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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

January 15, 2015 at 5:00 AM

Russell and Marshawn are stars, but so are Kenneth and John

John Bransford

John Bransford

Kenneth Zeichner

Kenneth Zeichner

Most of us don’t follow education stars as closely as Seahawks standouts, but the Seattle area has national talent in that arena, too.  Seven Washingtonians, for example, were listed in a ranking of this year’s top 200 education researchers — no small feat, given that there are more than 20,000 of them across the country.

At no. 41, University of Washington Professor Kenneth Zeichner was the highest ranked from this state, followed by John Bransford, a UW professor emeritus, who ranked 59th.

The list was created by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, who set out to measure scholars’ clout in broad, national debates about education, far beyond academia. To calculate the rankings, Hess used eight measures, including how frequently scholars’ books and papers are cited by colleagues, and how many times they are mentioned in general-interest newspapers and the education press. The full methodology can be found here.

Zeichner received  high scores in the academic-work-cited-by-colleagues category, but he’s also written pieces for The Washington Post, including one that challenges the fact that many low-income schools have a significant number of under-prepared teachers.   (He’s also the father of Seattle teacher Noah Zeichner, who has been featured in Education Lab as one of the nominees for a new, $1 million teaching prize.)

Bransford is an influential researcher in the science of learning. His work includes several highly respected books such as “How People Learn.”  If you’re a regular Education Lab reader, his name may ring a bell because he was quoted in a story  last year about an effort to deepen learning in Advanced Placement courses in high schools, for which students can earn college credit.

Also in the top 200 from Washington:

  • Dan Goldhaber, who ranked 76th and runs the Center for Education Data and Research at UW Bothell.  He has been featured in Education Lab several times, including here and here.
  • Jacob Vigdor, ranked 85th, a professor at the UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs.
  • Paul Hill, ranked 101st, a research professor at UW Bothell and former director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, featured in Education Lab here.
  • Robin Lake, ranked 158th,  current director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, who has been mentioned in Education Lab here.
  • Mark C. Long, ranked 183rd, another Evans School professor, mentioned in Education Lab here.

As with any set of rankings, this one has its strengths and weaknesses. But hopefully it will introduce you to some people you’ll want to follow.

What other education stars should we know about? Tell us in the comments below.

Comments | More in News | Topics: Dan Goldhaber, education research, Frederick Hess

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