Benjamin Levin (academic)

Benjamin Levin (born 1952)[1] is a former Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. He served for three years in the Ontario provincial government as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education, after having held a similar post in Manitoba.[3] He is also a former advisor to then-Premier Kathleen Wynne.[4] Levin is a convicted child pornographer and registered sex offender in Canada. On March 3, 2015, Levin pleaded guilty to three charges relating to making and distributing child pornography. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.[5]

Benjamin Levin
Born1952 (age 67–68)[1]
EducationB.A., University of Manitoba; Ed.M., Graduate School of Education, Harvard University; Ph.D., Department of Educational Administration,
OccupationCivil servant
Criminal charge(s)Making and distributing child pornography, counselling to commit an indictable offence, arrangement to commit a sexual offence against a child under the age of 16
Criminal penalty3 years' incarceration[2]

Early lifeEdit

Levin was born in 1952 into a Jewish family in West Kildonan, a suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba.[6] He was the second of four brothers.


Levin holds a B.A. from the University of Manitoba, an Ed.M. from Harvard University [7] as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa.

As a civil servant, he first served for the Province of Manitoba as Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and as Deputy Minister of Education, Training and Youth from 1999 through 2002. He then served as the Deputy Minister for Education for the Province of Ontario for three years from 2004 to 2007 and again from 2008 to 2009 under a by the Liberal party led government.

As an academic, Levin has published eight books, including "Making a Difference in Urban Schools" (with Jane Gaskell, University of Toronto Press), "More High School Graduates" (Corwin Press) and "Breaking Barriers"[8] (with Avis Glaze and Ruth Mattingley, Pearson Canada) and more than 200 other articles on education, conducted many research studies, and has spoken and consulted on education issues around the world, including serving on the governing council of the National College for School Leadership in England.[9]

Levin was academic director for Ontario's new Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research (KNAER), funded by the Ministry of Education to improve the sharing of research findings and their use in policy and practice. The government of Ontario suspended him upon his arrest on child-pornography charges in July 2013.[10]

Levin headed the "Research Supporting Practice in Education" (RSPE),[11] a program of research and related activities aimed at learning more about building strong linkages between research, policy and practice, referred to as Knowledge Mobilization (KM). RSPE is headquartered at OISE/University of Toronto and supported with core funds from the Canada Research Chairs program. Levin was the principal investigator working with academic colleagues and graduate students.

Child pornography and counselling to commit a child sexual assault convictionsEdit

On July 8, 2013, Levin was arrested by the Toronto Police Service sex-crimes unit and charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including charges of possessing and accessing child pornography. He had been a suspect of the Police Service since mid-2012.[12] He was released on $100,000 bail.[13]

According to a letter sent by Levin to his former colleagues he would "be pleading guilty on March 3 [2015] to three of the seven charges, namely one count of possession of child pornography, one count of making written child pornography, and one count of counselling a sexual assault."[14] As well, the judge noted that though Levin didn't plead guilty to this offence, he unquestionably also distributed child pornography, including sending various images to the undercover officers who were investigating him. On May 29, 2015, he was sentenced to three years in prison. He only spent 3 months of his sentence in jail before being paroled. [5]


Levin was listed in the "Who's Who of Canada"[15] and was ranked the fifth-most influential knowledge mobilization (KM) leader in Canada.[16] In 2003, Levin was awarded the Canadian Education Association's Whitworth Award for contributions to Education Research.[17][18] The following year he received the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba's Medal for Service to Public Administration[19] In 2010, he was named Outstanding Educator of the Year, by Phi Delta Kappa's Toronto chapter[20] and in 2012 he was awarded one of four Max Bell Foundation National Awards in Canada for Innovation Ideas.[21]

Publications and mediaEdit

  • 2012 – More high school graduates: How Schools Can Save Students from Dropping Out. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
  • 2012 – (with Jane Gaskell) Making a difference in urban schools. Toronto: University of Toronto Press[22]
  • 2012 – (with Avis Glaze and Ruth Mattingley). Breaking barriers: Excellence and equity in education. Toronto: Pearson and Ontario Principals Council[8]
  • 2012 – System-Wide Improvement in Education, commissioned by UNESCO (policy series)[23]
  • 2008 – How To Change 5000 Schools, by Harvard Education Press. It outlines the educational, managerial and political requirements for creating positive and lasting improvement in whole systems of schools and has been cited widely internationally.[24][25]
  • 2003 – Approaches to Equity in Policy for Lifelong Learning, Commissioned by the OECD[26]


  1. ^ a b "University of Toronto professor Benjamin Levin to plead guilty to some child-exploitation charges". Toronto Star. January 16, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "Benjamin Levin, ex deputy education minister, sentenced to 3 years in prison for child porn-related offences". CBC News May 29, 2015
  3. ^ "Province Receives Levin Report". Department of Education, Ontario, 5 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Former Wynne adviser, U of T prof Benjamin Levin facing child porn charges". Toronto Sun. February 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Benjamin Levin sentenced to 3 years in prison on child porn charges". Toronto Star. May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  6. ^ Toronto Life. "The Double Life of Ben Levin: His depraved online world, and the sting that brought him down". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. ^ "U of T prof faces five charges in child porn investigation". Global News. July 8, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity in Education, 2012".
  9. ^ "Levin, Benjamin" - text of presentation of honorary degree Archived 2018-09-01 at the Wayback Machine. University of Ottawa
  10. ^ "Newsroom : Statement by Minister Sandals Regarding Dr. Ben Levin". 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  11. ^ "Research Supporting Practice in Education (RSPE)". Archived from the original on 2013-02-28.
  12. ^ Kauri, Vidya; Morrow, Adrian (July 8, 2013). "Toronto Professor Facing Child Pornography Charges was Target of Probes in Ontario, New Zealand". Globe and Mail.
  13. ^ Pagliaro, Jennifer (10 July 2013). "Benjamin Levin Granted $100,000 Bail, Charged with Two More Child Porn Offences". Toronto Star.
  14. ^ "Ex-deputy education minister looks for help before guilty plea". February 18, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  15. ^ "Benjamin Levin". Who's Who of Canada.
  16. ^ "Knowledge Mobilization 100 – 2012 Edition". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Lieutenant Governor's Gold Medal for Excellence in Public Administration - Past recipients". Institute of Public Administration Canada.
  20. ^ "Toronto professor facing child pornography charges was target of probes in Ontario, New Zealand". Globe and Mail. July 8, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  21. ^ "Message from the Chair and President". Archived 2015-09-14 at the Wayback Machine Annual Report 2012, Max Bell Foundation.
  22. ^ Bennett, Paul W. "Urban school reform: Levin’s latest offering". The Chronicle Herald, 13 January 2013.
  23. ^ "System Wide Improvement in Education, UNESCO Education Policy Series 13, 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  24. ^ Rees, Ruth. "Review: Levin, Ben. (2008) How to Change 5000 Schools." Education Review, 17 July 2009.
  25. ^ Eisele-Dyrli, Kurt. "Recent Must-Reads" Archived 2014-05-22 at the Wayback Machine. District Administrator June 2009.
  26. ^ "Approaches to Equity in Policy for Lifelong Learning, 2003" (PDF).