GRE写作官方题库高频ARGUMENT题目满分范文分享： budgetary priority given to public education
- 2020年04月29日15:47 来源：小站整理
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The following appeared in a letter to the editor of city-run local newspaper:
"In our region of Trillura, the majority of money spent on the schools that most students attend—the city-run public schools—comes from taxes that each city government collects. The region's cities differ, however, in the budgetary priority they give to public education. For example, both as a proportion of its overall tax revenues and in absolute terms, Parson City has recently spent almost twice as much per year as Blue City has for its public schools—even though both cities have about the same number of residents. Clearly, Parson City residents place a higher value on providing a good education in public schools than Blue City residents do."
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
This argument concludes that Parson City residents value public-school education more highly than Blue City residents do. To justify this conclusion the argument points out that in both cities the majority of funds for public schools comes from taxes, and that Blue City budgets only half as much money per year for its public schools as Parson City, even though the population in both cities is about the same. The argument relies on a series of unsubstantiated assumptions, which, considered together, render the argument wholly unconvincing.
One such assumption is that the total budget for the two cities is approximately the same. It is entirely possible that Blue City's total budget is no more than half that of Parson City. If so, that would account for the discrepancy in the allocation of funds and could not be understood as an indicator that one city cares more or less about education. Even if Parson City devotes a greater percentage of its budget each year for its schools rather than amount of money, the argument relies on the additional assumption that this percentage is a reliable indicator of the value residents place on public-school education. Yet, it is entirely possible, for example, that Blue City's schools are already well funded, or that Blue City has some other, extremely urgent problem which requires additional funding despite a high level of concern among its residents about its public schools. Without clear evidence regarding the circumstances that the two city's face, any comparative analysis is not useful.
Finally, although the argument states that in both cities the majority of money spent on public schools comes from taxes, perhaps the actual percentage is smaller in Blue City than in Parson City, and other such funds come from residents' donations, earmarked for public education. Thus it is possible that Blue City residents donate more money for public-school education than Parson City residents do. If so, this possibility further weakens the argument.