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Passage Two
 Questions 51 to 55 are based on the following passage.
  America's education system has become less a ladder of opportunity than a structure to transmit inequity from one generation to the next.
  That’s why school reform is so critical. This is an issue of equality, opportunity and national conscience. It's not just about education, but about poverty and justice.
  It's true that the main reason inner-city schools do poorly isn't teachers' unions, but poverty. Southern states without strong teachers' unions have schools at least as awful as those in union states. Some Chicago teachers seem to think that they shouldn't be held accountable until poverty is solved. There are steps we can take that would make some difference, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying some of them — yet the union is resisting.
  I'd be sympathetic if the union focused solely on higher compensation. Teachers need to be better paid to attract the best to the nation's worst schools. But instead, the Chicago union seems to be using its political capital primarily to protect weak performers.
  There's solid evidence that there are huge differences in the effectiveness of teachers. The gold standard study by Harvard and Columbia university scholars found that even in high-poverty schools, teachers consistently had a huge positive or negative impact.
  Get a bottom 1% teacher, and the effect is the same as if a child misses 40 percent of the school year. Get a teacher from the top 20%, and it's as if a child has gone to school for an extra month or two.
  The study found that strong teachers in the fourth through eighth grades raised the skills of their students in ways that would last for decades. Just having a strong teacher for one elementary year left pupils a bit less likely to become mothers as teenagers, a bit more likely to go to college and earning more money at age 28.
  How does one figure out who is a weak teacher? Yes, that's a challenge. But researchers are improving systems to measure a teacher’s performance throughout the year, and, with three years of data, it's usually possible to tell which teachers are failing.
  Unfortunately, the union in Chicago is insisting that teachers who are laid off -- often for being ineffective -- should get priority in new hiring. That's an insult to students.
  Teaching is so important that it should be like other professions, with high pay and good working conditions but few job protections for bottom performers.
  This isn't a battle between garment workers and greedy bosses. The central figures in the Chicago schools strike are neither strikers nor managers but 350,000 children. Protecting the union demand sacrifices those students, in effect turning a blind eye to the injustice in the education system.

1.[单选题]What does the author think the union should do to win popular support?
  • A.Assist the city government in reforming schools.
  • B.Give constructive advice to inner-city schools.
  • C.Demand higher pay for teachers.
  • D.Help teachers improve teaching.
  • 解题思路:本题询问作者的观点,工会应该如何作为来赢得公众支持。上段末尾提到工会抵制市长采取的一些措施,本段第 1 句提出了作者的观点:如果工会只是致力于获取更高的补偿,他会赞同(sympathetic)。第 2 句进一步说明为什么工会应该致力于获取更高的补偿金:只有高薪才能够吸引优秀人才到贫困地区的学校任教。因此工会应该“为教师争取更高的报酬”,C 项正确。
2.[单选题]What is the finding of the gold standard study by Harvard and Columbia University scholars?
  • A.Many inner-city school teachers are not equal to their jobs.
  • B.A large proportion of inner-city children often miss classes.
  • C.Many students are dissatisfied with their teachers.
  • D.Student performance has a lot to do with teachers.
  • 解题思路:本题询问哈佛大学和哥伦比亚大学的学者开展的金标准研究的结果。因此该句 found 后的宾语从句即为答案:即使是在极度贫困地区的学校,教师也总是会对教育产生巨大的,或积极或消极的影响。因此,D 项“学生的表现与教师密切相关”为答案,体现了教师对教育所产生的影响。题干中的 finding 是原文 found 的词性转换。
3.[单选题]What do we learn about America’s education system?
  • A.It provides a ladder of opportunity for the wealthy.
  • B.It contributes little to the elimination of inequality.
  • C.It has remained basically unchanged for generations.
  • D.It has brought up generations of responsible citizens.
  • 解题思路:本题询问文章对美国教育系统的评价。文章首段即明确指出作者的观点:美国的教育系统不再是通往机遇的阶梯,已然成为将不平等代代相传的体系。可见作者认为教育原本具有的消除不平等的功能已不存在,B 项“对消除不平等毫无作用”为答案。
4.[单选题]What is chiefly responsible for the undesirable performance of inner-city schools?
  • A.Unqualified teachers.
  • B.Lack of financial resources.
  • C.Unfavorable learning environment.
  • D.Subconscious racial discrimination.
  • 解题思路:本题询问内城区学校表现不佳的主要原因。第 3 段首句指出,内城区学校表现糟糕的主要原因不是教师工会,而是 poverty(贫穷)。与 poverty 同义的 B 项“缺乏财政来源”为答案。题干中的 is chiefly responsible for 对应原文的 main reason, undesirable performance 对应 do poorly。
5.[单选题]Why does the author say the Chicago union’s demand is an insult to students?
  • A.It protects incompetent teachers at the expense of students.
  • B.It underestimates students’ ability to tell good teachers from poor ones.
  • C.It underestimates students’ ability to tell good teachers from poor ones.
  • D.It totally ignores students’ initiative in the learning process.
  • 解题思路:本题询问为什么说芝加哥工会的要求是对学生的侮辱。第 9 段指出芝加哥工会坚持认为那些被解聘的(通常是不称职的)教师拥有优先聘用权,作者认为这对学生是个侮辱,第 10 和第 11 段对此作具体解释,指出不应过度保护这些人的工作权益,一旦满足工会要求、保护这些人的权益,学生的权益就会被牺牲掉。因此 A 项“以牺牲学生为代价保护不称职的教师”为答案,at the expense of 是原文中 sacrifices 的同义转换。
  • 参考答案:C,D,B,B,A
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