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by Vault Education Editors | March 16, 2011

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There’s more movement on the U.S. News Business Best Business School Rankings than on a Chinese checkers board. This year, ten schools improved at least six places over last, and at least 19 schools dropped by eight or more places in a single year, observes Poets & Quants. The Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business plummeted from 57 all the way down to the survey’s lowest rank of 107. What’s going on here? P&Q’s John Byrne explains.

How is it possible for an MBA program to fall by such large numbers in a single year? Frankly, it wouldn’t be very possible at all if the ranking had greater authority. More than a measure of the fall in quality of any school, these huge differences in a 12-month period are more indicative of the flaws in U.S. News’ methodology. In many cases, extreme volatility suggests that the differences among schools are so small as to be statistically insignificant. So very small changes in what U.S. News measures can cause wide swings in the year-over-year results.

[Poets & Quants]

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