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Nine U.Va. Education Scholars, 4 Alumni Make Public Influence Rankings

Faculty Listed In 2014 RankingsJanuary 8, 2014 – For a second straight year, nine education scholars at the Curry School of Education and the University of Virginia have been named to the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, recognizing faculty members who “contribute most substantially to public debates about education.”  The annual rankings are published in Education Week.

For the first time, two Curry School of education faculty members cracked the top 20.  Carol Tomlinson, the William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor, rocketed up into the 16th slot.  Curry School Dean Robert Pianta also increased his ranking, now as the 18th most influential university-based scholar.

Frederick Hess, a former Curry professor and current resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, created the rankings based on eight factors: a Google Scholar score; book points; the author’s highest-ranked book on Amazon; the number of times the scholar was quoted or mentioned in education press, blogs, newspapers and the Congressional Record; and finally on their Klout score, the number of times an individual is retweeted, mentioned, followed, listed and answered on Twitter.

According to Hess, “the extraordinary policy scholar excels in five areas: disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding collaborations, providing incisive commentary, and speaking in the public square.”

“There is outstanding scientific work in education being generated at universities across the country.  It is crucial that we now do the sometimes challenging work of connecting that scholarship to the policies and debates shaping education.  If our mission is to positively impact education, we must be present in those conversations. These rankings reflect not just the highly competitive nature of the faculty at the Curry School, but its high level of regard for that work to make an impact,” said Pianta.

A powerful reminder of the high-level of work happening in the Education Policy program area at the Curry School, half of the faculty members in that program made the list:  Former dean and Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education David Breneman (91st); James Wyckoff, professor and director of the EdPolicyWorks center (103rd); Sarah Turner, university professor of economics and education (106th); Daphna Bassok, assistant professor (180th); and making the list for the first time is Assistant Professor Ben Castleman (198th).

Michelle Young, professor of educational leadership and policy and executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration was ranked the 128th most influential scholar.

Rounding out the group of nine U.Va. faculty making the list is Daniel Willingham, professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences and a scholar affiliated with Curry’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (32nd).

Four alumni of the Curry School of Education also made the list.  Jonathan Plucker (Ph.D. ’95 Educational Psychology) was ranked 94th in his current role as professor of educational psychology at Indiana University Bloomington.  Patrick McGuinn (M.Ed. ’02 Education Policy), associate professor of political science at Drew University ranked 166th.  Christopher Loss (M.Ed. ’00 Social Foundations; Ph.D. ’07 Higher Education), an assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development was ranked 193rd.  Finally, Assistant Professor Michelle Reininger (M.Ed. ’01 Education Policy) of Stanford University was ranked 200th.


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