The Leftward Tilt of Education Scholarship

With the release of the 2017 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings and on the eve of the Donald Trump presidency, Frederick M. Hess and others weigh in on "the leftward tilt" of education scholarship.

The Leftward Tilt of Education Scholarship

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For the 2017 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, Education Week Commentary and Frederick M. Hess, the creator of the rankings, decided that the politics of scholarship on the eve of the Trump presidency would prompt an interesting and important conversation for those inside and outside the academy.

For this special section, Hess offers his own thoughts on "the leftward tilt" of education scholarship, while three education and policy scholars were invited to respond to the following query:

It’s no great secret that the American professoriate tilts to the left, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. The disjuncture between the academic mainstream and a large swath of the American public was especially evident during the heated presidential campaign and, more recently, in the course of the Trump transition. What should public-minded academics make of this? Is it a problem if academic sentiment generally aligns with one side of the political spectrum? Does it create challenges for the academy or limit the ability of academics to offer policy ideas or engage in a more robust public debate? What, if anything, should publicly engaged academics try to do about any of this?


Why Ed. Scholarship Could Soon Be Sidelined

On the cusp of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Frederick M. Hess warns that policymakers could sideline education scholarship because of its left-leaning bias.
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Ed. Scholars Are Talking Past the Public

Education researchers must champion why their research matters and engage unlikely allies outside of the academy, writes David R. Garcia.
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The Steep Price of Political Homogeneity

Policymakers are less likely to support a university that appears hostile to roughly half of the electorate, argues Joshua Dunn.
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Education Research Needs a Policy Makeover

Researchers must commit to ensuring that their classrooms are welcoming to students of all political stripes, writes Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj.
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Politics & The University: A Collision Course

Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute discusses how the leftward tilt of education scholarship could spell trouble for ed. policy in a conversation with Commentary editor Elizabeth Rich.


Complete 2017 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings:
For an explanation of how the scoring was conducted, visit:
2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Commentary Collection: How Should Education Scholars Join the Public Conversation?
2017 RHSU Edu-Scholar Commentary Collection: The Leftward Tilt of Education Scholarship
2016: The Responsibility of Edu-Scholars in the Public Square
2015: Recognizing Influential Education Scholars: Why and How
A Snapshot of the 2014 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

A version of this article appeared in the January 11, 2017 edition of Education Week