Five SESP Faculty Named to Edu-Scholar List

Five SESP Faculty Named to Edu-Scholar List

Figlio_spillaneDean David Figlio (l) with James Spillane

Five School of Education and Social Policy scholars were named to Education Week’s “Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings,” which recognize 200 of the most influential academics in education policy.

The annual list includes faculty members Larry Hedges, James Spillane,

Carol Lee, David Figlio, and Kirabo Jackson.

The rankings were created by Education Week blogger Frederick M. Hess, to “nudge academe to do more to encourage and recognize scholarship that impacts the real world.” Hess, the American Enterprise Institute director of education policy, used nine metrics to calculate how well university-based academics move ideas from academic journals into the national conversation.

The list includes the top finishers from the previous year plus ‘at-large’ nominees chosen by a committee. Here’s a full explanation of the scoring process.

Hess concedes the rankings “include only a sliver of the faculty who are tackling education or education policy.” Given that the ratings are a snapshot, the results also favor scholars who published a successful book or a big study over the last year, he said.

School of Education and Social Policy’s 2019 Edu-Scholars:

Larry Hedges, a pioneer in educational statistics and evaluation, received the Yidan Prize in Education Research in 2018, the world’s largest education award. One of eight Board of Trustees Professors at Northwestern, the University’s most distinguished academic position, he holds appointments in statistics, psychology, and education and social policy. Hedges’ research straddles many fields—in particular, those of statistics, sociology, psychology, and educational policy. He is best known for developing statistical methods for meta-analysis (a statistical analysis of the results of multiple studies that combines their findings) in the social, medical, and biological sciences.

David Figlio, dean of the School of Education and Social Policy, is one of the nation’s most influential leaders on education and social policy. Figlio, the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy, is known for his work on education and social policy, including research on school accountability, standards, welfare policy, and policy design. He has been published in numerous leading journals and funded by major agencies and foundations. In 2017, Figlio was elected to the National Academy of Education. He also was named SESP’s 2012 Outstanding Professor of the Year.

James Spillane, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change, researches how policies are implemented at the state, school district, school and classroom levels. An expert in school leadership and educational policy, he has written several books, including Distributed Leadership, Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement and most recently Challenging Standards.

Carol 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, professor of human development and social policy, is a labor economist who studies education and social policy issues. He has analyzed several important aspects of education policy such as the importance of public school funding on student outcomes through adulthood, the effects of college-preparatory programs on students’ college and labor market outcomes, the effects of educational tracking on students’ academic achievement, and the effects of single-sex education on students’ academic performance. The bulk of Jackson’s work, however, has focused on better understanding teacher labor markets. Jackson was named the 17th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 1/28/19