“So that we can improve the quality of education for our students, we should merge the Fort Ann school district with the Hudson Falls school district. Scores on standardized tests for students in the Hudson Falls district rose an average of 25 percent in the past six years. Hudson Falls has five times the number of students as Fort Ann and four times the number of teachers, so they’re able to field more athletic teams and offer more enrichment programs, such as music and art. Three times as many graduates of Hudson Falls High go on immediately to four-year colleges as Fort Ann. Plus, the state aid reimbursement ratio for Hudson Falls is higher than that for Fort Ann.”
The speaker proposes that the Fort Ann school district should merge with the Hudson Falls school district to improve its quality. The proposal is followed with an argument containing some points to support it. Although the argument seems reasonable, it is actually plausible and has many flaws.
If Hudson Falls has five times the number of students as Fort Ann, having only four times the number of teachers means that the previous school has a lower ratio of teachers compared to students as the latter. Therefore, although those teachers can provide more options in the enrichment program, they might not be able to handle the students sufficiently. Eventually, it is doubtful that they can nurture the students’ potentials to the fullest.
Another weakness pertaining to the ratio of students is the fact that there are only three times as many graduates of Hudson Falls High who go immediately to four-year colleges as the Fort Ann. We have to remember that the number of students of the school in the Hudson Falls district is five times larger than the Fort Ann. Thus, if the previous school was indeed better than the latter, it should be expected that there are more than five times as many graduates do.
The last careless assumption is concerned with the state aid reimbursement. Whether it is true that the Hudson Falls school district receives a bigger ratio of aid reimbursement does not matter. There is no guarantee that merging the school with the Fort Ann would agglomerate the funds for both schools. The state might only give on portion, instead of two, of aid reimbursement for the unified schools. In the end, the merging would only encumber both schools.
All in all, if Fort Ann High is looking for a way to improve the quality of its students, merging it with the Hudson Falls is not a good solution. It is more practical to find out how the Hudson Falls High succeed in increasing their students’ average scores in the standardized test and consider to apply it in For Ann.
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