Anyone who reads our blog knows that we take a lighthearted approach to the rankings. We generally critique the concept by suggesting that if rankings change dramatically from year to year, they are not worth much (as schools don’t change rapidly from year to year) and that if they stay the same, they are not worth much either (as movement shows a reconsideration of the facts). We think that a ranking conducted over a prolonged period would make more sense, but media companies would probably not be interested in a twice per decade ranking, would they?
Well, academics at the Broad School at Michigan State University have analyzed the Business Week rankings (next released on November 17th) and discovered that they don’t vary much from year to year and have thus questioned their credibility.
A few points from their study to consider:
Only 1.63 schools drop off the rankings each year
Of the twenty schools who were first ranked in 1988, eighteen have been ranked every time
Only thirty-five schools have ever been ranked in the top-thirty
The issue will no doubt gain currency when the rankings are released once again.