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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Weakening Questions

Social worker: Despite the existence of a public school system that does not demand fees of any kind, children drop out of school at an early age due to various difficulties at home.

School principal: Difficulties at home are not exactly the cause behind the children leaving school. The problem is that many parents simply allow their children to choose whether to go to school or stay home, and that in such cases children will obviously choose not to go to school.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the principal's objection to the social worker's claim?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice strengthens the Principal's objection by validating one of her premises. If parents are more relaxed about whether their kids go to school then it makes sense that they allow their children to choose.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the principal's objection. The economic structure behind a free-for-all school system is irrelevant to our discussion since it only deals with the funding for such schools. The principal's conclusion is about the reason behind why kids drop out of school.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice strengthens the principal's objection by validating one of her premises. It does so by providing an actual statistic showing that most children would not go to school if this was up to their discretion. Focus on weakening the principal's conclusion.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the principal's objection. The economic effects of children not completing the school program are out of the scope of the argument. The discussion is about what causes children to leave school in the first place.

Superb!

[[snippet]]

This answer choice provides actual evidence on how difficulties at home can cause a child to drop out of school, so it strengthens the social workers case and thereby weakens the principal's explanation for the phenomenon. If a child must work or stay at home 8 hours a day, then he or she must also drop out of school; it's not a case of free choice as the principal claims.

It has been noted that parents today are far less adamant about their children attending school with perfect regularity than parents were 50 years ago.
A public school system that does not require the payment of fees can only be maintained by the collection of relatively high income taxes.
A recent survey shows that 9 out of 10 children would avoid school attendance if given the opportunity to do so.
Research in the field of education and social structure shows that a large percentage of children from low-income families must spend 8 hours a day working or taking care of siblings
The premature departure of children from the schooling program affects the number of professional employees and, in turn, the economy.