GRE Argument Essay 217
The following is part of a letter from the Brookfree School Board.
“As part of our new educational reform program, we identified ten schools most in need of immediate improvement. An advisory committee is now recommending that we hire consultants to study further the schools’ problems and to propose a plan of action. Only two years ago, however, another group of consultants determined that several schools in our district had problems because their principals were inexperienced. Thus, if we want to see immediate improvement in our schools and save the district the money it would spend on hiring more consultants, we should replace all the principals in the ten worst schools with ten of our most experienced principals in the district.”
The writer of the letter is of the view that the Brookfree School Board should replace all the principals of the ten schools found by the study that need immediate improvement. Taking a clue from a study conducted two years back, the writer suggests that instead of hiring more consultants, all the principals of these ten schools be replaced by more experienced principals. However, the writer shows a lack of judgment and sensible reasoning in presenting his argument. The following discussion exposes the flaws of the argument that make it incoherent.
To begin with, the writer says that an advisory committee had recommended that the problems of these ten schools should be studied further. Clearly, the reason behind the condition of schools is not known to them and it cannot be confirmed without a detailed study being conducted. However, the writer seems to be sure that these ten schools are facing problems due to inexperienced principals, but he fails to provide any evidence for the same in his argument. In the absence of any study confirming that these schools are facing problems due to inexperienced principals, the reader is forced to wonder about other reasons related to the condition of the schools.
The writer mentions a study conducted by a group of consultants two years back, which determined that many schools had problems because their principals were inexperienced. He assumes that the results of the study hold good even after two years. However, it is likely that there has been some action taken on the previous study, and consequently, the inexperienced principals have been replaced by experienced principals. Further, even if no action was taken to replace the principals, there is no confirmation of the fact that these ten schools are out of the several schools having inexperienced principals. It is possible that these schools are in this condition despite having experienced principals. It can therefore be said that the problems faced by the ten schools could be due to other reasons that have been ignored by the writer.
The writer does not make an effort to find out other possible reasons of the problems faced by these ten schools. It is possible that these schools do not have sufficient funds to impart quality education. They could also be facing a lack of trained teaching staff or school equipment. Such problems can also be the reasons for these schools requiring immediate improvement. While all these reasons are equally possible, the writer simply ignores them.
Further, it can be said that an inexperienced principal can be efficient, hardworking and capable of running a school in a commendable way. On the other hand, an experienced principal might have a laid-back attitude and might not be able to run the school perfectly. While it can be said that some inexperienced principals are not capable of running a school successfully, there is no proof to generalize this statement. Hence, there is no guarantee that an experienced principal can do justice to his position. The writer also mentions that the board would require spending money for hiring more consultants, which should be avoided. However, it must be noted that an experienced principal would demand a higher salary than an inexperienced principal. Therefore, replacing the principals would also require spending money, which might not be of any use in the end.
The argument given by the writer is therefore embedded with flaws that make it incapable of convincing the reader. It is therefore recommended that the writer makes note of the discussion given above and makes appropriate changes in his suggestion.