Duke Scholars Ranked Among Most Influential in Education

Four Duke faculty members were ranked among the most influential scholars in the nation’s dialogue on education in a list released by Education Week on Jan. 8. Three Sanford School of Public Policy professors, Helen Ladd, Charles Clotfelter and Jacob Vigdor, were in the top 75 on the list of 200.  Peter Arcidiacono, professor of economics, also was included.

Helen F. LaddThe 2014 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings offer a view of the public influence of U.S. education scholars based on a combination of their academic work and contributions to the public discussion in 2013.

The list was created by Rick Hess, a member of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and blogger at the Education Week website, and a selection committee of 27 academics in the field.

“The scoring rubric is intended to both acknowledge scholars whose widely-referenced body of work influences our thinking on edu-questions, and scholars who are actively engaged in public discourse and in writing and speaking to pressing concerns,” wrote Hess. (Charles Clotfelter, right, Jacob Vigdor, below)

Each scholar was scored in eight categories, including number of books published, Amazon ranking, mentions in the press, blogs and in the Congressional record, Twitter Klout score, and their Google Scholar score, which calculates citations of the scholar’s work.

Both Ladd and Vigdor were also included in the list last year and were in the top 50.

“It's great to be recognized for trying to make a difference,” Vigdor said, “but nothing beats actually making a difference. There are a lot of problems facing public education these days and I’m sure I speak for many of us on the list in saying our goal is not so much to be ranked as to work with legislators, administrators and educators to find solutions.

Vigdor, who also is an adjunct scholar with AEI, was part a 27-member committee that worked with Hess to nominate scholars for inclusion in the rankings.