Buckeyes Step Up

In general, the trees and their nuts are of little practical use: the wood does not burn well, the bark has an unpleasant odor, and the bitter nut meat is mildly toxic.

Ah, the buckeye tree. Closely akin to a kid's bad day in school: no practical value, the lesson does not go well, the room has an unpleasant odor, and the school lunch is mildly toxic.

So why did the Ohio choose the buckeye as its state tree (let alone OSU mascot)?

Still, the tree has grit. It grows where others cannot, is difficult to kill, and adapts to its circumstances.

Okay then.

Ohio has 51 Ed Schools that train about 8,000 teachers per year. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

On Wednesday, the state became the first in the country to set standards for annual performance reports assessing the training provided by every program and whether its graduates are thriving or struggling in the classroom.

Schools of education will be graded based on factors including how well graduates perform on state licensure exams, how those graduates perform as teachers and how well their students do.

Some positive quotes from Ed School folks.

"These are standards that we believe ensures quality," Renee Middleton, dean of the college of education at Ohio University and chairman of the State University Education Deans, said in Wednesday's conference call. "This holds us accountable to the public and is a process for continuous improvement."

The private colleges believe all teacher education programs in the state should be held accountable to the same measurements, said Mifrando Obach, associate professor in the Department of Undergraduate Education at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati and president of the private college organization.

A local NBC affiliate has the story here (90 seconds), with kudos from Amy McClure, chair of the education department at Ohio Wesleyan University.

A step in the right direction.