Erica Frankenberg again named among most influential in shaping education

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the third year in a row, Erica Frankenberg, associate professor of education and demography at Penn State, and co-director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights, is on the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings list of the top 200 U.S.-based university scholars who influence education policy and practice.

The list, announced by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., reflects the influence of a scholar's academic scholarship and his or her influence on public debate as reflected in old and new media.

“One small way to encourage academics to step into the fray and revisit academic norms is, I think, by doing more to recognize and value those scholars who engage in public discourse,” explained Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute. “These results offer insight into how scholars in a field of public concern are influencing thinking and the national discourse.”

Frankenberg conducts research primarily related to racial and economic segregation, and teaches classes about politics and policy.

“One of my priorities as a scholar has been to make sure to disseminate my research findings about segregation and inequality in K-12 schools to a variety of different audiences in the hope that the research will help make educational policies and practices more equitable and inclusive for all students,” Frankenberg said. “Therefore, I write for a variety of different types of outlets to make my findings accessible beyond academic audiences and in the last year, have attended several meetings in Washington, D.C., to help further understanding about successful integration policies. This was also a primary motivation in establishing the Center for Education and Civil Rights.”

Most recently, Frankenberg has been quoted in the media on topics including an Alabama town that wants to segregate its schools (here and here); and why the racist history of school vouchers matters today. She also recently reviewed Segregation, Race, and Charter Schools: What Do We Know? for the Think Twice Think Tank Review Project at the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed in the University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Education. The mission of NEPC is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Frankenberg was named as a fellow of NEPC this year for her efforts in that area.

Additionally, the Center for Education and Civil Rights, for which she is a founding co-director, released a report in October 2016 on “Segregation at an Early Age.”

For more information, including the 2017 rankings, click here.

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Last Updated November 05, 2020