A pushout is a student counseled or forced out of a school prior to graduation. Children are often pushed out of an educational institutions because their presence in the school creates difficulty in meeting some goal of the school. For example, in the case where funding for the school is dependent upon scholastic achievement of the students, if the school can get rid of low-performing students, average test scores on academic performance tests will go up, thus increasing funding. In Ontario, where the education system has zero tolerance towards violence, a student is pushed out province-wide. In some low-performing schools in Chicago combined dropout/pushout rates have exceeded 25% in one year.

Children are also pushed from schools because they present discipline problems or have become "too old." Even in cases where a child can legally remain in high school until they are 21, for example, they may be counseled out after they are over 18.

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