Abigail Jurist Levy



Abigail Jurist Levy, PhD, is the co-director of EDC's STEM portfolio and a science researcher whose work seeks to understand the conditions, policies, and programs that enable STEM teachers to do their best work preparing all students for continued STEM learning and careers.

Levy’s work often focuses on the costs and cost-effectiveness of programs and policies relating to science teaching, and she has contributed to the knowledge base about teacher turnover and its cost, the professional development of science teachers, and the impact of an inquiry-based approach to science teaching. During her tenure at EDC, Levy has studied science fair participation and impact, the cost and cost-effectiveness of different models of elementary science instruction, and how teachers adapt to large-scale curriculum reform. She is a widely published author and has managed several multi-year research and evaluation studies funded by the National Science Foundation.

Levy holds a PhD in family and children policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.

“School-level cost of turnover is particularly relevant given the layoffs and staffing adjustments that districts are making in response to dwindling resources. If superintendents account only for the savings their district realizes when reducing their workforce, they miss the very real costs to schools.”

Speaking Highlights

When Low-SES Students Perform Better-Than-Expected on a Standardized Test: The Role of Teacher Professional Development

Paper co-presentation, American Educational Research Association
Chicago, IL

Elementary Science Specialists and Classroom Teachers: Quality, Quantity, and Cost of Science Teaching

Presentation, Boston Public Schools Administration
Boston, MA

Estimating Teacher Turnover Costs: A Model, Methodology, and Reflection

Paper co-presentation, Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference
Boston, MA



Science Fairs Aren’t So Fair
The Atlantic, March 21, 2015

Blog Posts

Re-Imagining Science Fairs
EDC, December 1, 2014


Selected Publications

Levy, A. J., Jia, Y., Marco-Bujosa, L., Gess-Newsome, J., & Pasquale, M. (in press).  Science specialists or classroom teachers: Who should teach elementary science? Science Educator.

Kastens, K., & Levy, A. J. (2014, April 14). Commentary: For science standards, Begin at the beginning. Education Week.

Levy, A. J., Joy, L., Ellis, P., Karelitz, T. M., & Jablonski, E. (2012). Estimating teacher turnover costs: A model, methodology and reflection. Journal of Education Finance, 38(2), 102–109.

Fields, E., Levy, A. J., Karelitz, T. M., Martinez-Gudapakkam, A., & Jablonski, E. (2011). Professional development in science: If you offer it, will they come; And if they come, will it matter? Phi Delta Kappan, 93(8), 44–46.

Karelitz, T. M., Fields, E., Levy, A. J., Martinez-Gudapakkam, A., & Jablonski, E. (2011) No teacher left unqualified: How teachers and principals respond to the highly qualified mandate. Science Educator, 20(1), 1–11.

Selected Resources


This is the executive summary of a report that describes the proceedings from the first State-Federal STEM Summit, held June 2018 in Washington, D.C.


This report describes the proceedings from the first State-Federal STEM Summit, held June 2018 in Washington, D.C.

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