Glenn Commission Launched

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Science  30 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5428, pp. 661
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5428.661b

It's another commission to study math and science education, but this one's focused just on teachers. Headed by retired astronaut-senator John Glenn, the effort was announced last week by Education Secretary Richard Riley. The high-profile panel, called the National Commission on Math and Science Teaching in the 21st Century, includes Intel CEO Craig Barrett, former National Science Foundation head Walter Massey, former Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). They have until September 2000 to figure out what kind of training science and math teachers should have.

Commission member Deborah Loewenberg Ball, a professor of education at the University of Michigan, says she hopes the group will be able to get the message across that “simple recipes like making everyone major” in science or math won't work. A physics major won't help you explain photosynthesis, she says, and “almost none” of what you learn as a math major “has anything to do with the K-12 curriculum.”

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