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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第6章 教育类 Unit 75






On March 18th Margaret Spellings,the secretary of education,announced a pilot reform to the No Child Left Behind Act(NCLB),George Bush's education law,which was passed in 2002.Up to ten states,she said,would be allowed to target their resources at the most severely struggling schools,rather than at the vast number needing improvement.The change drew a predictable mix of praise and censure.Above all,though,it was a reminder of utter inaction elsewhere. 
Congress,which was supposed to re-authorise the law last year,has made little progress.On the campaign trail,concerns over Iraq and the economy have made education a minor issue.Contrary to appearances,the law's main tenets are unlikely to be abandoned completely.But for the Democratic candidates in particular,a proper debate on NCLB is to be avoided like political quicksand. 
Most politicians agree that the law has the right goals—to raise educational standards and hold schools accountable for meeting them.NCLB requires states to test pupils on maths and reading from third to eighth grade (that is,from the ages of eight to 13),and once in high school.Some science testing is being added.Schools that do not make“adequate yearly progress” towards meeting state standards face sanctions.Pupils in failing schools can supposedly transfer to a better one or get tutoring.Most also agree that NCLB has big flaws that must be fixed.Few pupils in bad schools actually transfer—less than 1% of those eligible did so in the 2003-04 school year.Teachers’ unions say the tests are focused too narrowly on maths and reading,fail to measure progress over time and encourage“teaching to the test”.They also complain that the law lacks proper funding.The Thomas B.Fordham Foundation,a conservative policy group,has exposed wide gaps in state standards.Test-data reflect this.In Mississippi 90% of fourth-graders were labelled“proficient” or better in the state reading test in 2006-07.Only 19% reached that level in a national test. 
John McCain,the Republican presidential nominee,offers NCLB tepid support but fails to elaborate.At Democratic rallies,NCLB is little more than a whipping-boy.Hillary Clinton proclaims that she will“end the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind”.But though she and Barack Obama deride NCLB publicly,each endorses the idea of accountability.They favour using more sophisticated“assessments” in place of tests,want to value a broader range of skills,punish schools less and support them more. How these ideas would be implemented remains unclear. 
Not surprisingly,more controversial proposals can be found among those not running for president.Chester Finn of Fordham thinks the federal government needs greater power to set standards,while states should have more leeway in meeting them.A bipartisan commission on NCLB has issued a slew of proposals.Particularly contentious is a plan to use pupils’ test scores to help identify ineffective teachers as in need of retraining.Of course,standards alone do not improve education.Both Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama propose a host of new programmes for schools,described on their websites if rarely on campaign.But accountability is likely to remain a big part of school reform. 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2003年真题Text 4。 
1.The article begins with an announcement about a pilot reform of NCLB to ______. 
A) show that the federal government is dedicated to improve education quality 
B) tell us that Bush's education law was not properly designed and needs change 
C) introduce how NCLB provokes different opinions and proposals 
D) remind places of utter inaction to implement some measures 
2.What is implied in Paragraph 3? 
A) NCLB's principles are widely recognized but practices questioned. 
B) The aim of NCLB is to encourage students to strive for entering better schools. 
C) An important goal of NCLB is to improve students’ test-taking ability. 
D) The definitions of“proficiency” are different on the state and federal levels. 
3.The Democratic attitude toward NCLB is ______. 
A) indifferent 
B) disapproving 
C) supportive 
D) apprehensive 
4.According to the proposals raised by those not running for president,______. 
A) a more controversial debate should be carried on about NCLB 
B) all the states should strictly meet the standards set by the federal government 
C) teachers who fail to help students improve test scores should leave their schools 
D) teachers should be provided with more pressure and assistance 
5.The text intends to show ______. 
A) that the presidency candidates are lukewarm towards educational issues 
B) that NCLB is flawed with some fundamental problems 
C) the discussion and controversies caused by a pilot reform to NCLB 
D) how NCLB fails to comprehensively improve American education in general 


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