Panel Recommends Tenfold Increase For Math, Science Training Programs
Ageneration after the space race spurred concerns over math and science education, teachers in those fields are barely ahead of their students and 10 times more money should be spent to train them, according to a panel headed by John Glenn.
The panel — led by the former senator who as an astronaut was the first American to orbit the Earth — maintains that more than 25 percent of high school teachers of math and science lack even a college minor in those areas.
The panel has proposed a $5 billion budget for making sure teachers earn majors or minors in math and science, teach those courses instead of others, and get incentives to stay in their jobs. The report stopped short of calling for a pay increase — an issue many educators say keeps schools from luring top teachers from more lucrative technology jobs.
The commission’s plan calls for much more than the roughly $500 million in federal teacher training grants, recommending for two federal dollars to match every dollar spent at the state and local level.
“It’s costly,” acknowledges Glenn, an Ohio native who made history in 1962 on his orbital flight and again 36 years later as the oldest person in space.
But, he adds, “It’s far, far more costly if we do nothing.
“Our kids aren’t going to be competitive,” he says. “We’ll see the good jobs in the world go to other countries.”
The National Commission on Math and Science Teaching in the 21st Century, also known as the Glenn Commission, includes more than two dozen teachers, school superintendents, governors, members of Congress and industry executives.
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