School of Education News

Ladson-Billings ranked No. 3 among nation’s most influential education scholars

January 11, 2017

Education Week blogger Rick Hess published his annual rankings of the most influential education scholars in the United States on Wednesday, and UW-Madison’s Gloria Ladson-Billings is ranked No. 3 on this year’s list.

Stanford’s Linda Darling-Hammond tops the rankings, while Diane Ravitch of New York University is No. 2.

These annual public influence rankings appear each January in Education Week’s “Straight Up” blog, which is authored by Hess.

In the 2017 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings released Wednesday, three faculty members with UW-Madison’s School of Education are included in Hess’ most recent efforts to spotlight a top 200 of leading university-based education scholars. In addition to Ladson-Billings, Professor Emeritus Adam Gamoran is No. 62 and Professor Geoffrey Borman is No. 159.

Ladson-Billings holds the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education and is a professor with the departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Policy Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Gamoran is the president of the William T. Grant Foundation who left UW-Madison in the summer of 2013 after spending nine years as the director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Gamoran remains a professor emeritus with the Department of Educational Policy Studies. Borman is a professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and also is an affiliate with the departments of Educational Policy Studies, Educational Psychology and Sociology.

In addition, UW-Madison’s John Witte ranks No. 114. Witte is a professor emeritus of public affairs and political science.

“One small way to encourage academics to step into the fray and revisit academic norms is, I think, by doing more to recognize and value those scholars who engage in public discourse,” Hess explains in a news release. “These results offer insight into how scholars in a field of public concern are influencing thinking and the national discourse.”

Hess, who is the American Enterprise Institute’s director of education policy, uses nine metrics to calculate how much university-based academics moved ideas from academic journals into the national conversation. (More information about the rankings rubric is available here.)

According to the news release, the rankings “employ nine publicly available metrics: Google Scholar, Book Points, Highest Amazon Ranking, Syllabus Points, Education Press Mentions, Web Mentions, Newspaper Mentions, Congressional Record Mentions, and Klout Score.” Klout reflects a scholar's online and social media presence.

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