QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
CONCLUSION: Smaller classes probably wouldn’t improve education.
REASONING: To reduce class sizes, we need to hire teachers. There aren’t enough qualified teachers in the region. Bad teachers don’t improve education.
ANALYSIS: This sounds like a good argument. But, the educator only says there’s a shortage of qualified teachers in the region. There might be qualified teachers in other areas. The school district could hire those teachers. Then the district could decrease class sizes and maintain quality. This argument has to assume that it’s not possible to hire qualified teachers from other regions.
- The educator didn’t say whether we should reduce class sizes. He just said that reducing class sizes probably wouldn’t improve education.
Negation: “It might be a good idea to reduce class sizes even if achievement didn’t increase.”
- This would be needed if we were arguing that we could use smaller classes to improve outcomes.
Negation: “No qualified teachers could improve education if class sizes were reduced”
- The argument is about a fact: whether or not smaller classes could improve education. This answer addresses public opinion. Fact and public opinion are unrelated. What students think has no effect on whether smaller classes will work.
Negation: “Students place at least as much value on class size as on qualified teachers.”
- This says that unqualified teachers will help NO ONE. To test an answer, negate it only slightly. If it’s the right answer, even the slightest negation will destroy the argument. The negation here is not significant to overall education quality.
Negation: “Unqualified teachers might help one or two students”.
- CORRECT. If we could relocate large numbers of qualified teachers, then the local shortage isn’t a problem.
Negation: “We could relocate significant numbers of qualified teachers from other regions.”
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