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Yesterday Rick Hess posted his “Edu-Scholar Rankings,” in which he and a committee of advisors tallied up multiple measures (not test scores!) and ranked the university-affiliated scholars who are most influential in the public arena. The rankings are based on the number of mentions on Google Scholar, highest Amazon ranking, education press mentions, book points (how many books one authored or co-authored), web mentions, Klout ranking, newspaper mentions, Congressional Record mentions. He describes the rubric and lists his advisors here. Linda Darling-Hammond and I finished up in the top two slots, in a dead heat. Third was Howard Gardner. Then Gary Orfield, Paul Peterson, Andy Hargreaves, David Berliner, Larry Cuban, Yong Zhao, Gene V. Glass. That’s the top 10. It is interesting that only one of the top 10 (Paul Peterson) is a prominent advocate for test-based accountability and choice.
So, being the critical thinker that I am, I wonder if it is true that the other nine–myself included–are influencing public opinion. We certainly are ignored by policymakers at the U.S. Department of Education. I don’t see any national policies based on the work of Linda, me, Gary Orfield (his passion–desegregation–has been forgotten), Yong Zhao, Howard Gardner, Andy Hargreaves, Gene Glass, David Berliner, or Larry Cuban.
Maybe there is some metric that is missing from Rick Hess’s rating system. Whom does Arne Duncan listen to? Who has the ear of the President and Bill Gates? Those are the men who make national policy. Who influences them?