With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jumping the shark?

The phrase "jump the shark" refers to the climactic scene in Happy Days in September 1977. In this story, the central characters visit Los Angeles, where Fonzie (Henry Winkler), wearing swimming trunks and his leather jacket, jumps over a confined shark on water skis, [Winkler--not the shark. m.k.] answering a challenge to demonstrate his bravery. --Wikipedia
Russo tweets that I jumped over the shark when I compared Michelle Rhee with Sarah Palin. Did I really do that? Shucks, I guess I did--sorta when I wrote:
Like Sarah Palin, who bailed mid-term from her job as Alaska's governor, everything should be coming up green for Rhee, provided she is handled right and her name kept in the public eye.
Of course, I don't deserve all the credit. Dozens of bloggers and columnists have been comparing the duo. But still, Russo may be right. Maybe I did jump the shark. Maybe there is no comparing Palin with Rhee. After all, Rhee is shorter than Palin. Plus, Palin kills moose and other living things with a rifle and sniper scope, from helicopters. Rhee only kills teaching, learning and democracy. 

More from Russo

On his TWIE blog, Russo has this quote (without comment) from union basher, Eric Hanushek:
"This is not a war on teachers en masse. It is recognition of what every parent knows: Some teachers are exceptional, but a small number are dreadful."
Now some of you might respond to this statement with a "duh" or "doh" or something like that. But I for one, am really taken with the notion that only "some teachers are exceptional." Doesn't this affirm the Race-To-The-Top theory of what's wrong with public education?

Some day, I hope, visionaries like Rhee, Bill Gates and Arne Duncan will surely see to it that ALL teachers are exceptional. That will really jump the shark.


  1. Teaching is certainly an extra-ordinary field. But if we're talking about the population of teachers, isn't it impossible for them all to be the exception to the rule? Or is the profession like Lake Woebegon, where *all* the children are above average?

  2. Mike,
    Maybe you should explain to readers like anonymous as well as to Hanushek and Russo, what "exceptional" means.


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