Shark Week

This week begins Shark Week on the Discovery Channel- a true sign that summer is drawing to a close and that August is upon us. While we all look forward to another great school year, some of us still cling to the passing of summer such as with our memories of spending time at the shore. During August, as a former surfer, years ago, I still remember paddling out beyond Ocean City’s sandbar at 59th street beach to catch the biggest waves a few hundred yards away from land.

I often sat on my surfboard, with my feet dangling, wondering what was lurking in the ocean depths beneath me. This was back in 1975 right after the movie, “Jaws” came out.

Back then, I knew about Tiger Sharks, Hammer Heads, and Sand Sharks- but Great Whites? No body, at that time, even believed such ferocious predators even existed. Today, though, in recent news, it was reported that there are approximately 2,000 Great White sharks calculated to be migrating off the Eastern Coast. Wow. Where did all these state mandated reforms, I mean, sharks come from?

As educators, in a way our feet are also dangling in the murky waters over our educational surfboards, wondering what is forming beneath us in the ocean depths below. In education, we are seeing new types of educational species arising up, in a way, with their teeth agape from the bottom of these ocean depths, creating shock and disbelief just as with the sightings by Hooper, the Chief, and the Captain when they first came across that large Great White Shark in Jaws.

Now, it’s educators who are crying out, We need a bigger boat as numerous additional student assessments break through the educational surface, making waves, and in some cases, Tidal Waves with the mandatory implementations of intense teacher and administrator evaluation systems, curricular standard assessments in each grade level, and yes, the counter part to the Great White Shark, The Common Core. Awh! But be calm. Do not charge out of the ocean stampeding over each other. We do not want to create a panic as the whistles blow. The beaches are safe. After all, what can these new educational reforms do to education?


The torso has been severed in mid-thorax. There are no major organs remaining…The right arm has been severed above the elbow with massive tissue loss in the upper musculature…Partially denuded bone remaining. This was no boat accident. [To Brody] Did you notify the Coast Guard about this?…The left arm, head to shoulders, sternum and portions of the rib cage are intact…[He holds up the bluish, severed left arm/hand, with rings still on fingers, of the shark attack victim.] This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalis…Well, this is not a boat accident, and it wasn’t any propeller, it wasn’t any coral reef, and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper. 

It was a shark…