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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第6章 教育类 Unit 80

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2019年01月20日

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Competition for admission to the country's top private schools has always been tough,but this year Elisabeth Krents realized it had reached a new level.Her wake-up call came when a man called the Dalton School in Manhattan,where Krents is admissions director,and inquired about the age cutoff for their kindergarten program.After providing the information (they don’t use an age cutoff),she asked about the age of his child.The man paused for an uncomfortably long time before answering.“Well,we don’t have a child yet,” he told Krents.“We’re trying to figure out when to conceive a child so the birthday is not a problem.” 
School obsession is spreading from Manhattan to the rest of the country.Precise current data on private schools are unavailable,but interviews with representatives of independent and religious schools all told the same story: a glut of applicants,higher rejection rates.“We have people calling us for spots two years down the road,” said Marilyn Collins of the Seven Hills School in Cincinnati.“We have grandparents calling for pregnant daughters.” Public-opinion poll after poll indicates that Americans’ No.1 concern is education.Now that the long economic boom has given parents more disposable income,many are turning to private schools,even at price tags of well over $10,000 a year.“We’re getting applicants from a broader area,geographically,than we ever have in the past,” said Betsy Haugh of the Latin School of Chicago,which experienced a 20 percent increase in applications this year. 
The problem for the applicants is that while demand has increased,supply has not.“Every year,there are a few children who do not find places,but this year,for the first time that I know of,there are a significant number of children who don’t have places,” said Krents,who also heads a private-school admissions group in New York. 
So what can parents do to give their 4-year-old an edge? Schools know there is no foolproof way to pick a class when children are so young.Many schools give preference to siblings or alumni children.Some use lotteries.But most rely on a mix of subjective and objective measures: tests that at best identify developmental maturity and cognitive potential,interviews with parents and observation of applicants in classroom settings. They also want a diverse mix.Children may end up on a waiting list simply because their birthdays fall at the wrong time of year,or because too many applicants were boys. 
The worst thing a parent can do is to pressure preschoolers to perform—for example,by pushing them to read or do math exercises before they’re ready.Instead,the experts say,parents should take a breath and look for alternatives.Another year in preschool may be all that's needed.Parents,meanwhile,may need a more open mind about relatively unknown private schools—or about magnet schools in the public system.There's no sign of the private-school boom letting up.Dalton's spring tours,for early birds interested in the 2001-2002 school year,are filled.The wait list? Forget it.That's closed,too. 
注(1):本文选自Newsweek; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2003年真题Text 4。 
1.The author uses the example of Elisabeth Krents to show ______. 
A) the concern of Americans 
B) the charm of private schools 
C) the fierce situation for preschoolers 
D) the economic situation of American families 
2.What is implied in Paragraph 4? 
A) The harsh way of forming a class. 
B) The high expectation of parents. 
C) The wise way in selecting schools. 
D) The difficulty of training children. 
3.The author's attitude toward this event is ______. 
A) indifferent 
B) apprehensive 
C) supportive 
D) indignant 
4.Instead of giving their children great pressure to outperform,the parents should ______. 
A) avoid the competition and wait for another year 
B) give up their first choice and go to an unknown school 
C) let their children do what they want to do 
D) deal with the matter more casually and rethink the situation 
5.The text intends to express ______. 
A) the popularity of private schools 
B) parents’ worry about their children's schooling 
C) the plight of preschoolers 
D) the severe competition in going to school 

进入全国最好的私立学校的竞争往往是非常激烈的,不过伊丽莎白·克伦茨却意识到今年的竞争已经达到了一个新的水平。克伦茨是曼哈顿多尔顿学校的招生办主任。她的叫醒电话刚响,就接到一位男士打给学校的电话,询问有关孩子参加幼儿园课程的年龄限制。在答复了他的询问后(他们没有年龄限制),她问他的孩子有多大。这名男子局促不安地迟疑了好大一会儿才回答说,“噢,我们还没有孩子,”他对克伦茨说,“我们正在考虑选个合适的时间要孩子,这样孩子的出生日期在入学时不会成为一个问题。” 
入学引起的困扰不只存在于曼哈顿,在全国各地都很普遍。我们无法得到有关私立学校的确切的最新数据,但是对私立学校和教会学校代表的采访结果表明,这些学校的情况都是一样的:入学申请者供过于求,落选率高居不下。“有人打电话来询问这两年的入学状况,”辛辛那提市塞文西尔斯学校的玛里琳·柯林斯说,“我们还接到祖父母帮他们怀孕的女儿询问入学的电话。民意测验反复表明,教育是美国人关心的头等大事。由于经济长期繁荣,父母可支配的收入增多,即使私立学校的收费每年超过一万美元,很多父母还是选择私立学校。芝加哥拉丁语学校的贝特西·霍说:“申请者的生源地较之过去更为宽泛。”这所拉丁语学校今年申请入学的人比过去增长了20%。 
申请者所面临的问题是需求增加了,但供应却没有。另外在纽约一所私立学校担任录取小组组长的克伦茨说:“每年都有少数孩子找不到就读的学校,但今年,是我第一次听说,有相当一大批孩子无处就读。” 
那么要使他们四岁的孩子出类拔萃,家长怎样做才行呢?学校知道,为那么小的孩子们选择合适的班级实在没有绝对稳妥可靠的办法。许多学校往往优先招收兄弟姐妹或校友的孩子,还有一些学校使用抽奖的办法招生,但大多数学校还是依赖主客观相结合的方法:采用能最好测试孩子的发育成熟程度和认知潜能的考试,同学生家长面谈,或在教室观察孩子的反应能力。他们还要考虑其他多种混合因素。可能只是由于孩子的出生月份与入学的要求不符,或是申请者中男孩的比例太高等原因,有些孩子最终被列在继续等候的名单上。 
父母做的最不明智的事情就是强迫学龄前孩子去做一些事情——比如,当孩子还很小的时候就逼迫他们去阅读或者做数学题。专家的意见是,做父母的应该歇口气,放松放松,寻找其他的解决办法。在幼儿园再待上一年可能是最好的办法。同时,父母的眼界还要放宽一些,可以关注一下那些不太出名的私立学校——或者公立学校中那些有吸引力的学校。目前没有迹象表明私立学校热会迅速降温。多尔顿学校已经停止其春季巡回招生工作,因为2001~2002学年的入学名额早已报满了。等候名单?算了吧,那也满了。 
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