Skip to content

For the eleventh year in a row, Sanford School of Public Policy Professors Helen Ladd and Charles Clotfelter were included in the list of most influential scholars in education on rankings released Jan. 4 by Education Week.

Helen Ladd photo
Helen "Sunny" Ladd

The 2024 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings recognize the public influence of U.S. education scholars based on a combination of their academic work and contributions to the public discussion in 2023.

The RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings employ eight publicly available metrics: Google Scholar Score, published books, book rankings on Amazon, syllabus points via, mentions in newspapers, websites, prominent education media and in the Congressional Record.

Both Clotfelter and Ladd are members of the National Academy of Education. One of their many joint publications, “School Segregation at the Classroom Level in a Southern ‘New Destination’ State,” recently appeared in Race and Social Problems in 2021 and has continued to be cited throughout 2023. 

Ranked at No. 88 nationwide, Ladd is the Susan B. King professor emerita of public policy and economics. She uses the tools of economics to study how policies reflect societal values and the public interest. Her education research focuses on school finance and accountability, teacher labor markets, school choice and early childhood programs. Many of her recent publications pertain to charter schools and she is regularly consulted as the foremost expert in the economics of school voucher programs. 

Ladd is the co-author or co-editor of 12 books, including Holding Schools Accountable: Performance-Based Reform in EducationThe Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy and books on school reform in New Zealand and South Africa. She is featured in the edited book Eminent Economists II: Their Life and Work Philosophies. Ladd’s most recent co-authored book is Educational Goods: Values, Evidence and Decision Making.

Charles Clotfelter
Charles Clotfelter

Clotfelter, who appears at No. 116 on the list, is the Z. Smith Reynolds distinguished emeritus professor of public policy, and professor of economics and law. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He studies the economics of education, the nonprofit sector and public finance. His most recent books are Unequal Colleges in the Age of Disparity and the second edition of Big-Time Sports in American Universities.

The list was first published in 2010. Ladd was first listed in 2013 and Clotfelter in 2014 and both have been in the top 116 of the 200 entry list ever since.