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http://www.sina.com.cn 2006/06/05 15:17  新东方


  Ending "social promotion" sounds great. But L.A. discovers it could mean flunking half its students

  In the past few years, reformers have embraced a disarmingly simple idea f
or fixing schools: Why not actually flunk those students who don't earn passing grades? Both Democrats and Republicans have begun attacking the practice of "social promotion"--shuttling bad students to the next grade, advancing them with peers even if they are failing. Make F truly mean failure, the movement says.

  Last week in Los Angeles, the reformers learned just how ornery the current system can be. According to a plan released Tuesday by the L.A. school district, ending social promotion there will take at least four years, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars--and probably would require flunking about half the district's students. That's a pessimistic assessment, but it's not just bureaucrats' caterwauling. Rather, L.A. school superintendent Ruben Zacarias was an eager convert to the crusade against social promotion. In February he unveiled an ambitious plan to end unwarranted promotions in five grades during the 1999-2000 school year--a full year ahead of the timetable set by a state law.

  At the time, Zacarias acknowledged that his goal would be hard to meet. He estimated that as many as 6 of every 10 students would flunk if they had to advance on merit. Zacarias wanted to spend $140 million in the first year alone to help these kids. Why so much? Because a mountain of research shows that ending social promotion doesn't work if it just means more Fs. Kids who are simply forced to repeat grades over and over usually don't improve academically and often drop out. Zacarias wanted more tutoring, summer school and intensive-learning classes. Unqualified students wouldn't rise to the next grade; nor would they be doomed to redo work they already failed. It was a forward-looking plan that Zacarias, 70, didn't have the clout to enact. He wasn't popular enough--the school board recently bought out his contract after a bitter power struggle--but even fellow reformers think his plan was too much, too soon. Says board member David Tokofsky: "You've got the unions who want their say. And, of course, there's the facilities issue: Where do you send all these eighth-graders if you can't send them to high school?" The district now says it will stop advancing low-achieving students only in two grades (second and eighth), and it will begin next year.

  Los Angeles isn't the only place that has run into roadblocks while trying to end social promotion. In New York City, some advocates have said in lawsuits that parents weren't notified early enough that their kids were flunking. And in Chicago, which led the nation on the issue, a parents' group has filed civil rights complaints alleging that the promotion crackdown holds back a disproportionate number of black and Latino kids.

  Still, the war on social promotion could have one salutary consequence: if every school district takes L.A.'s approach, struggling students will get a lot more teaching help, not just a kick in the rear as they finish another unproductive school year.

  By John Cloud Time; 12/13/99, Vol. 154 Issue 24, p73, 2/3p, 1c

  注(1):本文选自Time;12/13/99, p73, 2/3p, 1c

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象2001年真题text 2和text 4第4题(本习题第5题)

  1.“Social promotion” is ___________.

  [A] a simple idea for fixing school

  [B] flunking students who don’t earn passing grades

  [C] making F more or less meaningless

  [D] a political movement

  2.Education officials give the reform prospect a pessimistic assessment because_______.

  [A] it takes too long time, costs too much and may produce undesirable result

  [B] there is no feasible plan yet

  [C] it involves too many students

  [D] it is not approved by state legislature

  3.The writer mentioned the case of Zacarias to show that ______________.

  [A] ending social promotion doesn’t work

  [B] schools do not have the ability to enact his plan

  [C] plans like his are too ambitious

  [D] it’s hard to reach agreement on the issue of ending social promotion

  4.It seems that the effort at ending social promotion _____________.

  [A] is confronting a lot of resistance

  [B] has proved fruitless

  [C] has little hope of success

  [D] does more harm than good

  5.Toward the proposal of ending social promotion, the author’s attitude seems to be ________.

  [A] pessimistic

  [B] optimistic

  [C] objective

  [D] biased

  答案:C A D A B




  disarmingly: [dis5B:miNli] adv. 使人消除警惕性[疑心]地, 使人不紧张的地

  flunk: [flQNk] v. 使不及格

  social promotion: 自动升级

  shuttle: [5FQtl] v. 穿梭运送

  peer: [piE] n. 同等的人;同辈

  ornery: [5C:nEri] adj. 脾气坏的; 爱争吵的

  assessment: [E5sesmEnt] n. 评估,评价

  bureaucrat: [5bjuErEukrAt] n. 官僚;官吏

  caterwauling: [`kAtE9WR:lIV] n. 哀诉声,抱怨声

  superintendent: [7sju:pErin5tendEnt] n. 主管, 负责人, 指挥者, 管理者

  convert: [kEn5vE:t] n. (常与to连用)改变信仰或意见的人

  crusade: [kru:5seid] n. 讨伐;改革运动;热心于社会除恶的运动

  unwarranted: [5Qn5wCrEntid] adj. 无根据的, 未获保证的, 无保证的, 未获承认的

  clout: [klaut] n. 影响力

  enact: [i5nAkt] v. 制定,制订成法律

  roadblock: [`rEJdblCk] n. 障碍, 障碍物

  advocate: [5AdvEkit] n. (常与of连用)拥护者;提倡者

  notify: [5nEutifai] v. 正式通知(某人)

  allege: [E5ledV] v. 〈法〉指控

  crackdown: [5krAkdaun] n. 镇压, 打击

  disproportionate: [7disprE5pC:FEnit] adj. 不相称的;不成比例的;不匀称的

  Latino: [lA5ti:nEu] n. 拉丁美洲人

  salutary: [5sAljutEri] adj. 有益的


  And in Chicago, which led the nation on the issue, a parents' group has filed civil rights complaints alleging that the promotion crackdown holds back a disproportionate number of black and Latino kids.

  主体句式:a parents’ group has filed complaints




  1. 答案为C, 属事实细节题。从文章第一段破折号后对social promotion的解释来看,它的意思是:就算差生考试不及格,他们照样可以和其他同学一起进入下一年级。在从改革派反对“social promotion”,主张使F真正意味着“不及格”来看,social promotion 显然使F失去了意义。

  2. 答案为A,属事实细节题。本文答案可以在that’s a pessimistic assessment前面的部分读到。

  3. 答案为D,属推理判断题。文章第三段先介绍了Zacarias的计划,然后说明他的计划为什么难以实施:他在校董事会的权力之争中落败,以及其他改革派对他的计划所持的不同意见。以这样一个例子旨在说明在取消“自动升级”问题上难以达成一致意见。

  4. 答案为A,属事实细节题。根据文章第四段所举的例子可知,这一改革方案遭到了较多的抵制。

  5. 答案为B,属推理判断题。虽然文章用了较大篇幅介绍取消“自动升级”所面临的困难和计划实施中存在的问题,但作者的态度仍然是积极乐观的。这一点可以从作者评论Zacarias的计划时所用的措辞“forward-looking”以及最后一段作者评论其有益后果看出。







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