MY Poor Wife was sitting in her classroom Thursday between periods when a girl she didn't know turns up with a class schedule looking for her next class. And it turns out that she was a period late, being unfamiliar with the whole setup because she's a current-semester transfer from the Land of Ponies and Chocolate and Chocolate Ponies known as private school education. And she and my wife get to talking, and she tells the girl, who rather obviously is some species of upperclassmanperson, that there must be some mistake on her schedule, because the class she just missed was for freshmen. And the girl replies that since her parents had refused to pay her private school tuition for the previous semester (reason as yet unexplained) the school was withholding her transcripts and she was being forced to enroll as a freshman unless and until the transcripts were released.
Which sent my wife down to the guidance councilor, who informed her that 1) this happened routinely and 2) public schools were powerless to remedy the situation by skipping the student a grade. In fact, she learned, the school had recently graduated a young man of 21 who had lost three years to the practice. And no, public schools were prohibited by law from behaving in a similar fashion.
Sure, sure, pay your bills. But that's not the fault of the student, and how 'bout demanding payment up front if you're gonna be so goddam dickish about it? How does someone wind up three years in arrears?
Then again, I'm reminded that in Indiana your optometrist owns the results of the eye exam you pay him for; I've had one refuse to give me a copy so I could buy glasses elsewhere. Just another example of why I remain unconvinced that government has any real interest in citizens being able to read.