News of the WeekScience Education

Ideology Rules Debate Over Teacher Training

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Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1447
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1447

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A program to improve math and science teacher training in elementary and secondary schools may fall victim to an ideological battle over federal involvement in education. Republicans are attempting to broaden the scope of the federal Eisenhower Professional Development program, part of a larger set of federal programs whose authorizing language expires in September, because they say local officials are in a better position than the federal government to set spending priorities. But proponents of the program, including many Democrats, worry that if local and state officials call the shots, math and science may take a backseat to everything from reading to renovating old buildings.