Is Teacher Turnover Always a Bad Thing?

Not according to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study—based on a teacher evaluation system developed by IMPACT, a nongovernment organization that targets young professionals of color—finds that the departure of any teachers who score poorly on IMPACT is “actually a good thing, because student scores on math and reading tests tend to improve substantially after such teachers depart.”

Acting Education Secretary King: ESSA Is a Mixed Bag

John King, in one of his first public appearances as the Acting Secretary of Education, told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) “gives states and districts that want to push toward equity more flexibility to realize their vision—but there are also potential soft spots that could stall efforts to close the achievement gap.” ESSA provides schools with new tools, but it also presents risks, according to King. There’s an opportunity for states to adopt accountability systems that are equity-advancing, he says, but “there’s also risk those new indicators will be used to distract from core [questions] of whether or not schools are delivering on their responsibility to educate students.”

JPMorgan Chase Launches Major Grant Program to Train Young Workers

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s New Skills for Youth initiative, a $75 million program that will provide grants to states to improve their career and technical education programs, is aimed directly at high-poverty school districts. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says, “It is a crisis that only 60 percent of students in high-poverty urban school districts graduate from high school and that more than 5 million young people are out of work and school. Without the right skills or education, they find themselves stuck in low-skill, low-wage jobs or unemployed.”

Pinball Wizards? Students Learn Stem by Visiting Arcade

Students at P.S. 145 in Brooklyn, NY, went on a field trip earlier this year, but not to an art museum or the New York Public Library. The students journeyed to the Modern Pinball NYC arcade in Manhattan to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) issues. Steve Zahler, one of the arcade’s owners, talked to the students about how the pinball machines depend on electricity and circuitry to run, and Steven Marsh, a former Navy researcher, showed the students how one of the machines works from the inside. Of course, the students had a chance to play some of their favorite games as well.