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Eight faculty at Penn’s Graduate School of Education were recognized in the 2023 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings by Education Week. Credit: Naati Hamda

Eight Penn faculty have been recognized for shaping public discussion around education in the 2023 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings by Education Week

The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which were published this month, is an annual list that ranks researchers who greatly shaped educational practice and policy. The list featured eight Penn professors among 200 total scholars. All eight Penn professors featured on this year's list were also previously recognized in 2022. 

Angela Duckworth, professor of psychology with a secondary appointment at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and best-selling author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” was ranked second on the list.

The other seven Penn GSE professors who were recognized for their notable work in education include Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in Education Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor of Education and Sociology Richard Ingersoll, Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education Howard Stevenson, GSE Dean Pam Grossman, Vice Provost for Faculty Laura Perna, Richard Perry University Professor of Sociology and Education Roberto Gonzales, and William T. Carter Professor of Child Development and Education Vivian Gadsden

The professors expressed that the rankings help them remember the impact of their work in the field of education.

“For me, the rankings are a reminder of how important it is for faculty to work to connect the results of our scholarship with education policymakers and leaders," Perna wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian. "High-quality, accessible education is vital to the well-being of individual people and our nation.”

With over 20,000 qualifying university-based scholars, Penn had two scholars in the top 20 of the Edu-Scholars Public Influence Rankings list, placing third behind Stanford University and Harvard University. 

The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings list was created by Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Hess uses various metrics such as web mentions, Google Scholar h-index, and Twitter readership to determine researchers who have greatly contributed to education-related discourse in the past year. 

“As scholars, we're socialized to write for other specialists in our fields. But that too often makes us incomprehensible--and, alas, irrelevant--to anyone who is not a scholar," Zimmerman wrote to the DP. "I'm grateful to Rick Hess for generating this list, and I hope it encourages the next generation of researchers to cultivate public audiences for their work."

In 2022, Penn GSE was ranked as the Best Education School by U.S. News & World Report, marking the seventh consecutive year that the school placed within the top five schools on the list.

“The fact that eight of the 200 recognized scholars are from Penn is a strong signal of the commitment and effectiveness of Penn faculty in producing high-quality, policy-relevant research that can inform education policy and practice,” Perna wrote to the DP.

According to Stevenson, whose work focuses on the effects of racial stress and trauma, education-related research has widespread implications.

“Schools are a microcosm of how society is doing in terms of health, ethics, and justice. Education is foundational to how we prepare the next generation, so its quality is very important,” Stevenson said.