Opinion Blog


Rick Hess Straight Up

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.

Policy & Politics Opinion

The 2022 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings

By Rick Hess — January 05, 2022 3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Today, we unveil the 2022 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, ranking the university-based scholars in the United States who did the most last year to shape educational practice and policy. Simply being included in this list of 200 scholars is an accomplishment, given the 20,000 or more who might qualify. The list includes the top finishers from last year, augmented by “at-large” nominees chosen by the 33-member Selection Committee (see yesterday’s post for a list of committee members, an explanation of the selection process, and all the salacious methodological particulars).

Without further ado, here are the 2022 rankings (scroll through the chart to see all names and scores). Please note that all university affiliations reflect a scholar’s institution as of December 1, 2021.

Click here to open in a new tab.

The top scorers are all familiar names. Topping the rankings for another year was the University of Pennsylvania’s Angela Duckworth (Full disclosure: Angela blogs for Education Week), the reigning authority on “grit.” Rounding out the top five, in order, were University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Gloria Ladson-Billings, USC’s Pedro A. Noguera (Full disclosure: Pedro and I coauthored a book together this past year), Stanford’s Linda Darling-Hammond, and Harvard’s Howard Gardner. The top 10 also included Stanford’s Jo Boaler, Brown’s Emily Oster (notable as a newcomer to the rankings), Stanford’s Carol S. Dweck, MIT’s Joshua Angrist (recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics), and USC’s Shaun R. Harper.

Stanford placed five scholars in the top 20; Harvard had three; and USC, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania each had two. Overall, Harvard led with 25 ranked scholars; Stanford was second, with 18; and UCLA was third, with 12. All told, 59 universities had at least one ranked scholar.

When it comes to the bestselling books penned by the top 200 scholars, Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success continues to top the charts—16 years after its initial publication. Other books that fared especially well were Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (2016), Emily Oster’s Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know (2014), Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2018), Gholdy Muhammad’s Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (2020), and Christopher Emdin’s For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood (2016). Remarkably, aside from Oster and Muhammad’s volumes, these are the same books that held the top spots last year, providing a revealing window into the state of the education conversation.

This year, two junior faculty made the top 200: Harvard’s Anthony A. Jack, at 159, and Southern Methodist’s Dominique Baker, at 187. Given that the exercise, by design, favors scholars who’ve built bodies of work and had a sustained impact, these two are deserving of particular notice.

Now, if readers want to argue the construction, reliability, or validity of any or all of these metrics, feel free. This whole endeavor is an imprecise, highly imperfect exercise. Of course, the same is true of college rankings, NFL quarterback ratings, or international scorecards of human rights. Yet, for all their imperfections, such efforts convey real information and help spark useful discussion. I hope these can do the same.

I welcome thoughts and questions and am happy to entertain any and all suggestions. So, take a look and have at it.

For several years, following the release of the RHSU EduScholar Public Influence Rankings, Education Week Opinion has published a related series of essays that explore a pressing issue relevant to public scholarship. Read this year’s collection of essays, on how educators and researchers can work together to improve schools, here. While Education Week hosts the RHSU blog and publishes the rankings as a result, Education Week does not participate in the rankings process. The rankings are wholly an effort of Rick Hess and the RHSU selection committee.

Related Tags:

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.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States Is Bipartisan Education Policy Still Possible?
It's still possible to forge cross-party education policy coalitions, advocates said.
5 min read
Image of a small U.S. flag in a pencil case.
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts Supreme Court Turns Down Case Challenging School District's Transgender Policies
The case involves a policy allowing information to be withheld from parents considered not supportive of a gender-transitioning child.
3 min read
This Oct. 4, 2018, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. The Supreme Court has declined to take up an appeal from parents in Oregon who want to prevent transgender students from using locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, rather than their sex assigned at birth.
This Oct. 4, 2018, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at sunset in Washington. The court has declined to take up an appeal from parents in Maryland challenging a school district's policy on gender-support plans for students.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Law & Courts District Can Deny Opt-Outs on LGBTQ+ Books, Court Rules
Religious parents objected to a Maryland district's policy ending opt-outs for elementary school 'storybooks' with LGBTQ+ themes.
5 min read
A pedestrian passes by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse, June 16, 2021, on Main Street in Richmond, Va.
A person walks near the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit's courthouse in Richmond, Va. A panel of the court denied an injunction seeking to restore religious parents' opportunity to opt their children out of LGBTQ+ "storybooks" in a Maryland district.
Steve Helber/AP
Law & Courts Brown v. Board of Education: 70 Years of Progress and Challenges
The milestone for the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down racial segregation in schools is marked by a range of tributes
12 min read
People mill around the third floor of the Kansas Statehouse in front of a Brown v. Board of Education mural before hearing from speakers recognizing the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case on April 29, 2024 in Topeka, Kan.
People mill around the third floor of the Kansas Statehouse in front of a Brown v. Board of Education mural before hearing from speakers recognizing the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case on April 29, 2024 in Topeka, Kan.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP