Tables

Abstract
The Norrington Table is scotched, but not killed. It still appears each year in a national daily, having been compiled by an enterprising graduate with more need for money than time. Some people argue that this shows the futility of trying to suppress the table. But that is not so. In a free society it is open to anyone to obtain information and publish his results. There are many things that people might like to know about colleges. Of greater interest to many than schools results would be the average earnings of graduates of each college five years after going down: that would enable people to pick the best college for repaying student loans, and for enjoying the fruits of worldly success. An enterprising graduate with nothing better to do might go through the university telephone directory, and work out the Ms-ratio for each college and department: no doubt the Daily Telegraph would pay good money for a list of those parts of Oxford that were entirely Ms-free. What is important is not what other people say, but what we say, or seem to endorse its being said, about us. Once the Norrington table appeared to have our imprimatur, it suggested that we set too much score by schools results, and instead of regarding final examinations as a necessary evil, bad, but less bad than any available alternative, we reckoned that getting a good result in schools was the chief..
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