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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第6章 教育类 Unit 77

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2019年01月20日

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Few ideas in education are more controversial than vouchers—letting parents choose to educate their children wherever they wish at the taxpayer's expense.The principle is compellingly simple.The state pays; parents choose; schools compete; standards rise; everybody gains.Simple,perhaps,but it has aroused predictable—and often fatal—opposition from the educational establishment.Letting parents choose where to educate their children is a silly idea; professionals know best.Co-operation,not competition,is the way to improve education for all.Vouchers would increase inequality because children who are hardest to teach would be left behind. 
But these arguments are now succumbing to sheer weight of evidence.Voucher schemes are running in several different countries without ill-effects for social cohesion; those that use a lottery to hand out vouchers offer proof that recipients get a better education than those that do not.In several American states,the voucher pupils did better even though the state spent less than it would have done had the children been educated in normal state schools. American voucher schemes typically offer private schools around half of what the state would spend if the pupils stayed in public schools. 
These results are important because they strip out other influences.Home,neighbourhood and natural ability all affect results more than which school a child attends.If the pupils who received vouchers differ from those who don’t—perhaps simply by coming from the sort of go-getting family that elbows its way to the front of every queue—any effect might simply be the result of any number of other factors.But assigning the vouchers randomly guarded against this risk.Opponents still argue that those who exercise choice will be the most able and committed,and by clustering themselves together in better schools they will abandon the weak and voiceless to languish in rotten ones.Some cite the example of Chile,where a universal voucher scheme that allows schools to charge top-up fees seems to have improved the education of the best-off most. 
The strongest evidence against this criticism comes from Sweden,where parents are freer than those in almost any other country to spend as they wish the money the government allocates to educating their children.Sweeping education reforms in 1992 not only relaxed enrolment rules in the state sector,allowing students to attend schools outside their own municipality,but also let them take their state funding to private schools,including religious ones and those operating for profit.The only real restrictions imposed on private schools were that they must run their admissions on a first-come-first-served basis and promise not to charge top-up fees.The result has been burgeoning variety and a rapid expansion of the private sector.At the time of the reforms only around 1% of Swedish students were educated privately; now 10% are,and growth in private schooling continues unabated. 
More evidence that choice can raise standards for all comes from Caroline Hoxby,an economist at Harvard University,who has shown that when American public schools must compete for their students with schools that accept vouchers,their performance improves.Swedish researchers say the same.It seems that those who work in state schools are just like everybody else: they do better when confronted by a bit of competition. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为1999年真题Text 2 (1、2、3、5题)和2002年真题Text 2第2题(第4题)。 
1.We learn from the beginning of the passage that vouchers _______. 
A) have evoked different opinions in the educational circle 
B) have gained unanimous support in the American society 
C) encourage cooperation among educational establishments 
D) can help promote equal distribution of educational resources 
2.Speaking of voucher schemes in Paragraph 2,the author implies that_______. 
A) they are always carried out in the way of lottery 
B) they can damage social cohesion 
C) they are proved to be of help and value 
D) they should be adopted by every country 
3.In the view of the“opponents” mentioned in the third paragraph,_______. 
A) students should pick up their schools randomly so that good students can be equally distributed among schools 
B) Chile's voucher schemes have improved the education of the most able and committed students 
C) the right to choose good schools by paying top-up fee serves to improve education 
D) students from different family backgrounds are supposed to go to different schools 
4.The phrase“burgeoning variety” (Line 7,Paragraph 4)most probably means _______. 
A) fast development 
B) increasing popularity 
C) increasing diversity 
D) a larger number 
5.We learn from the last paragraph that _______. 
A) Swedish parents can only send their kids to schools within their own city 
B) the education reform in Sweden is mainly to set up voucher schemes 
C) the Harvard economist disagrees with Swedish researchers on vouchers 
D) competition is an incentive to spur public schools to improve their teaching 

在教育界,很少有什么观点比教育券更容易引发争议——花着纳税人的钱,父母们可以为孩子选择受教育的学校。其原则相当简单。政府出钱;父母选校;学校竞争;标准提升;各方获益。或许事情就是这么简单,但这已在各个教育机构中引发了预料中的——经常是致命性的——反对态度。让父母为孩子择校的想法很荒唐;只有专家才知道如何最好地选择学校。合作,而不是竞争,才是提高教育水平的正确方法。发放教育券只会增加不公平现象,因为最难教的孩子往往会落在后面。 
但是这些说法在强有力的证据面前愈显苍白。许多国家都实行了教育券计划,且都没有对社会团结造成负面影响;在那些通过使用抓阄的方法来发放教育券的国家,接受教育券的人比没有接受教育券的人得到了更好的教育。在美国的几个州,接受教育券的学生表现不错,而且国家花在这些学生身上的钱比花在上公立学校的学生身上的钱要少。美国的教育券计划一般为私立学校提供费用,其费用是学生在公立学校时国家支出的一半。 
这些结果很重要,因为他们排除了其他因素的影响。家庭、邻居和天赋对孩子的影响都比他们在哪所学校学习更大。如果接受教育券的学生与没有接受教育券的学生之间存在差异——或许差异仅仅是因为接受教育券的学生来自那种喜欢插队、事事争先的家庭——任何效果可能就是其他多种因素作用的结果。但随意分配教育券则能够避免这种风险。反对者仍然坚持认为那些择校的人都是最有能力、最执著的人,而且他们都聚集在好的学校,而那些软弱、沉默的学生则被留在了较差的学校任由其变坏。有人以智利为例,在这个国家,允许学校收取附加学费的全面教育券计划似乎已经提高了最出色的学生的教育水平。 
反击这一批评的最有力证据来自瑞典,在支配政府分配的子女教育费用上,这个国家的父母享有比其他任何国家的人们更大的自由。在1992年的教育改革运动之后,国家不仅放宽了公立学校在招生方面的要求,允许学生在所居住城市之外的地方上学,而且也允许学生在国家的资助下到私立学校上学,包括宗教学校和盈利性学校。对私立学校唯一的限制就是必须按“先来先得”的原则招生,并且承诺不收取附加费。改革的结果就是教育的多样化发展以及私立学校飞快的扩张。改革初期,瑞典只有大约1%的学生接受私立教育;而现在这一数据已经达到了10%,并且私立学校仍然在不断增加。 
哈佛大学经济学家卡罗琳·霍克斯比提供了支持择校能够提高所有学生水平的更为有利的证据。他已经证明,当美国的公立学校必须同接受教育券的学校为生源而竞争时,他们的表现就会改进。瑞典研究人员也持相同观点。看起来公立学校的工作人员就像其他人一样:当面临竞争时,他们会做得更好。 
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