Jan 16, 2007, 10:06 AM
Hopper, look, I'm sorry, I didn't mean that post to sound as argumentative as it may have. I just don't want you, or anyone else, to have a false impression of what's happened here thus far:
Re: [umass76] Don't yell at me, but...
1. I did a ranking based upon the opinions of the man who "wrote the book" on MFAs, and thus has done more independent research than any of us, particularly as to the funding angle. I made clear that TKS was based on Kealey's work, not any sort of consensus. If you go back and read the introduction, you'll see how clear I made that.
2. I was criticized because I had done a ranking organized around the opinions of just one man.
3. In direct response to the criticism I took a "poll" of actual prospective MFA students, with a decent sample size, to see where they were applying. I made clear everyone knew what the sample size was and made clear this was really just a popularity poll, and that the poll couldn't look at the reasons behind individuals' applications to particular schools.
4. For curiosity's sake, I did a TSE Composite ranking which conjoined the funding-weighted TKS and the popularity-weighted LJPW Poll. I said outright that the poll wasn't scientific at all and was mainly just a curio. I did not write a lengthy defense of that ranking, and I think everyone here knows that.
5. Purely in the interest of providing hard data, I did an index of acceptance rates, stating clearly where the numbers were coming from. Again, I did not write a lengthy defense of the index, and fully conceded that the data was incomplete--not because of my laziness, but because of the various schools' secrecy (which is their right). What I will do, here, is note that the two primary criticisms I think you made, apart from the foregoing, is that we can't trust data from the schools (in which case, we can't trust any rankings, including the 1997 reputation scores which came from the schools and were far, far more "fudgeable") and that the "200 standard minimum APP" is wrong. The one extrapolation I've probably made in this whole thing is that I do think the LJPW can provide a rough guide as to whether or not the minimum APP is fair; that is, if schools in the top 50 of the LJPW (which tracks applications) regularly receive 500+ applications, what is the chance that other schools similarly ranked (again, in terms of how many applications they're getting) are under 100 in terms of their applications?
I guess what I'm saying is, can you name a single school from the TSE Composite top fifty ranking which receives fewer than 100 total submissions, across all genres, per year? And can you tell me where you got that information? If you can, I will amend or adjust the Selectivity Indexes accordingly.
[As to your criticism that poetry and fiction aren't separated, I think that's just being unfair to me--it's raising the bar needlessly because it's a standard you know that I, and even the schools themselves, could not possibly reach. While any individual school might know their separate admissions rates, that's not data which is publicly available, it's not data anyone not on the hiring committees knows, and it's certainly not data other schools have available to them when filling out "reputation" forms as they did for the USNWR97 rankings].
(This post was edited by umass76 on Jan 16, 2007, 10:07 AM)