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There has been quite a bit of debate over just how bad math and science education in the U.S. really is. If new recommendations from the National Science Foundation (NSF) are any indication, though, things might get at least a little better. The NSF recently announced plans to award a total of $89 million over five years to 13 cities so that they might improve kindergarten to 12th grade teaching in science, mathematics and technology. Individual amounts and cities are listed in the chart at right.

"Math and science education has traditionally been aimed at a small pool of the best and the brightest," says Costello Brown, interim director of the NSF's Division of Educational System Reform. "At a time when the U.S. is having to import workers to meet the nation's requirement for a highly skilled technical workforce, we can no longer afford to overlook the resources we have here. In these awards, we see a much stronger focus than ever before on reaching all children with vigorous math, science and technology education.