The prospectives thread was actually pretty good information for the most part, and bad stuff got downvoted. Here it's the other way around.
You're drawing conclusions about the market based on really noisy and incomplete data. It's not an accident that many of the "top placement" schools are those with a strong SJMR presence (NYU, Michigan, Wisconsin). Schools with more people on SJMR put their placements on here and look better. And is it really better to go to a school that places 30% of their cohort every year than a school that places 70% of their average-size cohort one year and 15% the next? No, of course not, because the second school places a higher proportion of students overall. You're dealing with small samples here.
The conclusions about the data are also questionable and seem like they're drawn from whatever the latest fad on SJMR is. Cornell and Brown don't have placement records that are that different over the last 7 or 8 years. They both have small cohorts, and some years it seems like they place really well and others don't. But one is considered a "top placer" and the other one is an "underpeformer"? It's more likely that people started talking about Brown as being a top placing department and then used that to color their interpretation of the data.
And it's not a good idea to a school that "overperforms" or "underperforms" relative to your rank. You should go to programs that train and place well, and with the glaring exception of Chicago and NYU measures of rank (US News, orgtheory) do a pretty good job at that. And you don't need a lot to convince anyone of that around here.
I suppose most of the time you're not going to get hurt too much by looking at this list instead of the orgtheory or US News rankings. Sure, you might wind up TAing five sections at Wisconsin instead of getting top-notch training and a lot more time to work on your research at Princeton or Harvard but Wisconsin is pretty overrated on those lists too. You might decide to pick UT-Austin over UNC and then spend the next six years listening to UT-Austin faculty talk about how they need to be more like UNC (which surprised me quite a bit, btw). Or you might pick Brown over any number of other schools which will put you in a better spot on the job market. I suppose that's the worst that can happen, but when you're an old and bitter Nth year grad student and you come on SJMR and say "I wish I had gone to a higher ranked school instead of this one that sounded great" well, that's what you see around here right now.
You must be kidding. These are the two threads with the most amount of misinformation and the worst advice.
Totally agree with this! The other prospective threads are so useless and full of trolls and haters. Just random opinions and empty s**t talking. I come here for facts on placement. Threads like this and the stars thread are the most useful things on here.
That is blatantly false. They are the most factual and useful in the whole forum. The prospectives thread is actually the worst and filled with misinformation. Telling people not to negotiate? So dumb and wrong. I would recommend no one listen to that thread or other prospective threads filled with trolls and haters.