Nine UVA Scholars Ranked in 2019 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings


Nine members of the UVA faculty have been named to the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which recognizes the 200 faculty members at U.S. universities who "contribute most substantially to public debates about education."

January 9, 2019 — Nine members of the University of Virginia faculty have been named to the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which recognizes the 200 faculty members at U.S. universities who "contribute most substantially to public debates about education." According to Hess, there are well over 20,000 university-based faculty tackling educational questions in the U.S.

The eighth annual rankings — compiled by former UVA faculty member Rick Hess, now a member of the American Enterprise Institute — were published today in Hess' Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." They are based upon a variety of quantitative metrics that "recognize university-based scholars in the U.S. who are contributing most substantially to public debates about education," including measures of publishing and press, Web and social media citations, according to Hess' explanation.

Carol Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor at the Curry School of Education and Human Development, and UVA President Jim Ryan, an education and legal scholar, are among those ranked in the top 10. Tomlinson came in at #8 and Ryan at #9.

Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences and a scholar affiliated with the Curry School’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, ranked No. 26.

Bob Pianta, dean of the Curry School was rated the 55th-most influential university-based scholar and Josipa Roksa, professor of higher education and sociology, ranked No. 140.

Returning influential scholars include a host from the EdPolicyWorks research center, a collaboration between the Curry School and Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Education policy professor Sarah Turner (No. 149), associate professor Ben Castleman (No. 182), associate professor Daphna Bassok (No. 188), and Jim Wyckoff, professor and director of the center (No. 192) each made the list.

"Again, as in recent years, we see these rankings recognize the exceptional influence of Curry School and UVA scholars on educational policy and decision making," said Pianta. “The importance of our engagement as scholars in deliberations concerning policy cannot be understated. And the fact that our influence spans preschool to higher education shows the breadth of talent here at the University.”

In a 2015 op-ed, Pianta wrote about the valuable role academic scholars have in public discourse.

“Our work in the academy should engage the public square,” Pianta wrote. “To back away would be to cede influence in an even larger effort: to advance the understanding of the American public to make informed decisions about the education of its citizenry.”