The 2013 Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings

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The Edu-Scholar Rankings seek to recognize those university-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about K–12 and higher education



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SUMMER 2013 / VOL. 13, NO. 3

The 2013 Edu-Scholar Rankings were released in a series of Education Next blog posts beginning January 7, 2013, along with a full explanation of the scoring rubric. Please visit educationnext.org for the complete list and related discussion.

The extraordinary policy scholar excels in five areas: disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding collaborations, providing incisive media commentary, and speaking in the public square. Scholars who are skilled in these areas cross boundaries, foster crucial collaborations, and bring research into the world of policy in smart and useful ways. The academy today does a reasonably good job of recognizing good disciplinary scholarship, but a mediocre job of recognizing scholars who move ideas into the national policy conversation. If we did more to encourage and recognize policy-relevant contributions, more scholars might be willing to do more than publish articles in niche journals, sit on committees, and serve in professional associations.

The Edu-Scholar Rankings seek to recognize those university-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about K–12 and higher education. The metrics used here are designed to gauge the influence of a scholar’s academic scholarship in terms of bodies of work, citation counts, book readership, and impact on public debate as reflected in old and new media.

Eight individual scoring categories comprise a composite score, on which the rankings are based:

• Google Scholar Score gauges the number of widely cited articles, books, or papers a scholar has authored

• Book Points tallies the number of books a scholar has authored, co-authored, or edited

• Highest Amazon Ranking reflects the author’s highest-ranked book on Amazon, as of December 18–19, 2012

• Education Press Mentions reflects the number of times the scholar was quoted or mentioned in Education Week or the Chronicle of Higher Education between January 1 and December 13–14, 2012

• Blog Mentions reflects the number of times a scholar was quoted, mentioned,  or otherwise discussed in blogs between January 1 and December 27, 2012, as determined by Google Blogs

• Newspaper Mentions reflects the number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in English-language newspapers between January 1 and December 26–27, 2012, as determined by a LexisNexis Academic search

• Congressional Record Mentions accounts for whether a scholar testified or had work referenced by a member of Congress between January 1 and December 14, 2012

• Klout Score reflects how often a given scholar with a Twitter profile is retweeted, mentioned, followed, listed, and answered.

The 60 highest-ranking edu-scholars are presented below. The full list, which includes 168 university-based scholars who are widely regarded as having some public presence, is not intended to be exhaustive. Many other faculty are tackling education or education policy. For those interested in scoring additional scholars, it should be straightforward to do so using the scoring rubric.

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Comment on this article
  • JR says:

    Let’s put an evaluation criteria for the real world. One of the criteria should be connection to policy changes leading to student achievement. Not a popularity contest.

  • Roxanne says:

    It seems only American scholars considered. Mention of this in the above article might add some perspective to the rankings.

  • Antonio Chaves says:

    Let’s see:

    Linda Darling-Hammond (anti-standardized testing, social justice)

    Howard Gardiner (multiple intelligence: undermines importance of standard academic achievement)

    Gloria Ladson-Billings (critical race theory, social justice)

    Diane Ravitch (a good researcher until she drank the teacher certification Kool-Aide)

    In effect, near the top of this list are the usual suspects who advocate a laundry list of everything that’s wrong with education schools. I am a bit disappointed the article does not point this out.

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