Report from the airport

Screening airline passengers for the TSA is respectable work—though it can't be very stimulating—but it was depressing to be screened today at Dulles by a former high school physics and math teacher, with a master’s in education and six to eight years of classroom experience. When I remarked that "We really need physics and math teachers," he responded that "the kids come to class without knowing basic arithmetic." I responded that "The middle schools aren't doing their job, eh?" And he said: "The elementary schools aren't doing their job, either." Better, I guess—obviously so in his mind—to examine a hundred drivers' licenses and boarding passes before breakfast than to struggle with kids who aren't prepared to learn what you're trying to teach them.

Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Chester E. Finn, Jr. is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute