The extraordinary policy scholar excels in five areas: disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding collaborations, providing incisive media commentary, and speaking in the public square. Scholars who are skilled in these areas cross boundaries, foster crucial collaborations, and bring research into the world of policy in smart and useful ways. The academy today does a reasonably good job of recognizing good disciplinary scholarship, but a mediocre job of recognizing scholars who move ideas into the national policy conversation. If we did more to encourage and recognize policy-relevant contributions, more scholars might be willing to do more than publish articles in niche journals, sit on committees, and serve in professional associations.
The Edu-Scholar Rankings seek to recognize those university-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about K-12 and higher education. The metrics used here are designed to gauge the influence of a scholar's academic scholarship in terms of bodies of work, citation counts, book readership, and impact on public debate as reflected in old and new media.
Eight individual scoring categories comprise a composite score, on which the rankings are based:
* Google Scholar Score gauges the number of widely cited articles, books, or papers a scholar has authored
* Book Points tallies the number of books a scholar has authored, co-authored, or edited
* Highest Amazon Ranking reflects the author's highest-ranked book on Amazon, as of December 18-19, 2012
* Education Press Mentions reflects the number of times the scholar was quoted or mentioned in Education Week or the Chronicle of Higher Education between January 1 and December 13-14,2012
* Blog Mentions reflects the number of times a scholar was quoted, mentioned, or otherwise discussed in blogs between January 1 and December 27, 2012, as determined by Google Blogs
* Newspaper Mentions reflects the number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in English-language newspapers between January 1 and December 26-27, 2012, as determined by a LexisNexis Academic search
* Congressional Record Mentions accounts for whether a scholar testified or had work referenced by a member of Congress between January 1 and December 14, 2012
* Klout Score reflects how often a given scholar with a Twitter profile is retweeted, mentioned, followed, listed, and answered.
The 80 highest-ranking edu-scholars are presented below. The full list, which includes 168 university-based scholars who are widely regarded as having some public presence, is not intended to be exhaustive. Many other faculty are tackling education or education policy. For those interested in scoring additional scholars, it should be straightforward to do so using the scoring rubric.
Rank Name Affiliation
1 (tie) Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford
1 (tie) Diane Ravitch NYU
3 Howard Gardner Harvard
4 Eric Hanushek Stanford
5 Paul E. Peterson Harvard
6 Larry Cuban Stanford
7 Gary Orfield UCLA
8 Yong Zhao U. …