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A study found that students in charter schools, schools that [#permalink]
05 Dec 2004, 05:48
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A study found that students in charter schools, schools that run independently of the school boards that run regular public schools, are performing worse on average than students in regular public schools. Another study found, however, that performance tends to drop when students change schools. Researchers maintain that the lower average performance of charter school students can be attributed to their having changed schools to attend the charter schools.
Which of the following, if true, provides the most support for the researchers' explanation?
A. Students in urban charter schools tended to perform better than those in rural ones.
B. Many charter schools were established in order to instruct students who were performing poorly in school.
C. Many students who transferred from one regular public school to another began to perform better in mathematics but performed worse in English.
D. A high percentage of the charter schools studied had been opened within the six months prior to the study.
E. School boards are often more effective at securing funds than charter schools.
Since most of the students at charter schools were performing badly at schools (as given by this statement), it is clear that the researcher's study is supported.
As far as D is concerned, its not necessary that the students in the charter schools were preciously studying in some other school. Most of these students can be new also. So this choice doesnt strengthen the researcher's study.
The OE is:
The conclusion that the act of changing schools is responsible for lower student performance relies on the assumption that the badly-performing students had in fact moved from a public school to a charter school. This is never made explicit, although the researchersâ€™ conclusion depends on this being the case. The fact that most of the charter schools studied just opened would bolster this assumption, since students at these new charter schools must have enrolled in them recently. Choice (D) thus strengthens the argument by reinforcing its main assumption. Choice (A) is incorrect because the distinction between urban and rural students has no discernible impact on the distinction between public and charter schools. Choice (B) is incorrect because it does not in any way address the effect of changing schools, which is at the heart of the argument. Choice (C), if anything, weakens the researchersâ€™ explanation by suggesting that at least in some cases, changing schools improved performance. As for choice (E), fundraising efforts are at least one step removed from the issue of student performance, although one could even argue that choice (E) weakens the argument by providing an alternative explanation for charter schoolsâ€™ relatively poor performanceâ€”less money for teachers and materials.