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QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 147: Critical Reasoning


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While the total enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland is one percent higher this academic year than last academic year, the number of teachers there increased by three percent. Thus, the Sondland Education Commission's prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the claim that the prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded?

A. Funding for public elementary schools in Sondland is expected to increase over the next ten years.

B. Average salaries for Sondland’s teachers increased at the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year.

C. A new law has mandated that there be ten percent more teachers per pupil in Sondland’s public schools next academic year than there were this academic year.

D. In the past, increases in enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland have generally been smaller than increases in the number of teachers.

E. Because of reductions in funding, the number of students enrolling in teacher-training programs in Sondland is expected to decline beginning in the next academic year.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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The SEC (the Sondland Education Commission, not the Securities Exchange Commission or college football's Southeastern Conference) has predicted that there will be a teacher shortage in Sondland's public elementary and secondary schools as early as the next academic year. The conclusion of this passage is that the prediction is unfounded (or, as defined by Google, "having no foundation or basis in fact").

Why does the author believe that the prediction is unfounded?

  • The number of teachers has increased by three percent.
  • The number of students has only increased by one percent.
  • Given those percentages, the ratio of teachers to students must have increased.
  • Since the ratio of teachers to student has increased, the author concludes that there should not be a shortage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the author's conclusion?

Quote:
A. Funding for public elementary schools in Sondland is expected to increase over the next ten years.

This doesn't tell us anything about the number of teachers. If anything, choice (A) suggests that Sondland will be able to afford teachers in the future. Regardless, this does not weaken the author's conclusion and can be eliminated.

Quote:
B. Average salaries for Sondland’s teachers increased at the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year.

Information about the teachers' salaries doesn't tell us anything about the NUMBER of teachers or students at the schools. If the salaries did NOT increase with inflation, then that might be evidence that some teachers would consider quitting. However, the fact that the salaries kept pace with inflation does not weaken the conclusion, so (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. A new law has mandated that there be ten percent more teachers per pupil in Sondland’s public schools next academic year than there were this academic year.

Uh oh, now Sondland's schools are in trouble.... the evidence in the passage suggests that the ratio of teachers to students will increase slightly, but what if that's not good enough? What if Sondland needs ten percent more teachers per pupil? In that case, the tiny increase in the ratio of teachers to students might not be enough. Choice (C) seriously weakens the conclusion, so hang on to this one.

Quote:
D. In the past, increases in enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland have generally been smaller than increases in the number of teachers.

This just tells us that the evidence in the passage is consistent with what's happened in the past. This statement might suggest that the trend will continue, but that would only strengthen the author's argument. We are looking for a weakener, so eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. Because of reductions in funding, the number of students enrolling in teacher-training programs in Sondland is expected to decline beginning in the next academic year.

Choice (E) tells us that Sondland will be training fewer teachers, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Sondland will hire fewer teachers (they might hire teachers who were trained elsewhere). Even if we do assume that the decline mentioned in choice (E) will lead to a decline in the number of teachers, it certainly wouldn't lead to a "teacher shortage as early as next academic year" (as stated in the conclusion). It would take at least another year to feel the effect of this decline. Choice (E) might be evidence that there will be a teacher shortage eventually, but choice (C) most seriously weakens the author's specific conclusion.

(C) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 05:04
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 147: Critical Reasoning


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While the total enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland is one percent higher this academic year than last academic year, the number of teachers there increased by three percent. Thus, the Sondland Education Commission's prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the claim that the prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded?

A. Funding for public elementary schools in Sondland is expected to increase over the next ten years.

B. Average salaries for Sondland’s teachers increased at the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year.

C. A new law has mandated that there be ten percent more teachers per pupil in Sondland’s public schools next academic year than there were this academic year.

D. In the past, increases in enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland have generally been smaller than increases in the number of teachers.

E. Because of reductions in funding, the number of students enrolling in teacher-training programs in Sondland is expected to decline beginning in the next academic year.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.


Premise: While the total enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland is one percent higher this academic year than last academic year, the number of teachers there increased by three percent.

Conclusion: the Sondland Education Commission's prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded.

In order to weaken the conclusion, we need to prove that for some reason there will be a shortage of teachers as early as next year.

Pre-thinking scenario A: What if the population of school students rises exponentially with respect to population of teachers in the next year
Pre-thinking scenario B: What if the population of teachers reduces drastically with respect to population of students in the next year

Option A: Out of scope
Talks about funding of school over a period of ten years. The argument does not mention any correlation between population of teachers/students and funding. Moreover, the period taken into consideration (10yrs) is significantly more than that in the argument (next academic year)

Option B: Out of scope/No affect
Relation between salary and inflation rate has no affect on teacher enrollment.

Option C: No affect
This option talks about a new ratio - teachers per pupil. While the argument provides info about % increase in student and teacher population, it does not give any fact related to CURRENT student or teacher population. Hence, we cannot determine the number of teachers next year.

Option D: No affect
This option talks about a past trend. The argument does not provide sufficient information whether the trend will continue in the future. Moreover, this option talks about numbers and the argument only mentions percentage.

Option E: Weakens
Aligns with Pre-thinking scenario B. Starting next year, the number of teachers graduating from Teacher training school will be affected. Hence, a teacher shortage can be predicted as early as next year.

Answer : E

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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 05:49
Need to weaken Claim that prediction of a teacher shortage has no basis.

C does this perfectly.

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QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 07:57
While the total enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland is one percent higher this academic year than last academic year, the number of teachers there increased by three percent. Thus, the Sondland Education Commission's prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the claim that the prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded?

WEAKEN -- task at hand is to prove that the Sondland Education Commission's prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is founded or totally relevant.

A. Funding for public elementary schools in Sondland is expected to increase over the next ten years.
Out of scope. As we are not sure this "FUNDING" is for what? This answer is irrelevant. From the argument we cannot correlate the "funding" as well as the "number of teachers". The funding for the schools can be for anything, such as for improvement in infrastructure of schools, new computers, etc.. INCORRECT.

At the most, even if we assume that this funding is for the recruitment of more teachers, this will strengthen the argument instead of weakening it. As more funding, more recruiting, no shortage.


B. Average salaries for Sondland’s teachers increased at the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year.

Out of scope. Knowing the relation between the salaries and the rate of inflation is in no way helpful to weaken the argument. We are concerned with the "number" of teachers not with the trends of their salaries w.r.t the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year. Incorrect.

C. A new law has mandated that there be ten percent more teachers per pupil in Sondland’s public schools next academic year than there were this academic year.

Correct. If per student 10% more teachers will be required, then there will be shortage. As per the current trend -- the number of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland increased by three percent this year w.r.t the previous year. So, if this trend continues the next year, then there will definitely be a shortage of teachers as per the mandated law.

Also, for this answer choice I was not 100% sure in the beginning to be correct because we are assuming that the trend of this year will continue the next year OR at the most the number of teachers will be the same as this year. But I kept this choice on hold. After POE, this choice was the best among the lot.

D. In the past, increases in enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland have generally been smaller than increases in the number of teachers.
Irrelevant- this was true for the current year too but does not say anything about next year's shortage. The comparison of past trends related to increases in "enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland" and "the number of teachers" has nothing to do with question at hand. As it does not provide any reason for the next year's shortage of teachers.

E. Because of reductions in funding, the number of students enrolling in teacher-training programs in Sondland is expected to decline beginning in the next academic year.
This choice is enticing and is probably a TRAP ANSWER choice.
As we are not concerned about the TO BE teachers. We are concerned about the shortage of teachers in the next academic year. Anyways these students cannot be the teachers for the next academic year. Even we are not sure of the duration of this teacher-training program. It can be a 2 year long program as well. So, knowing the details of the number of students enrolling in the teacher-training program is again irrelevant for answering the teacher shortage in the next academic year. Incorrect.

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QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2017, 08:47
IMO C as well.

No matter what the current ratio of teacher per pupil is, the requirement of 10% more teachers per pupil will cause shortage in either short term or long term at the current pace of increase (i.e., student at 1% and teachers at 3%).

Looking forward to the OA.

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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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While the total enrollment of public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland is one percent higher this academic year than last academic year, the number of teachers there increased by three percent. Thus, the Sondland Education Commission's prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the claim that the prediction of a teacher shortage as early as next academic year is unfounded?

A. Funding for public elementary schools in Sondland is expected to increase over the next ten years. -We are not worried about the funding

B. Average salaries for Sondland’s teachers increased at the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year. -We are not worried about the salaries

C. A new law has mandated that there be ten percent more teachers per pupil in Sondland’s public schools next academic year than there were this academic year. -Correct. If there should be 10% more teachers per student, then the concern is understandable.

D. In the past, increases in enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland have generally been smaller than increases in the number of teachers. -We are not worried about the past.

E. Because of reductions in funding, the number of students enrolling in teacher-training programs in Sondland is expected to decline beginning in the next academic year. -We are not worried about the teacher trainee but rather about the actual teacher.
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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2017, 05:47
I chose option E. Awaiting OE. Would appreciate a discussion on C vs E.
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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2017, 04:15
GMATNinja wrote:
The SEC (the Sondland Education Commission, not the Securities Exchange Commission or college football's Southeastern Conference) has predicted that there will be a teacher shortage in Sondland's public elementary and secondary schools as early as the next academic year. The conclusion of this passage is that the prediction is unfounded (or, as defined by Google, "having no foundation or basis in fact").

Why does the author believe that the prediction is unfounded?

  • The number of teachers has increased by three percent.
  • The number of students has only increased by one percent.
  • Given those percentages, the ratio of teachers to students must have increased.
  • Since the ratio of teachers to student has increased, the author concludes that there should not be a shortage.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the author's conclusion?

Quote:
A. Funding for public elementary schools in Sondland is expected to increase over the next ten years.

This doesn't tell us anything about the number of teachers. If anything, choice (A) suggests that Sondland will be able to afford teachers in the future. Regardless, this does not weaken the author's conclusion and can be eliminated.

Quote:
B. Average salaries for Sondland’s teachers increased at the rate of inflation from last academic year to this academic year.

Information about the teachers' salaries doesn't tell us anything about the NUMBER of teachers or students at the schools. If the salaries did NOT increase with inflation, then that might be evidence that some teachers would consider quitting. However, the fact that the salaries kept pace with inflation does not weaken the conclusion, so (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. A new law has mandated that there be ten percent more teachers per pupil in Sondland’s public schools next academic year than there were this academic year.

Uh oh, now Sondland's schools are in trouble.... the evidence in the passage suggests that the ratio of teachers to students will increase slightly, but what if that's not good enough? What if Sondland needs ten percent more teachers per pupil? In that case, the tiny increase in the ratio of teachers to students might not be enough. Choice (C) seriously weakens the conclusion, so hang on to this one.

Quote:
D. In the past, increases in enrollments in public elementary and secondary schools in Sondland have generally been smaller than increases in the number of teachers.

This just tells us that the evidence in the passage is consistent with what's happened in the past. This statement might suggest that the trend will continue, but that would only strengthen the author's argument. We are looking for a weakener, so eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. Because of reductions in funding, the number of students enrolling in teacher-training programs in Sondland is expected to decline beginning in the next academic year.

Choice (E) tells us that Sondland will be training fewer teachers, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Sondland will hire fewer teachers (they might hire teachers who were trained elsewhere). Even if we do assume that the decline mentioned in choice (E) will lead to a decline in the number of teachers, it certainly wouldn't lead to a "teacher shortage as early as next academic year" (as stated in the conclusion). It would take at least another year to feel the effect of this decline. Choice (E) might be evidence that there will be a teacher shortage eventually, but choice (E) most seriously weakens the author's specific conclusion.

(E) is the best answer.


Hi GMATNinja,

But its showing C as the correct answer for this one. Can you please check?

Thanks.
-aceGMAT21

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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2017, 15:10
aceGMAT21 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,

But its showing C as the correct answer for this one. Can you please check?

Thanks.
-aceGMAT21

Thanks aceGMAT21! You're right, there were a couple little typos at the end of the explanation, but they've been corrected. The answer is, indeed, (C).
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Re: QOTD: While the total enrollment of public elementary   [#permalink] 10 Nov 2017, 15:10
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