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Knoxville – A panel of education experts recently advised the United States Congress to sharply increase federal funding for teacher training.

The National Commission on Math and Science Teaching for the 21st Century recommended that billions of dollars be spent hiring and training math and science teachers.

The dean of the University of Tennessee-s college of education said he was pleased with the panel-s findings.

“The thing I like about the report is that it talks not only about immediate improvement, but also how to sustain that improvement once you have reached it,” said Dr. Glennon Rowell.

“I have no doubt that the recommended money, if put to the good uses outlined in the report, would bring about tremendous improvement,” said Rowell.

The commission-s report calls for improving teacher-preparation programs, offering 1,500 new scholarships and 6,000 loans to college students committed to becoming math and science teachers, and identifying math and science professionals who might wish to switch careers and begin teaching.

“The goals are attainable,” Rowell said. “I think the commission has sized up the situation. There-s a lot more interest in teaching now, but we-ve got to channel that interest into programs where we can increase the number of math and science teachers, and improve the quality of their teaching.”

The report is available at www.ed.gov/americacounts/glenn.