Friday I was getting a hair cut when the phone rang. My haircutist (new word, here) got a phone call from a friend who was crying over the fact her son was just booted out of the parochial school he was attending. After his junior year.
    "Why," I asked after she hung up?
    "For failing his classes," said the barberista.
    Thinking of the discussions I used to have with pro-voucher people like Sol Stern I said, "The people who argue for vouchers always deny parochial schools throw kids out."
    "Are you kidding," she said? "They throw kids out all the time. And they took my friend's money for summer school and THEN threw him out. He actually received more attention when he went to the local public high school. Even though he fooled around there they went more out of their way to help him."
    "So why did she move him?"
    "You know, Catholic school. She thought the discipline would get him serious."
    "Sometimes kids have to take responsibility. My advice," I said "is to tell him to drop out and get a job for a while. That should do it."
    By now, most of my hair was on the floor. I'll get the rest of the story next month.

    Comment: Steve Orel founded the WOO in response to the pushouts of low performing kids in Birmingham. With so much now at stake in public schools (principal bonuses should add too the pot) the amount of pushouts and not so gentle refusals to take certain kids in the first place would increase dramatically. Read Jeff Coplon's piece (posted on the Norm's Notes blog) on the public NEST school for a prime example of how a principal operates to manipulate the school population.

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