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Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have

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Joined: 25 Jul 2004
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24 Aug 2004, 10:45
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Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument expressed above?

(A) The high school system in Gotham suceeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.

(B) Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.

(C) Gotham schools have a greater teacher to student ratio than most other school systems.

(D) Students' reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.

(E) Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

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24 Aug 2004, 11:30
D is my choice

In B "the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores" ~ which means there is still some chance for a causality between classsize and reading score

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24 Aug 2004, 14:34
i am either getting good at this or beggining to really suck

the author contends that overcrowding is cuasing the reading skills to drop. overcrowding is doing so by have a dterimental effect one that comes to mind is teacher :student ratio. but despite the over crowding the teacher student ratio is really high.. so this weaken his claim

not sure if i am reading into this too much.

the reason i did not pick d is that yes while overcrowding did not reduce skills in other schools so what? it may have at gotham. it doesnt mean it cant it gotham becuase it did not else where... c seems to counter the effect of overcrowding

whats the oa?

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24 Aug 2004, 14:43
I'm with E. If it's right, I'll explain a bit later
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Best Regards,

Paul

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24 Aug 2004, 18:33
Quote:
Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools

This means that there are no reasons other than overcrowding which can explain the reading skills decline.
Something which will weaken the argument will cast some doubt and open the possibility to some reasons other than overcrowding.
A) this could actually strengthen the argument because if costs are less, we could blame this on overcrowding of classes resulting from budget costs.
B) this has the argument backward and cannot be ascerted. For all we know, we are trying to disprove the opposite: that reading skills are affected by overcrowding
C) yes, they may have a greater T/S ratio but what if those other schools have really lower T/S ratios already? Overcrowding could still be the cause of Gotham's low reading skills
D) we're not interested in schools where the reading skills have not declined. Rather, we are interested in instances where reading skills have declined and find if overcrowding is the direct and only cause.
E) eureka. We have an instance in which reading skills have declined but yet, there is no overcrowding. This confirms that there must be some reason other than overcrowding which lowers the reading skills of students in Gotham
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Paul

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24 Aug 2004, 18:47
2 mins, went from D to E as I was looking at the choices
D is tempting until you realize that you need to disprove the notion that 'only overcrowding results in declining reading scores'

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24 Aug 2004, 19:03
good job on the explanation paul i agree with you. the world ONLY is key here. great ciritical reading

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25 Aug 2004, 10:13
OA is E.

Excellent job Paul, nice explanation. I read the question hastily, and didn't take not of the word only. Only reverses the implication from sufficient to necessary.

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25 Aug 2004, 10:13
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