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Associate Professor Anna Egalite Ranked Among Education Week’s Top 200 Scholars Who had the Biggest Influence on Educational Practice and Policy in 2020

NC State College of Education Assistant Professor Anna Egalite speaks with students
Assistant Professor Anna Egalite, Ph.D. (left) speaks with NC State College of Education students.

NC State College of Education Associate Professor Anna Egalite, Ph.D., has been ranked by Education Week’s 2021 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings as one of the Top 200 education scholars who had the biggest influence on educational practice and policy in 2020.

This is the second year Egalite has been selected from a pool of more than 20,000 qualified scholars to be ranked among the Top 200, and she is one of only two faculty members from the University of North Carolina System to be ranked.

“It’s very exciting to once again be ranked,” Egalite said. “What I think is so valuable about the Edu-Scholar rankings is the diversity of outcomes they score to produce the list of the Top 200. They put weight on criteria that are sometimes overlooked in academia, but can signal real-world policy impact. These include newspaper mentions, web mentions and Congressional record mentions.”

Throughout 2020, Egalite worked with colleagues from Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to author a Wallace Foundation report entitled “How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systemic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research.”

The report, which is expected to be released in February, examines principals in the United States, their characteristics and how those characteristics have changed over the past two decades; how much principals contribute to student achievement and other school outcomes; and how principals matter and what the skills and behaviors of effective leaders look like. President-Elect Joe Biden’s education transition team recently requested a memo summarizing the report’s findings, Egalite said.

In addition to that work, Egalite in 2020 authored a report for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution examining the charter school landscape, co-authored a paper about parents’ experiences with the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship program and authored a working paper about the competitive effects of the largest school voucher program in the United States.

These accomplishments came as she also co-chaired the planning committee for an international conference, served on editorial boards for two academic journals and took time off during the Fall 2020 semester to welcome her second child, “which was the most exciting project of 2020,” she said.

As 2021 gets underway, Egalite said that she will be working on a study conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the College of Education’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and the University of Arkansas. The project evaluates the effects of the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship program on students who are left behind in traditional public schools, looking at long-term changes in academic and behavioral outcomes, including absenteeism and graduation rates.

Egalite will present early results of the analysis at the International School Choice and Reform Conference this month and at the annual meeting of the Association for Education Finance and Policy this spring.