The blogosphere once more demonstrates its power to help a geek feel less lonely! A fellow devotee of school ranking issues has asked me to post some of the gory details that I deliberately omitted from my prior post on the topic. Here, then, I offer a table comparing the scores that USN&WR gave the top-tier law schools with the scores that my model gave them—the same data I offered earlier via a graph. This table not only shows the numbers behind that graph, but also the constituent z-scores that the model used in calculating its scores.
What's a "z-score"? The geek in me thought you would never ask! It provides a way to standardize a group of measurements made on different scales (such as measurements of law schools' LSATs, GPAs, etc.) so that those measurements can be compared and combined into one score (such as in the overall scores reported above). You generate a z-score for one in a set of measurements by subtracting the mean of the set from the measurement in question and dividing that amount by the standard deviation of the set.
(With all due respect to those of you eager to prove your geek bona fides, allow me to note that I realize some people reserve "z-score" for a different statistical tool. I don't think, however, that I've deviated from the standard usage. Har har.)
[NB: Please note that I've edited the above chart in response to comments from Prof. Douglas Sylvester, for which I thank him.]