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.

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