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Paragraph 3

Most people agree that public education has been successful – students learn
skills that help them improve their lives. However, many parents and business leaders
are criticizing public education. Some parents ague that schools are too concerned with
standardized tests. Business leaders, on the other hand, believe that most schools do
not teach the skills needed in today’s world. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, describes
American schools as obsolete. He states that schools were designed in the 1950s, and
that they have not changed to fit the needs of today’s workplace. Because of this
criticism, parents and business leaders are looking for different ways to teach children.
These different approaches are known as alternative education. Alternative education
can take place in a school, a home or online.

Reading Comprehension

A: Choose the correct answer.

1. What is the title (Topic) of this paragraph?


a. Today’s schools
b. Public education
c. Dissatisfaction with public education
d. People’s opinions towards public education

2. Which is the reason why people blame public education?


a. Not enough necessary skills are taught.
b. Teachers are far too concerned with teaching.
c. There are too many standardized tests.
d. Bill Gates does not support public education.

3. What example does the author provide to elaborate business leaders?


a. Parents
b. Bill Gates
c. Alternative education
d. Online education

4. Why does Gates believe that today's American schools are obsolete?
a. They were established in the 1950s.
b. They do not teach what they were expected to teach.
c. They have done only a little to change.
d. They do not cater to the needs of today's workplace.
5. Because _____________, alternative education is proposed as a solution.
a. schools are too old
b. parents and business leaders are concerned
c. of the lack of today’s skills being taught at schools
d. most schools have not responded to growing criticism

5. What is the main idea of the paragraph?


a. Public education is not enough for today’s world.
b. Today’s workplace requires higher levels of skills.
c. Public education is flawed and needs to be changed.
d. Alternative education is the best choice to replace public education.

B: How to find the main idea


1. Main idea must be in a complete sentence.
2. Main idea must not be a statement about examples, facts, statistics, or events.
3. Main idea must be about an idea which is open to interpretation or explanation.
4. Main idea may be clearly stated in a topic sentence, or it may not be stated
clearly, but implied.
5. To find the main idea, it is suggested that the reader turns every sentence in the
paragraph into a question. And, the questions turned from the statements should be Wh-
questions rather than Yes-No questions.

6. Turn all the statements in the paragraph into Wh-questions. Try to begin each
question with as many “What, Why, and How” as possible.
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