#140: A Dwarf Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

This picture is derived from Greek mythology, where the blind giant Orion carried his servant Cedalion on his shoulders.

Wikipedia argues that academics are often charged with over-complicating problems and expressing them in obscure language. So which academics have come down from the proverbial “ivory tower” and taken on involvement in the public space in a relevant and meaningful way? The 2014 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence ranking system released by Edweek today seeks to understand which of the 20,000 or so academics in the United States engage in public debates about education. From Edweek:

The metrics recognize university-based scholars in the U.S. who are contributing most substantially to public debates about education. The rankings offer a useful, if imperfect, gauge of the public influence edu-scholars had in 2013. The rubric reflects both a scholar’s body of academic work–encompassing the breadth and influence of their scholarship–and their footprint on the public discourse last year.

The 2014 RHSU Selection Committee: Deborah Ball, U. Michigan; Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford; Susan Dynarski, Michigan; Ronald Ferguson, Harvard; Susan Fuhrman, Columbia; Dan Goldhaber, Washington; Sara Goldrick-Rab, Wisconsin; Jay Greene, Arkansas; Rick Hanushek, Stanford; Doug Harris, Tulane; Jeff Henig, Columbia; Gloria Ladson-Billings, Wisconsin; Robin Lake, Washington; Bridget Terry Long, Harvard; Pat McGuinn, Drew University; Pedro Noguera, NYU; Robert Pianta, Virginia; Andy Porter, UPenn; Jim Ryan, Harvard; Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, UCLA; Sarah Turner, Virginia; Jacob Vigdor, Duke; Kevin Welner, CU-Boulder; Marty West, Harvard; Daniel Willingham, Virginia; Yong Zhao, Oregon; and Jonathan Zimmerman, NYU.

For an explanation of the metrics click here.

Here are the rankings 1-200:

Hess 2014

I am honored to join the 2014 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings for the first time at #140 out out ~20,000 faculty in the United States. That is pretty cool given this is only my 8th year in the professoriate. I am also honored to represent UT-Austin on the list. I have been very fortunate to have been blessed by some of the top 200. I want to publicly acknowledge them by thanking them for their large and small influences in my life.

1 Linda Darling-Hammond— Thank you for being the best dissertation advisor in the history of the planet and a lifelong mentor.

2. Diane Ravitch— Thank you for showing me every week how translate scholarship into the education reform debates.

6. Larry Cuban— Thank you for helping me design my school reform course and pegging me as the “Texas blogger” at AERA San Francisco.

13. Martin Carnoy— Thank you for showing me the ropes on how to conduct qualitative policy research in the field.

15. Gary Orfield— Thank you for inspiring me to apply to graduate school.

17. Gloria Ladson-Billings— Thank you for sharing your wisdom in DC.

28. Anthony Bryk— Thank you for teaching me HLM at Stanford.

28. David Berliner— Thank you for the wisdom and support that you have provided over the past few years. You have been so gracious.

30. Michael Kirst— Thanks for hiring me as an RA at Stanford. I would have starved otherwise. Also, thank you for modeling the faculty and policy influencer role right from the start.

35. Sunny Ladd— It was a pleasure to meet you in Rome. Thank you for sharing your insight with each time we meet.

36. Sean Reardon— Thank you for serving on my dissertation committee and encouraging me to be creative and focused in my work.

62. Patricia Gandara— Thank you for writing a letter for my tenure file.

70. Stephen Raudenbush— Thank you for teaching me intro stats at Michigan.

72. Kevin Welner— Thank you for being a national treasure. I will write a NEPC brief for you any day. Especially if the topic is Teach For America.

73. Jeffrey Henig— Thank you for taking time to have lunch with me at AERA San Francisco and allowing me to pick your brain about scholarship.

75. Susanna Loeb— Thank you for helping me design my Econ of Ed course and for always responding to my emails.

88. Richard Milner— Thanks for being a mentor and friend from afar. Look forward to finishing the special issue for Urban Education.

97. Susan Dynarski— Thank you for the soft landing.

110. Scott McLeod— Thank you for advising me on all things technology.

118 Gary Sykes— Thank you for all the wisdom you imparted when we served on the NBPTS research board together.

127. Shaun Harper— Thank you for volunteering to write a letter for my tenure file.

128. Michelle Young—Thank you for everything. There is not enough space here for all I appreciate about you.

132. Edward H. Haertel— Thank you for teaching multivariate analyses at Stanford. You and Andrew Ho were so patient. :)

156. Catherine Lugg— Thank you for the fire.

170. William Mathis— Thank you for supporting our work for NEPC.

175. Audrey Amrein-Beardsley— Thank you for your encouragement

194. Katherine Strunk— Thank you for being so understanding.

199. Jennifer Jennings— Although it has been awhile, thank you for the great discussions about our work.

200. Michelle Reininger— Ah, the memories of grad school.

I am a dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants.

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Author:Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.

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3 Comments on “#140: A Dwarf Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

  1. Monty J. Thornburg, Ph.D.
    January 9, 2014 at 1:40 am #

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been interested personally in missed, hidden and denied history and the ways that neo-liberals try to silence lessons that seem obvious. Lessons that might help us learn from the past.

    For example, today, the controversy on the “meaning” of the “War on Poverty” by those with an a-historical political interpretation and with brash attempts to re-write history for political advantage.

    In education the same phenomena seems to exist. That is scholars in education are too often overshadowed in the media by purveyors in the corporate world such as ExxonMobile of “We can solve this!” and the Gates foundation, etc. Those who only and simplistically want education to equate to economic productivity.

    I say, continue with real issues in education by making real issues accessible to persons such as myself who “teach” in public schools.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Home | The Equity Alliance at ASU - February 28, 2014

    […] the academy do not typically value these types of public engagement. There are some metrics such as Edweek’s RHSU public influence rankings of faculty across the U.S. that are now including such valuations. Regardless, I proffer it is […]

  2. Pile of Old Books vs. Citizens as Critical Participants in the Great Education Debates | Cloaking Inequity - March 2, 2014

    […] the academy do not typically value these types of public engagement. There are some metrics such asEdweek’s RHSU public influence rankings of faculty across the U.S. that are now including such valuations. Regardless, I proffer it is […]

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