David Figlio, Jim Spillane, Carol Lee Ranked among Most Influential Education Policy Scholars

David Figlio, Jim Spillane, Carol Lee Ranked among Most Influential Education Policy Scholars

David Figlio

Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy professors David Figlio, James Spillane and Carol Lee were named to the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings for 2015. American Enterprise Institute director Frederick Hess developed these rankings to recognize the 200 university-based scholars who shape public discussions of education.

Among all scholars in the nation, David Figlio ranked number 66, James Spillane ranked 68 and Carol Lee ranked number 127, according to Hess's calculation of public influence.

The rankings reflect both academic work and public presence during the past year. Using eight metrics, Hess calculated how much university-based academics moved ideas from academic journals into the national conversation.

"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," explained Hess. "These results offer insight into how scholars in a field of public concern are influencing thinking and the national discourse."

Figlio is the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy, the director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

James Spillane

His research on education and social policy, including influential work on school accountability, standards, welfare policy and policy design, has been published in numerous leading journals and funded by major agencies and foundations.

Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change and the chair of the Human Development and Social Policy doctoral program at the School of Education and Social Policy. He is also a professor of Learning Sciences and a faculty associate at the Institute for Policy Research.

Spillane’s work explores the policy implementation process at the state, school district, school and classroom levels. An expert in school leadership and educational policy, he is the author of several books, including Distributed Leadership and Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement.

Carol Lee

Lee is the Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern. She is a former president of the American Education Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education, a fellow of the National Conference of Research on Language and Literacy, and a former fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.

She is also the author of two books, Culture, Literacy and Learning and Signifying as a Scaffold for Literary Interpretation. Several major awards have recognized her contributions to education.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 1/8/15