Education: Tonic & Telescopes

Principal Joe Harrell of the Thomas A. Edison School in West Dallas, Tex. keeps a barber chair just outside his office door, and a bottle of bright red hair tonic on his desk. "It's real loud-smelling tonic," says he. "That brings them in." It does, sometimes at the rate of twelve a day—pupils who might wait a long time for a haircut if it weren't for the little shop right there next to the principal's office.

For the last five years, Principal Harrell has been worrying a good deal about things like that. A twangy,...

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