How to Change 5000 Schools

How to Change 5000 Schools A Practical and Positive Approach for Leading Change at Every Level

Ben Levin
paper, 266 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-08-2
Price: $30.00

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In How to Change 5000 Schools, Ben Levin, former deputy minister of education for the province of Ontario, draws on his experience overseeing major systemwide education reforms in Canada and England to set forth a refreshingly positive, pragmatic, and optimistic approach to leading educational change at all levels.


This book provides a powerfully optimistic view of what can happen when policy makers, system leaders, and educators operate around common point of view about student learning and school improvement. This is important guidance for the next generation of school reform in the U.S. Every U.S. educator should read it. — Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education

How to Change 5000 Schools is a powerful, practical, realistic, deeply interesting account of the key ideas and strategies for raising the bar and closing the gap for all students in public school systems. Politicians and education reformers of all stripes will devour the ideas in this immensely rich and positive book. — Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto

Ben Levin draws on his considerable experience as a researcher and policymaker to outline a comprehensive theory of action for school reform. The scope of the book is quite breathtaking, the analysis is authoritative and its insight encourages one both to reflect and act. Written with passion, wisdom, and humanity, Levin’s book will be essential reading for this and the next generation of educational change workers. — David Hopkins, HSBC iNet Chair of International Leadership, Institute of Education, University of London

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About the Author

Ben Levin is Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.

Levin’s career has been in academia and in government. His career in education extends over many years, starting with his efforts while in high school to organize a city-wide high school students’ union and his election as a school trustee in Winnipeg at the age of 19. Since then he has worked with private research organizations, school divisions, provincial governments, and national and international agencies while also building an academic and research career in education.

Levin has held leadership positions in a wide variety of organizations in the public and nonprofit sectors. From late 2004 until early 2007 he was Deputy Minister of Education for the Province of Ontario. From 1999 through 2002 he was Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Deputy Minister of Education, Training and Youth for Manitoba. He is widely known for his work in educational reform, educational change, and educational policy and politics. His work has been international in scope, including projects in a dozen countries and with several international agencies.

Table of Contents (PDF)

Introduction (PDF)

Professionalism, Partnerships, and Positive Public Discourse

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