GRE Argument Essay 107
The following appeared in a memo from the chairperson of the school board in the town of Saluda.
“For the past five years, Mr. Charles Schade has been the music director at Steel City High School, and during that time the school band from Steel City High has won three regional band competitions. In addition, the quality of the music rehearsal facilities and musical instruments at Steel City High has improved markedly over the past five years. Because of such successes at Steel City High, the Saluda school board should hire Mr. Schade to plan and direct the general music education programs for the entire Saluda school system.”
The chairperson of Saluda’s school board recommends that Mr. Charles Schade should be hired for planning and directing music education for the entire school system of Saluda. The chairperson supports his recommendation by claiming that Mr. Charles Schade has been a successful music director at Steel City High School for the past 5 years and the arguer provides two facts as evidence in support of this claim. Firstly, the Steel City High School band has won three regional competitions in the past five years. Secondly, it has been seen that there is an immense improvement in the quality of music rehearsal facilities and musical instruments at the Steel City High School in the past five years. Despite the evidence provided, the argument is flawed in several respects and fails to convince the reader that Mr. Charles Schade would be the best choice for planning and directing the general music education programs for the entire Saluda school system.
The arguer should have eliminated other possibilities which could have been instrumental in leading to the school band’s success in the regional competitions. It is likely that the children who are a part of the school band are extremely talented and they would have been able to win the competitions even if Mr. Charles Schade was not their music director. On the other hand, it is possible that the school band had been groomed by Mr. Charles Schade’s predecessor and he is the one who would be actually responsible for this success. This probability increases due to the absence of a mention of the exact time period in which the school band had won these competitions. If they had won them in the beginning of Mr. Charles Schade’s tenure, then it would mean that Mr. Charles Schade probably contributed very little to their success. The absence of such evidence also raises the doubt that the school band has probably not won any major competitions during the latter part of Mr. Charles Schade’s tenure which would go against his capability and competence as a music director.
The marked improvement in the music rehearsal facilities and musical instruments cannot be linked to Mr. Charles Schade alone. It is likely that these improvements were made possible due to the sustained efforts of the school administrative council or some other department of the school. Therefore, there is a probability that someone else was responsible for initiating the release of funds that resulted in the procurement of good quality musical instruments and the provision of improved music rehearsal facilities. The argument should have made a clear reference to the role that Mr. Charles Schade had played in providing these enhanced facilities to the school. In the absence of such concrete evidence, the second fact presented by the arguer does not substantiate his claim related to the competence of Mr. Charles Schade.
Even if we assume that Mr. Charles Schade had indeed been successful as the music director of the Steel City High School, it is not necessary that he is competent enough to handle the music education program for the entire school system of Saluda. This is because the latter assignment would demand skills that could be different from those required for the music director of a high school. The argument could have been substantiated to an extent if the arguer had provided evidence that proved the competence of Mr. Charles Schade beyond doubt. In its present form, the given argument is largely unconvincing due to lack of sufficient evidence in support of the recommendation made.