Just a heads-up that next week, I’ll be running the 2021 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, recognizing the 200 edu-scholars 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 a real, relevant contributions to vital public-policy debates.
The Public Influence Rankings seek to recognize university-based education scholars, of any discipline or bent, for their contributions to the public square. Edu-scholar influence encompasses both one’s corpus of scholarly work and 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 write for and speak to popular audiences.
The 200 ranked scholars include the top finishers from 2020 and at-large selections chosen by the RHSU Selection Committee, a group of 29 accomplished and disciplinarily, intellectually, and geographically diverse scholars (the full Selection Committee will be posted and acknowledged next week). 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.
This post originally appeared on Rick Hess Straight Up.