Education Week unveiled the 2021 Rick Hess Straight Up Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which rank top university-based scholars in the U.S. who shape educational practice and policy. Four University of Michigan scholars are named: Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Nell Duke, Susan Dynarski, and Brian Jacob.
Frederick Hess is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the director of the think tank’s Education Policy Studies, who publishes the Rick Hess Straight Up blog.
Each scholar was scored in nine categories:
- Google Scholar Score: This figure gauges the number of widely cited articles, books, or papers a scholar has authored.
- Book Points: A search on Amazon tallied the number of books a scholar has authored, co-authored, or edited.
- Highest Amazon Ranking: This reflects the scholar’s highest-ranked book on Amazon.
- Syllabus Points: This seeks to measure a scholar’s long-term academic impact on what is being read by today’s college and university students. This metric was scored using OpenSyllabusProject.org, the most comprehensive extant database of syllabi. Newspaper Mentions: A LexisNexis search was used to determine the number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in U.S. newspapers
- Education Press Mentions: This measures the total number of times the scholar was quoted or mentioned in Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, or Inside Higher Education during 2020.
- Web Mentions: This reflects the number of times a scholar was referenced, quoted, or otherwise mentioned online in 2020. The intent is to use a “wisdom of crowds” metric to gauge a scholar’s influence on the public discourse. The search was conducted using Google.
- Congressional Record Mentions: A name search in the Congressional Record for 2020 determined whether a scholar was referenced by a member of Congress.
- Twitter Score: Followerwonk’s “Social Authority” score was used to calculate Twitter scores. Followerwonk scores each Twitter account on a scale of 0-100 based on the user’s retweet rate and other user-specific variables (such as follower count).