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Text 3

Who's to blame? The trail of responsibility goes beyond poor maintenance of British railways, say industry critics. Stingy governments-both Labor and Tory-have cut down on investments in trains and rails.ln the mid-1990s a Conservative government pushed through the sale of the entire subsidy-guzzling rail network. Operating franchises were parceled out among private comparues and a separate firm,Railtrack, was awarded ownership of the tracks and stations. In the future, the theory ran back then, the private sector could pay for any improvements-with a little help from the state-and take the blame for any failings.

Today surveys show that travelers believe privatization is one of the reasons for the railways 's failures. They ask whether the pursuit of profits is compatible with guaranteeing safety. Worse, splitting the network between companies has made coordination nearly impossible. "The railway was tom apart at privatization and the structure that was put in place was. . . designed, if we are honest, to maximize the proceeds to the Treasury," said Railtrack boss Gerald Corbett before resigning last month in the wake of the Hatfield crash.

Generally, the contrasts with mainland Europe are stark. Over the past few decades the Germans, French and Italians have invested 50 percent more than the British in transportation infrastructure. As a result, a web of high-speed trains now crisscross the Continent, funded by governments willing to commit state funds to major capital projects. Spain is currently planning l,000 miles of new high- speed track.ln France superfast trains already shuttle between all major cities, often on dedicated lines. And in Britain? When the Eurostar trains that link Paris, London and Brussels emerge from the Channel Tunnel onto British soil and join the crowded local network, they must slow down from 186 mph to a maximum of 100 mph-and they usually have to go even slower.

For once, the government is listening. After all, commuters are voters, too. In a pre-vote spending spree, the govemment has committed itself to huge investment in transportation, as well as education and the public health service. Over the next 10 years, the railways should get an extra £60 billion, partly through higher subsidies to the private companies. As Blair ackoowledged last month, " Britain has been underinvested in and investment is central to Britain's future. " You don't have to tell the 3 million passengers who use the railways every day. Last week trains to Darlington were an hour late-and crawling at Locomotion No.l speeds.

51. In the first paragraph, the author tries to

[ A] trace the tragedy to its defective origin.

[ B] remind people of Britain's glonous past.

[ C] explain the failure of Britain's rail network.

[ D] call for impartiality in assessing the situation.

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  • Text 4

    Jill Ker Conway ,president of Smith ,echoes the prevailing view of contemporary technology when she says that " anyone in today's world who doesn't understand data processing is not educated. " But she insists that the mcreasing emphasis on these matters leave certain gaps. Says she: "The very strongly utilitarian emphasis in education ,which is an effect of man-made satellites and the cold war, has really removed from this culture something that was very profound in its 18th and 19th century roots ,which was a sense that literacy and learning were ends in themselves for a demo- cratic republic. "

    In contrast to Plato's claim for the social value of education,a quite different idea of intellectu-al purposes was advocated by the Renaissance humanists. Ovejoyed with their rediscovery of the classical leaming that was thought to have disappeared during the Dark Ages,they argued that the imparting of knowledge needs no justification-religious ,social ,economic ,or political. Its purpose,to the extent that it has one ,is to pass on from generation to generation the corpus of knowledge that constitutes civilization. "What could man acquire ,by virtuous striving ,that is more valuable than knowledge?" asked Erasmus ,perhaps the greatest scholar of the early 16th century. That idea has acquired a tradition of its own. "The educational process has no end beyond itself," said John Dewey. "It is its own end. "

    But what exactly is the corpus of knowledge to be passed on? In simpler times ,it was all included in the medieval universities' Quadrivium ( arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music ) and Trivium( grammar, thetoric ,logic). As recently as the last century ,when less than 5% of Americans went to college at all, students in New England establishments were compelled mainly to memorize and recite various Latin texts,and crusty professors angrily opposed the introduction of any new scientific discoveries or modern European languages. "They felt," said regretfully Charles Francis Adams, Jr. ,the Union Pacific Railroad president who devoted his later years to writing history ,"that a classical education was the important distinction between a man who had been to college and a man who had not been to college ,and that anything that diminished the importance of this distinction was essentially revolutionary and tended to anarchy. "

    56. The first paragraph shows that Jill Ker Conway accepts utilitarian emphasis in education

    [A] wholeheartedly.

    [B] with reservation.

    [C] against her own will.

    [D] with contempt.

  • Education for education's sake was probably opposed by

    [A] scholars in the Renaissance period.

    [B] Jill Ker Conway.

    [C] scholars in the Dark Ages.

    [D] Plato.

  • The idea that education transmits knowledge is dated back to

    [A] the Renaissance humanists.

    [B ] the medieval universities.

    [C] the 18th century's American scholars.

    [D] the cold war period.

  • It can be inferred that Charles Francis Adams ,Jr.

    [A] devoted his later years to classical education.

    [B] was an advocate of education in history.

    [C] was an opponent to classical education.

    [D] regretted diminishing the importance of the distinction.

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