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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

2019 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence: Top Tens

By Rick Hess — January 10, 2019 2 min read
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Yesterday, we unveiled the 2019 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Of course, over the years, readers also wanted to see how scholars fared when it came to particular fields of study. After all, education research includes a lot of people doing very different kinds of work, and where scholars rank overall may sometimes be less telling 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 junior faculty. (For a detailed discussion of how the scoring was done, see Tuesday’s post.)

Now, at times, there’s a bit of ambiguity in determining a given scholar’s discipline. For the most part, my invaluable research assistants (RJ Martin, Amy Cummings, Sofia Gallo, and Connor Kurtz) worked off of CVs, relying primarily on a scholar’s earned degree. In the handful of cases where that didn’t do the trick, I made a judgment call. So, if you think I’ve made the wrong call on someone, just let me know and we’ll do our best to make appropriate adjustments next year.

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

Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration

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Government and Policy

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Junior Faculty

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The tables pretty much speak for themselves. The charts are dominated by familiar names. The top finisher in Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration was Linda Darling-Hammond; in Economics, Raj Chetty; in Government and Policy, Paul E. Peterson; in Psychology, Carol Dweck; and, in Sociology, Sara Goldrick-Rab. In each case, it’d be hard to argue with the results.

Beyond the disciplinary breakdowns, I also 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. Seton Hall’s Robert Kelchen topped the junior faculty chart this year, while coming in 32nd overall. The rest of the top junior faculty were Harvard’s Josh Goodman, Harvard’s Jal Mehta, VCU’s Tressie McMillan Cottom, University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s Jack Schneider, Brown’s John Papay, Columbia’s Sarah Cohodes, and Vanderbilt’s Angela Boatman.

Well, that wraps up the 2019 Edu-Scholar Rankings. We’ll do this all again next year; same time, same place. Next week, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post failed to list Harvard’s Josh Goodman and Jal Mehta as junior faculty. The post has been updated accordingly.

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.