43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-8313
Abigail Jurist Levy brings extensive experience in the fields of public K–12 education and adult workforce development. As Co-Director of the Science and Mathematics Programs Unit, she leads a team of researchers, instructional designers, and professional developers in investigating and implementing strategies to improve students' learning outcomes.
Levy is the Principal Investigator (PI) of Science Fairs Under the 'Scope, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study of the impact and cost-effectiveness of science fairs in the U.S. (read a related blog post, "Re-Imagining Science Fairs"). Previously, she was the PI of the three-year NSF–funded study, Elementary Science Specialists and Classroom Generalists: Are There Differences in Science Instruction, Student Achievement, and Cost?, which compared the quantity, quality, and cost of science instruction provided by elementary science specialists to that of classroom generalists.
For eight years, Levy led research associated with the Boston Science Partnership, a study that drew upon district employment data, professional development participation data, and classroom observation and interview data to identify impacts on teacher and student outcomes. She also served as the PI on several studies of teacher turnover, including an Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded study for REL Northeast & Islands at EDC that produced the report Developing the "Compendium of Strategies to Reduce Teacher Turnover in the Northeast and Islands Region.
Levy is the co-author of the report, Researching the Sustainability of Reform: Factors that Contribute to or Inhibit Program Endurance. She publishes her findings in journals such as Phi Delta Kappan ("The Science of Professional Development") and Science Educator ("No Teacher Left Unqualified: How Teachers and Principals Respond to the Highly Qualified Mandate" and "Models of Providing Science Instruction in the Elementary Grades: A Research Agenda to Inform Decision Makers"). In 2010, she co-authored an article in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching ("Inquiry-based Science Instruction--What Is It and Does it Matter?") that received the National Association for Research in Science Teaching's 2011 Outstanding Paper Award. More recently, she coauthored an Education Week Commentary in which she advocated for a phased-in approach to implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.
Before joining EDC, Levy was the Manager of Research and Evaluation for the Corporation for Business, Work, and Learning, where she developed research, planning, and evaluation strategies at the state level for federally funded job training programs. As a private consultant, she has worked with urban and suburban school systems on improving school-community partnerships, involving parents of hard-to-serve youth, and conducting system-wide needs assessments. She has also taught in public school classrooms and worked with state and national workforce development organizations as a policy analyst.
Levy has a BFA in Art Education from Tufts University and the Museum of Fine Arts and an MMHS and PhD in Family and Children Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.