There’s something special about the end of the year. The air gets colder, the streets are decorated, everyone slows down for the holidays, and of course, the annual RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings come out.
This year, I’ll be releasing the 2022 rankings during the first week of January. These rankings recognize the 200 university-based education scholars, of any discipline or bent, who had the biggest influence on the nation’s education discourse last year.
The exercise is designed to balance the academy’s unfortunate tendency to discount scholarship that makes real, relevant contributions to vital public-policy debates. Edu-scholar influence encompasses both one’s corpus of scholarly work and one’s centrality to discussion of education policy or practice. After all, a scholar’s influence 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 speak to popular audiences.
The 200 ranked scholars include the top finishers from 2021 and at-large selections chosen by the RHSU Selection Committee, a group of 33 accomplished and disciplinarily, intellectually, and geographically diverse scholars (the full Selection Committee will be posted and acknowledged during the first week of January). Bottom line: Regardless of where they rank, each of the 200 scholars deserves credit just for making the list. And, since that credit isn’t always forthcoming in academe, I’m hoping to help correct for that—if only a little.
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.