to be somewhere in the middle...i.e., if there's an 11-point disparity, perhaps each ranking is "only" 5.5 spots off, which would be close enough to the "truth," I think, to satisfy Clench and others.
In any event, because I do agree with you that 11 points is very different from 5 (or 5.5), I created The Suburban Ecstasies Composite MFA Rankings--
--which average TKS and LJPW in an attempt to hone in on a more accurate reading of where the schools stand in the general opinion, when both reputation and funding are concerned. The TSE Composite seems interesting to me because it softens the effect of some Kealey-specific findings (Texas is top 10 but not #2; Syracuse is top 10 but a little lower; Iowa is no longer two spots from the top 10, but rather two spots from the top 5) and softens some unusual LJPW findings (UMass is again in the top 10 but not #3; Notre Dame is top 25 but not top 10, which feels more "right") while allowing the widely-acknowledged top schools to flourish: i.e, Virginia, Michigan, Cornell, Indiana, Irvine, Texas, Iowa, Brown, Syracuse, UMass, Johns Hopkins, Houston, Columbia, and NYU are all now within the top 15 schools (which, again, with 400 schools, is in the top 1.5% of schools, a pretty rarified class, and the top 15% of schools even if we only acknowledge 100 highly competitive programs). I think, because of the LJPW, I feel a little more confidence than before about some of my gut instincts, like that Texas and Irvine are top 10 but not two and one, respectively, that Iowa deserves to be top 10, and that schools like Houston and JHU and Columbia and NYU are still enormously respected but may not (just conjecture here) be considered top 5 schools as they were ten years ago. Though again, top 15 ain't bad at all.