Jacob and Dynarski ranked among top U.S. education policy influencers

January 11, 2021

Education Week released their 11th annual RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings—the top 200 university-based scholars who shape education practice and policy. Ford School professors Brian Jacob and Susan M. Dynarski were two of the four University of Michigan scholars recognized. 

Both are professors of education, economics, and public policy, and hold leadership roles at the Ford School's research centers. Jacob is the co-director of the Youth Policy Lab and the Education Policy Initiative. Dynarski is the co-director of the Education Policy Initiative. 

Each scholar was scored in nine categories:

  • Google Scholar Score: This figure gauges the number of widely cited articles, books, or papers a scholar has authored. 
  • Book Points: A search on Amazon tallied the number of books a scholar has authored, co-authored, or edited. 
  • Highest Amazon Ranking: This reflects the scholar’s highest-ranked book on Amazon. 
  • Syllabus Points: This seeks to measure a scholar’s long-term academic impact on what is being read by today’s college and university students. This metric was scored using OpenSyllabusProject.org, the most comprehensive extant database of syllabi. Newspaper Mentions: A LexisNexis search was used to determine the number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in U.S. newspapers
  • Education Press Mentions: This measures the total number of times the scholar was quoted or mentioned in Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, or Inside Higher Education during 2020. 
  • Web Mentions: This reflects the number of times a scholar was referenced, quoted, or otherwise mentioned online in 2020. The intent is to use a “wisdom of crowds” metric to gauge a scholar’s influence on the public discourse. The search was conducted using Google. 
  • Congressional Record Mentions: A name search in the Congressional Record for 2020 determined whether a scholar was referenced by a member of Congress. 
  • Twitter Score: Followerwonk’s “Social Authority” score was used to calculate Twitter scores. Followerwonk scores each Twitter account on a scale of 0-100 based on the user’s retweet rate and other user-specific variables (such as follower count). 

Learn more about the 28 member selection committee and the methodology used to generate the rankings. 

Four University of Michigan scholars are named: Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Nell Duke, Susan Dynarski, and Brian Jacob.

Part of this article was drawn from the U-M School of Education news.