TC’s Henry Levin Receives AERA’s Premier Award for Education Research | Teachers College Columbia University

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TC’s Henry Levin Receives AERA’s Premier Award for Education Research

Henry Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education
Henry Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education
Henry M. Levin, TC’s William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics & Education, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award, given by the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The award is described by AERA as “the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research… designed to publicize, motivate, encourage, and suggest models for education research at its best.”

Levin, who is also Stanford University’s David Jacks Professor of Higher Education and Economics Emeritus,  is an internationally known specialist in the economics of education and human resources who has published 20 books and some 300 articles on these and related subjects. During the early 1970s, at the request of a Congressional committee headed by then-Senator Walter Mondale, he conducted the first major analysis of the financial impact on the nation of the failure to graduate from high school.

In 2005, armed with more sophisticated tools and methodologies, Levin, now at Teachers College, repeated that exercise, and – together with colleagues at Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and other institutions – calculated the costs to society, in terms of lost tax revenue and the added burden on the health care, welfare and prison systems, associated with failure to graduate.

Levin has since founded TC’s Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, which he continues to co-direct, and its National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (now directed by Sam Abrams). Through CBCSE, Levin and Clive Belfield, Professor of Economics at Queens College, have repeatedly demonstrated that significant return on investment could be achieved if proven strategies to boost graduation rates were implemented on a broad scale.

In 2015, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, Levin and a CBCSE team developed CostOut, an online tool to help educators, researchers, and policymakers estimate the costs and cost-effectiveness of educational or other social programs.

For all his prowess as an economist, Levin has always kept a foot in the world of practicing educators and students. From 1986-2000, he served as the Director of the Accelerated Schools Project, a national school reform initiative for accelerating the education of at-risk youngsters encompassing about 1,000 schools in 41 states.

In 1992 The New York Times named Levin as one of “nine national leaders in education innovation,” and in 2008, he was featured in the book Those Who Dared: Five Visionaries Who Changed American Education, published by Teachers College Press, along with Theodore Sizer, founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools; TC Trustee James Comer, creator of  the Comer School Development Program; Deborah Meier, considered the founder of the modern small schools movement; and John I. Goodlad, author of In Praise of Education and A Place Called School, and founder of the League of Democratic Schools.

A former Brookings Institution economist, Levin has held Fulbright Professorships in Barcelona and Mexico and is on the Guest Faculty at Peking University and an Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University.  He has been a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Russell Sage Foundation.  He has received honorary doctorates from Monmouth College, Maastricht University (Netherlands), and the National University of San Marcos (Peru).  He taught for the Fall Semester of 2012 as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Peking University.

Levin also has served as the Editor of the Review of Educational Research and the President of the American Evaluation Association, receiving the latter’s Gunnar Myrdal Award.  He is also a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award of the Association for Educational Finance and Policy and an elected member of the National Academy of Education. He has been a member and President of the Palo Alto (CA) School Board and was President (2008-09) of the Comparative and International Education Society, which last year initiated a new annual lecture, named for him, on the African diaspora.

Levin was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Educational Testing Service for 15 years.

Levin’s books include Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: Methods and Applications (Sage Publications, 2001); Privatizing Education (Westview, 2001); Cost-Effectiveness and Educational Policy (Eye on Education, 2002); Readings in the Economics of Higher Education (Elgar, 2003); Privatizing Educational Choice (Paradigm Publishers, 2005); The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Costs of Inadequate Education (Brookings, 2007); and Between Public and Private (Harvard Education Press, 2010).

Published Monday, Apr 24, 2017