When the federal government dangles money before schools, she said, it can sometimes muddy the underlying goal.

Donna L. Wiseman, dean of the College of Education at the University of Maryland, said the most important question might be how the federal government intends to measure the quality of new teachers.

Despite frequent criticism of teacher preparation programs, she said, most schools of education believe there should be accountability.

"I know the teachers we turn out are good. I am not worried," Wiseman said. "We want all kids to have good teachers. We are struggling to do that."

Raymond Lorion, dean of the College of Education at Towson University, hopes that more money will flow into clinical training for teachers — particularly those who will go into challenging schools where they are likely to feel unsupported.

He said he would like to see renewed efforts to provide scholarships for college students who commit to teach after graduation.

Towson University, he said, is developing programs with Baltimore County schools that he believes will provide more meaningful training over a greater number of years.

Lorion, like Wiseman, sees a need for change in how teachers are trained. He says two out of five teachers leave the profession in the first four years.

"That," he said, "is an incredibly inefficient way to train professionals."

Reuters and Baltimore Sun reporter John Fritze contributed to this article.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

erica.green@baltsun.com