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Pianta Leads Nine U.Va. Scholars Listed Among ‘Most Influential’ in Education Policy

Robert Pianta, dean of the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, was again named the 19th-most influential university-based scholar in the 2013 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings, published by Education Week. The rankings name the top 168 university-based scholars contributing to the public debate about education.

Pianta was the only dean listed among the top 30 scholars nationwide.

Frederick Hess, a former Curry professor and current resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, created the rankings based on eight factors: a Google Scholar score; book points; the author’s highest-ranked book on Amazon; the number of times the scholar was quoted or mentioned in education press, blogs, newspapers and the Congressional Record; and finally on their Klout score, the number of times an individual is retweeted, mentioned, followed, listed and answered on Twitter.

The rankings “offer a useful, if imperfect, gauge of the public impact edu-scholars had in 2012, both due to short-term activity and longer-term contributions,” Hess writes on his Education Week blog, Straight Up. “The rubric reflects both a scholar’s body of academic work – encompassing books, articles and the degree to which these are cited – and their 2012 footprint on the public discourse.”

U.Va. had nine faculty members make the prestigious list, including Curry professor Carol Tomlinson, an expert on differentiated instruction, who rose to 20th in this year’s rankings.  Former Curry dean David Breneman, Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education (ranked 54th); professor of education policy Sarah E. Turner (90th); and Michelle Young, professor in the Administration & Supervision program and director of the University Council for Educational Administration (113th), also made the list.

Newcomers to the list this year were James Wyckoff, director of Curry’s Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness (116th), and Daphna Bassok, assistant professor of leadership, foundations and policy (tied for 160th).

U.Va. placed two other faculty members on the list: James Ryan (ranked 93rd), distinguished professor of law and of civil liberties and human rights, who also is a scholar with Curry’s Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness (93rd); and Daniel Willingham, professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences and a scholar affiliated with Curry’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (22nd).

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