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Analysis Of End Them, Don 'T Mend Them By P. J. O' Rourke

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In “End Them, Don’t Mend Them,” P.J. O’Rourke vehemently argues that the public school system needs to be shut down and ended for good due to a monumental increase in spending per pupil with no significant standardized test score improvements made in the past forty years. O’Rourke describes his view of a typical public school family that the public school system has marred with quirks and educational flaws to open up his essay. He then contends that putting a child through public school costs a fortune by pointing out that the average cost per pupil from pre-K through 12th grade is $11,749. O’Rourke cites an annual Gallop Poll conducted from 2004-2007 to explain that Americans find insufficient spending to be the top problem with public schools.…show more content…
O’Rourke’s article on Weekly Standard is an older critique of the public high school system in America. He is a contributing editor to Weekly Standard and also works with the Cato Institute. O’Rourke’s main point in the article is that the public school system needs to be shut down and ended due to high spending per pupil and no noticeable increase in test scores. In “End Them, Don’t Mend Them,” published on Weekly Standard in June of 2010, P.J. O’Rourke argues against the public school system by citing evidence of increased spending per student across the nation, insignificant gains on standardized test scores, and pointing out that there is no correlation in spending and testing. O’Rourke appeals to the logos and ethos of the reader but fails to appeal to the pathos by building a clear bias and agenda in his essay. The purpose of this article is to convince Americans that the public school system is failing students nationwide and that it needs to be ended. O’Rourke boldly argues that there is no need to mend public schools, only end them. The public school system has been serving America for years, but O’Rourke clearly believes that it is time to put an end to them. O’Rourke argues that it the public school system’s time is up in this statement: “America’s public schools have served their purpose. Free and compulsory education was good for a somewhat unpromising young nation,”…show more content…
The presentation of numbers from studies creates an appeal to logos. O’Rourke first shows the high average amount of spending per pupil per year-$11,749- after giving an example of what a typical night working on purchasing supplies for projects in a public school family is like. He wants the reader to take note of how much this amount of spending is and then ultimately compare it to the outcomes that it produces. “Massachusetts (fifth in spending per student) and Vermont (first) do lead the reading proficiency list with 43 and 42 percent respectively. But there’s not much to choose between that and 25th-biggest spender Montana’s 39 percent,” (O’Rourke). O’Rourke appeals to ethos by citing these facts from a Statistical Abstract report of schools and their spending compared to their proficiency in math and reading. He wants the readers to see that the public school system is wasting money because there is no beneficial outcome from high spending. O’Rourke also appeals to ethos by providing key evidence of how standardized test scores in America have not improved despite an increase in spending per pupil. He cites the NAEP in this statement: “SAT scores in 1970 averaged 537 in reading and 512 in math, and 38 years later the scores were 502 and 515,” (O’Rourke). O’Rourke presents this evidence to
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