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Manager
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23 Sep 2008, 06:40
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High School Principal: There is little doubt that extra-curricular activities such as sports teams waste the time students could better spend on academics. Close to half the students in this school barely passed the math and science portions of the graduation exam. Clearly, our attention needs to be refocused. In order to improve our school’s performance on the graduation exam, I propose that we discontinue all school sports beginning next year.

EACH of the following, if true, casts doubt on the principal’s conclusion that discontinuing school sports will improve academics EXCEPT

* A surplus in last year’s school budget was spent on transportation for the football team rather than on buying a new available edition of the school’s science textbook.
* Most members of school sports teams were in the half of students that easily passed the graduation exam.
* The principal does not have a specific plan for re-focusing the school’s resources on academics.
* The school’s math and science textbooks have been outdated for two years.
* Even though the principal claims that half the school’s students “barely passed” the graduation exam, they did meet the state’s minimum requirements for graduation

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23 Sep 2008, 09:36
D
elmagnifico wrote:
High School Principal: There is little doubt that extra-curricular activities such as sports teams waste the time students could better spend on academics. Close to half the students in this school barely passed the math and science portions of the graduation exam. Clearly, our attention needs to be refocused. In order to improve our school’s performance on the graduation exam, I propose that we discontinue all school sports beginning next year.

EACH of the following, if true, casts doubt on the principal’s conclusion that discontinuing school sports will improve academics EXCEPT

A) A surplus in last year’s school budget was spent on transportation for the football team rather than on buying a new available edition of the school’s science textbook. This was surplus. It didn't take anything away from the existing budget and therefore, this does not lend support to the relationship between school sports and academic performance.
B) Most members of school sports teams were in the half of students that easily passed the graduation exam. If they passed easily, then it's non-sports slackers that are the problem. Cancelling sports would not help the situation because those that are in sports can pass.
C) The principal does not have a specific plan for re-focusing the school’s resources on academics. This one is close to correct because it get us to thinking that the only way the principle could be right is if he DID have a plan. But does it cast doubt on his plan's ultimate success? Yes, if he identified the problem, and thinks it's sports, he is likely coming to a conclusion to stop sports without looking at how that will be implemented and actually result in better test scores. If he had a plan, he could see how that plan would change the existing school's results.
D) The school’s math and science textbooks have been outdated for two years. This is the classic "irrelevant", but it does build on answer A). Here, it doesn't cast doubt on the principal's plan because it has nothing to do with the plan. We do not know the reason for the out-dated science books. The principle could be absolutely right AND the science books are out-dated. It does not cast any doubt.
E) Even though the principal claims that half the school’s students “barely passed” the graduation exam, they did meet the state’s minimum requirements for graduation This casts doubts because it seems the principal is looking for better score results when the students did already meet the requirements. How would cancelling sports give better test performance AND the test results are about the number that pass, not necessarily by how much each person passes.

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23 Sep 2008, 09:44
"A" because I think it builds on answer "D"

The textbooks could be outdated but that is not directly linked to the school's athletics. Taking away sports teams does not guarantee new books will be in place next year as there still may be budget constraints, poor planning, etc... However, if there was a surplus and it went to the athletic program instead of replacing textbooks, then yes, discontinuing all sports teams may help improve academic scores.

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23 Sep 2008, 09:49
You realize the question is asking us to find the answer that DOES NOT CAST DOUBT. I say this because you wrote "is not directly linked..." which is the point. It is not linked and therefore cannot cast doubt on the principal's conclusion.

potere29 wrote:
"A" because I think it builds on answer "D"

The textbooks could be outdated but that is not directly linked to the school's athletics. Taking away sports teams does not guarantee new books will be in place next year as there still may be budget constraints, poor planning, etc... However, if there was a surplus and it went to the athletic program instead of replacing textbooks, then yes, discontinuing all sports teams may help improve academic scores.

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J Allen Morris
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23 Sep 2008, 10:12
elmagnifico wrote:
High School Principal: There is little doubt that extra-curricular activities such as sports teams waste the time students could better spend on academics. Close to half the students in this school barely passed the math and science portions of the graduation exam. Clearly, our attention needs to be refocused. In order to improve our school’s performance on the graduation exam, I propose that we discontinue all school sports beginning next year.

EACH of the following, if true, casts doubt on the principal’s conclusion that discontinuing school sports will improve academics EXCEPT

* A surplus in last year’s school budget was spent on transportation for the football team rather than on buying a new available edition of the school’s science textbook.
* Most members of school sports teams were in the half of students that easily passed the graduation exam.
* The principal does not have a specific plan for re-focusing the school’s resources on academics.
* The school’s math and science textbooks have been outdated for two years.
* Even though the principal claims that half the school’s students “barely passed” the graduation exam, they did meet the state’s minimum requirements for graduation

Answer in all possibilities is A. This strengthens the principal's conclusion that focus on sports hindered with the goal of academics.

The question asks the reader to locate the option that doesnt undermine the conclusion while all other do. In other words, find the option that strenghthens the conclusion or atleast doesnt weaken it. Thats only A.

As for D is concerned, as my friend has opted, it weakens the conclusion like B, C & E. It states that the problem for poor performance was not due to sports but due to outdated curriculum.

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23 Sep 2008, 15:46

* A surplus in last year’s school budget was spent on transportation for the football team rather than on buying a new available edition of the school’s science textbook. [Last year plan has neutral effect on the current plan – Hold it]

* Most members of school sports teams were in the half of students that easily passed the graduation exam. [Definitely this weaken the Principle decision]

* The principal does not have a specific plan for re-focusing the school’s resources on academics. [Definitely this weaken the Principle decision]

* The school’s math and science textbooks have been outdated for two years. [This choice also casts a doubt on the principle plan – working with outdated books?]

* Even though the principal claims that half the school’s students “barely passed” the graduation exam, they did meet the state’s minimum requirements for graduation [Weaken]

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24 Sep 2008, 05:30
the OA is indeed A.

i also went with D though

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24 Sep 2008, 06:06
what is the source of this question?
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24 Sep 2008, 06:52
I think this is a poor question. First, we are asked to find the answer that does not cast doubt on the principal’s conclusion. This can be done by finding the 4 that do cast doubt on the conclusion. So, let’s first identify what the principal’s conclusion is. Conclusion: Sports should be discontinued in order to allow for better preparation for the graduation exam. In order to cast doubt upon the conclusion, we can undermine any one of the premises used to support the conclusion. 1) Sports waste time 2) Students are not doing well on the math and science portion of the graduation exam.

I’ll start by eliminating B, C & E since the real question is between A & D.

B – If the members of the sports team are in the half that easily passed, then this casts doubt as to the true effect sports has on the graduation exam. The problem must be somewhere other than sports.

C – If the principal doesn’t have a specific plan, then we are not sure that getting rid of sports will positively affect the results of the graduation exam. If the school discontinues sports, but doesn’t have any way to convert that extra time and/or money into better results, then the principal’s plan is not good and this answer casts doubts upon the principal’s conclusion.

E – This casts doubt by showing that maybe the principal’s conclusion is overstated. If the goal is to pass, and half of the school’s students did pass, then his conclusion that performance is bad is unsupported.

Now to A & D.

A – This seems to attempt to cast doubt on the premise of science & math being the worst subjects for students taking the graduation exam. However, the premise in the stem still says “barely passed the math and science.” This seems to coincide with E, that says (my paraphrase) “Yes, barely passed, but they still passed! Principal, your conclusion is overstated and unsupported.” So, it seems that this does not truly undermine the premise of students not doing well on the science and math because those students did pass those portions of the exam. If E casts doubt because the students still passed, then A must cast doubt as well. Why do you need new science books if the students still passed that portion of the exam? Furthermore, the money spent on the transportation was surplus. This is money in addition to what was available for the normal administration of the school. The fact that it is surplus casts doubt on the principal’s claim. The principal claims that sports are negatively affecting academics. Spending surplus on the sports teams does not change what is available regularly to spend on academics. The normal amount of money available which does not include the surplus should be enough for the school to adequately teach those kids what they need to know. If the sports team took money from the normal budget to purchase transportation items, then this does not cast doubt on the principal’s conclusion and actually supports it, but because the money is SURPLUS, this answer casts doubts as to whether the sports teams really harm academics because that money was extra anyway. They should use money from the regular budget to purchase the new science books.

D – This answer makes no connection between academics and sports. After reading answer A, it seems to, but we cannot pull information from another answer and supplement this answer to make D make sense. Which premise does this seem to undercut and cast doubt? Does it undercut the premise that sports waste student’s time? No, having old text books has no relevance to wasting time. What about the fact that the students barely passed the science portion? Yes, old text books might hinder the student’s ability to pass the science portion, but even if this is true, in order to cast doubt on the principal’s conclusion, we have to show that sports are not the cause. Here we have no information about why the books are 2 years old. Due to the lack of information here, I believe it has no effect, positive or negative, on the conclusion of the principal and therefore fits into the “EXCEPT” portion of the stem.

elmagnifico wrote:
High School Principal: There is little doubt that extra-curricular activities such as sports teams waste the time students could better spend on academics. Close to half the students in this school barely passed the math and science portions of the graduation exam. Clearly, our attention needs to be refocused. In order to improve our school’s performance on the graduation exam, I propose that we discontinue all school sports beginning next year.

EACH of the following, if true, casts doubt on the principal’s conclusion that discontinuing school sports will improve academics EXCEPT

* A surplus in last year’s school budget was spent on transportation for the football team rather than on buying a new available edition of the school’s science textbook.
* Most members of school sports teams were in the half of students that easily passed the graduation exam.
* The principal does not have a specific plan for re-focusing the school’s resources on academics.
* The school’s math and science textbooks have been outdated for two years.
* Even though the principal claims that half the school’s students “barely passed” the graduation exam, they did meet the state’s minimum requirements for graduation

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24 Sep 2008, 08:34
jallenmorris wrote:
what is the source of this question?

The question comes from the challenges. i agree with you. it is a tricky question.

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24 Sep 2008, 09:13
A is the only ans. that links sporting activity to academics- money being spent on the former at the expense of the latter.

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24 Sep 2008, 10:09

I think that you're trying to find the answer that SUPPORTS the principal rather than one that simply doesn't cast doubt. If one answer said "Because Big Bird is yellow." that answer doesn't cast doubt upon the principal's conclusion because it's irrelevant. It doesn't support the principal's conculsion either, but the question stems says "All cast doubt EXCEPT..." That's the key. This is basic logical opposites and it can be difficult to see at first.

What is the logical opposite of White?

KASSALMD wrote:
A is the only ans. that links sporting activity to academics- money being spent on the former at the expense of the latter.

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24 Sep 2008, 15:05
I don't think you will always get questions with clear-cut, fool-proof answers. This is the only choice that supports what the principal is saying i.e., sport is weighing heavy on academics.
No other choice fits in for me.

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24 Sep 2008, 18:47
Thanks elmagnifico - nay I know the challenges source.

I want to hit good number of challenges questions before exam day.

Can you point the source

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25 Sep 2008, 11:19
elmagnifico wrote:
High School Principal: There is little doubt that extra-curricular activities such as sports teams waste the time students could better spend on academics. Close to half the students in this school barely passed the math and science portions of the graduation exam. Clearly, our attention needs to be refocused. In order to improve our school’s performance on the graduation exam, I propose that we discontinue all school sports beginning next year.

EACH of the following, if true, casts doubt on the principal’s conclusion that discontinuing school sports will improve academics EXCEPT

* A surplus in last year’s school budget was spent on transportation for the football team rather than on buying a new available edition of the school’s science textbook.

Football team gobbled up all resources. Kids were left without text books and hence principal says take that money/focus back from sports and refocus on academics. In line with what he think. does not cast a doubt

* Most members of school sports teams were in the half of students that easily passed the graduation exam.

This means sports some how are helping. Casts a doubt. Out

* The principal does not have a specific plan for re-focusing the school’s resources on academics.

This means lack of planning on academics is the cause and not sports. Casts a doubt. out

* The school’s math and science textbooks have been outdated for two years.

This means lack of textbooks is the cause and not sports. Casts a doubt. out

* Even though the principal claims that half the school’s students “barely passed” the graduation exam, they did meet the state’s minimum requirements for graduation

It is not about meeting the state requirements. Its about improving performance. possibly unrelated, but also possible that they are just barely meeting requirements because they are playing most of the time

Between A & E, I ended up picking A as it does not cast a doubt and is more inline with principal.

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26 Sep 2008, 05:15
Interesting. I picked up E between A and E. Both these statements neither strengthen not weaken the claim.

A uses "surplus fund" in sports. That does not convey anything about sports at the cost of academics.

Similarly, E mentions that state requirements are met.

Now I understand, I should use POE in such a case and since E speaks of something outside the scope, the answer should be A.

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Re: EXCEPT   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2008, 05:15
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