Friday, January 23, 2015

New GED Discourages Dropouts from Certification

When you think of the GED, what ideas come to mind? I remember the disaffected boys and pregnant girls in my high school classes and hope that somehow they managed to get a GED and further education after dropping out in the tenth or eleventh grade. More recently, I worry about students I knew who failed one or two senior-year courses and never went to summer school to finish.

Until I did some research, I didn't know that the GED was created for returning WWII veterans who had dropped out of high school. Prior to that, no such test purporting to represent equivalence to a high school diploma existed. Maybe it's time to get rid of it.

Now that Pearson has purchased GED testing (don't get me started), it costs twice as much, must be taken on computer, and is aligned to the Common Core (which dropouts were not exposed to)--all aspects turning it into a real money-maker for Pearson. Its customers are unlikely to be among our most affluent citizens.

Supposedly it now measures the "real-life" skills needed for further education. Gag me with a spoon.

Such a test does not measure the real life skills that determine a person's success in higher education. Motivation? Time-management skills? Personal problems? The very parameters that cause students to drop out will never appear on such a test. Instead, the new tougher GED practically guarantees failure and a large outlay of money for those trying to turn around the trajectory of their lives.

Since the "new" GED appeared, passing rates have plummeted.

A few states have rebelled against the Common-Core loaded GED. Since South Carolina's legislature rejected the Common Core, it should allow other tests as substitutes, especially the HiSET sponsored by ETS and the Iowa Testing Service. This test answers the objections above, and SC would not be alone in rejecting homage to Pearson.

Time for change.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. Is the top graph SC data or national data? Also, what is the source of this data? Thanks again.

Babbie said...


for several of these charts. Not sure if top graph is Washington State or national.