MSUToday
Published: Jan. 6, 2016

MSU education scholars named top influencers

Contact(s): Nicole Geary Education office: (517) 355-1826 ngeary@msu.edu, Andy Henion Media Communications office: (517) 355-3294 cell: (517) 281-6949 Andy.Henion@cabs.msu.edu

Several Michigan State University faculty members were named today on a national list of scholars recognized for having the greatest influence on public debates about education.

The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings are published each year by Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute in his Education Week blog, Rick Hess Straight Up.

This year’s ranking of the top 200 education scholars includes:

  • University Distinguished Professor William Schmidt at #31, a jump from #69 last year. Schmidt directs the Center for the Study of Curriculum and co-directs the Education Policy Center at MSU. His work focuses on the impact of curriculum and standards, particularly in math.
  • Donald Heller, who stepped down as dean of the College of Education Dec. 31 to become provost at the University of San Francisco, at #82.
  • Hannah Distinguished Professor Barbara Schneider at #112. A faculty member in the College of Education and the Department of Sociology, Schneider studies how the social contexts of schools and families influence adolescents. Her current work focuses on improving college-going and engagement in learning science.
  • Sarah Reckhow, assistant professor of political science, at #173. Reckhow has studied how policy reforms affect urban schools, including the effects of large-scale philanthropy in this area.

The rankings reflect both a scholar’s body of academic work and their footprint on the public discourse in the past year. Hess has said great public scholars should excel in five areas: disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding collaborations, providing incisive commentary, and speaking in the public square.

A number of former MSU College of Education faculty members also are on the Public Presence list including Yong Zhao, Richard Elmore, Deborah Ball, David Cohen, Andrew Porter, Nell Duke, Ron Zimmer and David Labaree. Okhee Lee, an alumna of MSU, is also on the list.