Jim Spillane, David Figlio, Carol Lee, Kirabo Jackson Named to Edu-Scholar Top 200

Jim Spillane, David Figlio, Carol Lee, Kirabo Jackson Named to Edu-Scholar Top 200

James Spillane

Four School of Education and Social Policy professors at Northwestern — James Spillane, David Figlio, Carol Lee and Kirabo Jackson — were named to the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings for 2016. Frederick Hess, the American Enterprise Institute director of education and an Education Week blogger, developed this ranking to highlight the 200 scholars with the biggest influence on public discussion of education in the past year.

Among all scholars in the nation, Spillane ranked 55, Figlio ranked 62, Carol Lee ranked 147 and Jackson ranked 190.

“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,” says Hess. “As I see it, the extraordinary policy scholar excels in five areas: disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding collaborations, providing incisive media commentary, and speaking in the public square.”

David Figlio

Hess calculates how much academics contribute to the public discourse by using the following metrics: Google Scholar citations, books authored, Amazon book rankings, education press mentions, blog mentions, newspaper mentions, Congressional Record mentions and Twitter activity.

Spillane, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change, researches 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, Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement and most recently Challenging Standards.

Carol Lee

Figlio, the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy is the director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern. 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.

Lee is the Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy and a former president of the American Education Research Association. Her books include Culture, Literacy and Learning and Signifying as a Scaffold for Literary Interpretation. Several major awards have recognized her contributions to education. Lee is widely known for her research that shows the importance of drawing on students’ cultural knowledge to support rigorous learning, and she is the co-founder of four African-centered schools with a 40-year history.

Kirabo Jackson

A labor economist, Jackson studies education and social policy issues. His recent work analyzes the role of peer learning in teacher effectiveness and how student demographics directly affect the distribution of teacher quality across schools. He is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and associate professor in the Human Development and Social Policy program at Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy.

Photos (from top): SESP professors James Spillane, David Figlio, Carol Less and Kirabo Jackson.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 4/22/21