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


  How do they beat the odds?

  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.

  By Pat Wingert Newsweek; 05/15/2000, Vol. 135 Issue 20, p76, 2/3p, 1c

  注(1):本文选自Newsweek,05/15/2000, p76

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象2003年Text 4.

  1.The author uses the examples to show __________.

  [A]the concern of Americans

  [B]the charm of the 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 the parents.

  [C]The wise selection of the school.

  [D]The difficulty of getting enrolled.

  3.The author’s attitude toward this event is __________.





  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 the unknown school

  [C]let their children be and 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 the private schools

  [B]parents’ worry about their children’s schooling

  [C]the plight of the preschoolers

  [D]the severe competition in going to school





  wake-up call (宾馆提供的)唤醒服务,叫早服务

  kindergarten [kIndE5^B:t(E)n] n.幼儿园 adj.幼儿园的, 初级的, 启蒙阶段的

  figure out v.合计为, 计算出, 解决, 断定, 领会到

  conceive [kEn5si:v] v. 怀孕, 考虑, 设想

  obsession [Eb5seF(E)n] n. 迷住, 困扰

  glut [^lQt] n. 供应过剩;充斥

  edge [edV] n.刀口, 利刃, 锋, 优势, 边缘, 优势, 尖锐 give an edge to 加剧, 使尖锐化;鼓舞, 使兴奋;给(刀等)开刃, 使锋利

  foolproof [5fu:lpru:f] adj.十分简单的, 十分安全的, 极坚固的

  sibling[5sIblIN] n.兄弟, 姐妹, 同胞, 同属

  alumni [E`lQmnaI ] n. pl.男毕业生, 男校友

  lottery [5lRtErI] n. 抽彩给奖法

  cognitive [ `kC^nItIv ] adj.认知的, 认识的, 有感知的

  diverse [daI5v\:s] adj.不同的, 变化多的

  alternative [C:l5t\:nEtIv] n. 二中择一, 可供选择的办法, 事物adj.选择性的, 二中择一的

  magnet school有吸引力的学校。一种招收在形象和表演艺术上学术成绩突出或者有天赋的学生的公立学校,从全城各个地区招收生源,提供较好的教育,并以此作为消除种族隔离的一种方法。

  boom [bu:m] n. 繁荣, 隆隆声

  let up v. 停止, 中止, 放松


  1.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.

  主体句式:most rely on a mix of subjective and objective measures…










  4.答案为D,属事实细节题。原文对应信息“Instead, the experts say, parents should take a

  breath and look for alternatives.”





  入学的困扰正在从曼哈顿传向全国各地。我们无法得到有关私立学校的确切的最新数据,但是采访私立学校和教会学校代表的情况表明,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。一次又一次的民意测验表明,美国人关心的头等大事是教育。由于长期的经济繁荣使父母有了更多的可支配的收入,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%。




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