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Four from UW–Madison ranked among most influential education scholars

January 08, 2020

Education Week blogger Rick Hess published his annual rankings of the top 200 most influential education scholars in the United States on Wednesday — and four faculty members with UW-Madison’s School of Education are on this year’s list.

UW-Madison’s Gloria Ladson-Billings is No. 8 this year, while Adam Gamoran is No. 97, Stacey Lee is No. 176, and Jerlando Jackson is No. 177.

These annual public influence rankings appear each January in Education Week’s “Straight Up” blog, which is authored by Hess.

Ladson-Billings is a professor emerita and the former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, while Gamoran is the John D. MacArthur Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies, and the former director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Lee is a professor with the Department of Educational Policy Studies, and Jackson is a Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Hess explains that the idea behind these rankings is to “spotlights the top 200 education scholars who move ideas from academic journals into the national conversation. Using nine metrics, Hess calculated how much university-based academics contributed to public discussions of education.”

“One small way to encourage academics to step into the fray and revisit academic norms is, I think, by doing more to recognize and value those scholars who engage in public discourse,” explains Hess. “As I see it, 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. This whole endeavor is admittedly an imperfect exercise. Of course, the same can be said about college rankings, NFL quarterback ratings, or international scorecards of human rights. Yet such efforts convey real information and help spark useful discussion.”

Each scholar was scored in nine categories — Google Scholar Score, Book Points, Highest Amazon Ranking, Syllabus Points, Education Press Mentions, Web Mentions, Newspaper Mentions, Congressional Record Mentions, and Twitter Score.

To learn much more, check out Hess’ Straight Up blog post about this year’s rankings.

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