The federal Troops to Teachers program has helped 11,500 former military workers find careers as educators during the past 15 years, and President Barack Obama has said he hopes the program will draw more men and minorities to the country's classrooms. "Honestly, at first, we thought a military officer dealing with today's fifth-graders and seventh-graders was not going to be very effective," said William Owings, one of the authors of a study that showed an increase in achievement among students taught by the veterans. "We have come to believe that you're looking at life experience ... that has a lot of crossover into good classroom skills."

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