Just to give readers a head’s up, next week we’ll be running the 2012 RHSU Edu-Scholar Rankings. The exercise is intended to counter what I think is the academy’s unfortunate tendency to discount scholarly contributions that impact public understanding and policy debate. The Edu-Scholar Rankings are intended to recognize university-based scholars, of any discipline or bent, for their contributions to the public square. Impact is understood as encompassing both the corpus of one’s scholarly work (how many widely-cited works a scholar has penned, the number of books, etc.) and one’s centrality to public discussion in 2011 (appearances in newspaper articles, online media, and so forth).
After all, a scholar’s impact on schooling is a product of several factors, including their body of scholarship, the degree to which their work has influenced today’s researchers, their willingness to wade into public discourse, and the energy and effectiveness with which they write for and speak to popular audiences. This means, for instance, that veteran scholars will typically enjoy a natural and appropriate advantage in the scoring. Savvy readers will note one or two small tweaks to the rubric from last year, and also that the ranking table--now numbering over 120 edu-policy scholars--is about one-third larger than last year’s.
Have a terrific New Year’s, and I’ll see you in 2012.
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.