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Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Read more from this blog.

Education Opinion

2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence: Top Tens

By Rick Hess — January 11, 2018 2 min read

Yesterday, we unveiled the 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Of course, years ago, readers also made clear that they were curious to see how scholars fared when it came to particular fields or disciplines. After all, education research includes a lot of disparate fields, and how scholars rank overall may sometimes be less interesting than where they rank within their field. Thus, today, we’ll report on the top ten finishers for five disciplinary categories, as well as the top ten junior faculty. (For a detailed discussion of how the scoring was done, see Tuesday’s post.)

Now, at times, there’s a touch of ambiguity in determining each scholar’s discipline. For the most part, my uber-RAs Amy Cummings, Grant Addison, and Sofia Gallo worked off of CVs, relying primarily on a scholar’s earned degree. In the handful of cases where degrees were sufficiently ambiguous, I made a judgment call based upon scholarly appointments and such. Still, if you think I’ve made the wrong call on someone’s discipline, just let me know and we’ll do our best to make appropriate adjustments next year.

You can scroll through each chart, or clink the link below each one to view it in a separate window.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration

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Economics

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Government and Policy

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Psychology

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Sociology

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Junior Faculty

(This year, there were only nine junior faculty among the 200 edu-scholars. This is no great surprise, as the rankings are designed to recognize substantive influence, giving more established scholars a leg up. Anyway, that explains why there are nine scholars in this list, and not ten.)

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The tables pretty much speak for themselves. The charts are mostly dominated by familiar names. The top finisher in Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration was Linda Darling-Hammond; in Government and Policy, Paul E. Peterson; in Psychology, Howard Gardner; and, in Sociology, Sara Goldrick-Rab. The year’s big surprise (if you can call it that, when the scholar in question owns a John Bates Clark medal) was Edu-Scholar newcomer Raj Chetty taking the top spot in Economics.

Beyond the disciplinary breakdowns, I want to give a special nod to junior faculty who earned spots on the list. Given that the rankings, by design, favor scholars who’ve assembled bodies of work and had sustained impact, the junior faculty who score well deserve particular notice. Harvard’s Marty West topped the junior faculty chart this year. Rounding out the top five were Seton Hall’s Robert Kelchen, VCU’s Tressie McMillan Cottom, Brown’s Matthew Kraft, and Harvard’s Jal Mehta.

Well, that wraps up the 2018 Edu-Scholar Rankings. Be sure to check out Ed Week‘s special commentary section on the rankings, either online or in the upcoming print issue. We’ll do this all again next year; same time, same place. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.