Lynda Mc Innes
At Levine, raising the level of student success is always uppermost on our minds.
Over 200 studies have shown that the most significant factor in improving student learning is a knowledgeable and skillful teacher. Teacher expertise accounts for more difference in student performance-40 percent-than any other factor. Ron Ferguson of Harvard's large-scale study found that every additional dollar spent on raising teacher quality, netted greater student achievement gains than did any other use of school resources.
We know that it's the teacher! It's not programs, fads, or ideologies. Good instruction is 15 to 20 times more powerful than family background and income, race, gender, and other explanatory variables.
To improve student learning, we know that we have to improve the instructional practices of the teachers. We have to have a clear idea of what kind of instructional practice we want to produce, and then design a structure to go with it. We have begun this quest for teacher excellence with exciting instructional changes at Levine.
Our teachers are life-long learners. They are a highly motivated, mutually supportive and collaborative professional learning community. They are intrinsically motivated to improve their craft in order to provide the best learning for all of their students.
While public school teachers are required to complete 30 professional development hours per year to maintain their certification, and many private schools have no requirement at all, our general studies teachers at Levine completed 1,855 professional development hours in the past school year. This is an average of 71 hours per teacher. It is incredible to see how this training transfers into the classroom, and to watch the improvement in methodology and pedagogical approaches that our teachers are implementing.
I applaud our faculty on this incredible achievement. It is this dedication and level of professionalism that makes Levine such an outstanding place of learning.
Lynda Mc Innes
Dean of Instruction
Ann & Nate Levine Academy