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In the United States the per capita costs of schooling have

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In the United States the per capita costs of schooling have [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 04:32
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In the United States the per capita costs of schooling have risen almost as fast as the cost of medical treatment. But increased treatment by both doctors and teachers has shown steadily declining results. Medical expenses concentrated on those above forty-five have doubled several times over a period of forty years with a resulting 3 percent increase in the life expectancy of men. The increase in educational expenditures has produced even stranger results; otherwise President Nixon could not have been moved this spring to promise that every child shall soon have the “Right to Read” before leaving school.
In the United States it would take eighty billion dollars per year to provide what educators regard as equal treatment for all in gram- mar and high school. This is well over twice the $36 billion now being spent. Independent cost projections prepared at HEW and at the University of Florida indicate that by 1974 the comparable figures will be $107 billion as against the $45 billion now projected, and these figures wholly omit the enormous costs of what is called “higher education,” for which demand is growing even faster. The United States, which spent nearly eighty billion dollars in 1969 for “defense,” including its deployment in Vietnam, is obviously too poor to provide equal schooling. The President’s committee for the study of school finance should ask not how to support or how to trim such increasing costs, but how they can be avoided.
Equal obligatory schooling must be recognized as at least economically unfeasible. In Latin America the amount of public money spent on each graduate student is between 350 and 1,500 times the amount spent on the median citizen (that is, the citizen who holds the middle ground between the poorest and the richest). In the United States the discrepancy is smaller, but the discrimination is keener. The richest parents, some 10 percent, can afford private education for their children and help them to benefit from foundation grants. But in addition they obtain ten times the per capita amount of public funds if this is com- pared with the per capita expenditure made on the children of the percent who are poorest. The principal reasons for this are that rich children stay longer in school, that a year in a university is disproportionately more expensive than a year in high school, and that most private universities depend—at least indirectly—on tax-derived finances.
Obligatory schooling inevitably polarizes a society; it also grades the nations of the world according to an international caste system. Countries are rated like castes whose educational dignity is determined by the average years of schooling of its citizens, a rating which is closely related to per capita gross national product, and much more painful.


1. Which one of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?
(A) The educational shortcomings of the United States, in contrast to those of Latin America, are merely the result of poor allocation of available resources.
(B) Both education and medical care are severely underfunded.
(C) Defense spending is sapping funds which would be better spent in education.
(D) Obligatory schooling must be scrapped if the goal of educational equality is to be realized.
(E) Obligatory education does not and cannot provide equal education.

2. The author most likely would agree with which one of the following solutions to the problems presented by obligatory educa- tion?
(A) Education should not be obligatory at all.
(B) Education should not be obligatory for those who cannot afford it.
(C) More money should be diverted to education for the poorest.
(D) Countries should cooperate to establish common minimal educational standards.
(E) Future spending should be capped.

3. According to the passage, education is like health care in all of the following ways EXCEPT:
(A) It has reached a point of diminishing returns, increased spending no longer results in significant improvement.
(B) It has an inappropriate “more is bet- ter” philosophy.
(C) It is unfairly distributed between rich and poor.
(D) The amount of money being spent on older students is increasing.
(E) Its cost has increased nearly as fast.

4. Why does the author consider the results from increased educational expenditures to be “even stranger” than those from increased medical expenditures?
(A) The aging of the population should have had an impact only on medical care, not on education.
(B) The “Right to Read” should be a bare minimum, not a Presidential ideal.
(C) Educational spending has shown even poorer results than spending on health care, despite greater increases.
(D) Education has become even more discriminatory than health care.
(E) It inevitably polarizes society.

5. Which one of the following most accurately characterizes the author’s attitude with respect to obligatory schooling?
(A) qualified admiration (B) critical
(C) neutral
(D) ambivalent
(E) resentful

6. By stating “In Latin America the amount of public money spent on each graduate stu- dent is between 350 and 1,500 times the amount spent on the median citizen” and “In the United States the discrepancy is smaller” the author implies that
(A) equal education is possible in the United States but not in Latin America.
(B) equal education for all at the graduate level is an unrealistic ideal.
(C) educational spending is more efficient in the United States.
(D) higher education is more expensive than lower education both in Latin America and in the United States, but more so in Latin America.
(E) underfunding of lower education is a world-wide problem.

Source: Nova
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Re: Nova RC Passage [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 06:37
1. E
2. A
3. C
4. B
5. B
6. B

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Re: Nova RC Passage [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 22:28
My Answers :

1. E
2. A
3. C
4. B
5. B
6. B
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Re: Nova RC Passage [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2011, 08:32
Here is a complete OA and OE for each question. You can check your answers.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA&OE
1. The answer to a main idea question will summarize the passage, without going beyond it.
(A) fails to meet these criteria because it makes a false claim. Lines 36–42 imply that the discrepancy in allocation of funds is greater in Latin America. Besides, Latin America is mentioned only in passing, so this is not the main idea.
(B) also makes a false claim. The author implies that increased funding for education is irrelevant, if not counterproductive. In fact, the sentence “The President’s committee for the study of school finance should ask not how to support or how to trim such increasing costs, but how they can be avoided” implies that he thinks an increase in funding would be counterproductive.
(C) is implied by the sentence “The United States . . . is obviously too poor to provide equal schooling,” but the author does not fully develop this idea. Besides, he implies that the problem is not financial.
(D) is the second-best answer-choice. The answer to a main idea question should sum up the passage, not make a conjecture about it. Clearly the author has serious reservations about obligatory schooling, but at no point does he state or imply that it should be scrapped. He may believe that it can be modified, or he may be resigned to the fact that, for other reasons, it is necessary. We don’t know.
Finally , (E) aptly summarizes the passage, without going beyond it. The key to seeing this is the opening to paragraph three, “Equal obligatory schooling must be recognized as at least economically unfeasible.” In other words, regardless of any other failings, it cannot succeed economically and therefore cannot provide equal education.

2. This is an application question. These questions tend to be rather difficult, though this one is not. To answer an application question, put yourself in the author’s place. If you were arguing his case, which of the solutions would you advocate?
As to (A), although we rejected the recommendation that obligatory education be eliminated as Question 1’s answer, it is the answer to Question 2. The author does not merely imply that obligatory education has some shortcomings; he suggests that it is fundamentally flawed. Again this is made clear by the opening to paragraph three, “Equal obligatory schooling must be recognized as at least economically unfeasible.” Still, there is a possible misunderstanding here: perhaps the author believes that obligatory education is a noble but unrealistic idea. This possibility, however, is dispelled by the closing paragraph in which he states that obligatory education polarizes society and sets up a caste system. Obviously, such a system, if this is true, should be discarded. The answer is (A).
The other choices can be easily dismissed. (B) is incorrect because nothing in the passage suggests that the author would advocate a solution that would polarize society even more. Indeed, at the end of paragraph three, he suggests that the rich already get more than their fair share.
(C) is incorrect because it contradicts the author. Paragraph two is dedicated to show- ing that the United States is too poor to pro- vide equal schooling. You can’t divert money you don’t have.
(D) is incorrect. It reads too much into the last paragraph.
Finally, (E) is the second-best answer- choice. Although the author probably believes that future spending should be restrained or capped, this understates the thrust of his argument. However, he might offer this as a compromise to his opponents.

3. This is a description question, so we must find the place from which it is drawn. It is the first paragraph. The sentence “But increased treatment by both doctors and teachers has shown steadily declining results” shows that both have reached a point of diminishing returns. This eliminates (A) and (B). Next, the passage states “Medical expenses concentrated on those above forty-five have doubled several times” (lines 5–7) and that the demand and costs of higher education are growing faster than the demand and costs of elementary and high school education. This eliminates (D). Next, the opening to the passage states that the costs of education “have risen almost as fast as the cost of medical treatment.” This eliminates (E). Hence, by process of elimination, the answer is (C). We should, however, verify this. In paragraph three, the author does state that there is a “keen” discrepancy in the funding of education between rich and poor, but a survey of the passage shows that at no point does he mention that this is also the case with health care.

4. This is an extension question. We are asked to interpret a statement by the author. The needed reference is the closing sentence to paragraph one. Remember: extension questions require you to go beyond the passage, so the answer won’t be explicitly stated in the reference—we will have to interpret it.
The implication of President Nixon’s promise is that despite increased educational funding many children cannot even read when they graduate from school. Hence the answer is (B).
Don’t make the mistake of choosing (C). Although at first glance this is a tempting inference, it would be difficult to compare the results of education and medical care directly (how would we do so?). Regardless, the open- ing line to the passage states that educational costs have risen “almost as fast” as medical costs, not faster.
(A) is incorrect because the passage never mentions the aging of the population. The same is true for (D).
Many students who cannot solve this question choose (E)—don’t. It uses as bait language from the passage, “inevitably polarizes a society.” Note: The phrase “Right to Read” in (B) is not a same language trap; it is merely part of a paraphrase of the passage. The correct answer to an extension question will often both paraphrase and extend a passage statement but will not quote it directly, as in (E).

5. Like most tone questions this one is rather easy. Although choice (A) is a measured response, the author clearly does not admire the obligatory school system. This eliminates (A); it also eliminates (C) and (D). Of the two remaining choices, (B) is the measured response, and it is the answer. Although the author strongly opposes obligatory schooling, “resentful” is too strong and too personal. A scholar would never directly express resent- ment or envy, even if that is his true feeling.

6. This is another extension question. By stating that the amount of funding spent on graduate students is more than 350 times the amount spent on the average citizen, the author implies that it would be impossible to equalize the funding. Hence the answer is (B).
None of the other choices have any real merit. (A) is incorrect because the import of the passage is that the rich get better schooling and more public funds in the United States and therefore discrimination is “keener” here (lines 42–43).
(C) and (D) are incorrect because they are neither mentioned nor implied by the passage. (E) is the second-best choice. Although this is implied by the numbers given, it has little to do with the primary purpose of the passage—to show that obligatory education is
perhaps not such a good idea.

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Re: Nova RC Passage   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2011, 08:32
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