Update:The GED as a door to the future

21 Feb

In The GED as a door to the future https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/the-ged-as-a-door-to-the-future/ , moi looked at question of whether a GED might open employment doors for some who have failed to complete their high school education. There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to theJuly 24, 2011 NPR report, School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden by Claudio Sanchez and Linda Wertheimer, “Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don’t make it to graduation.” http://www.npr.org/2011/07/24/138653393/school-dropout-rates-adds-to-fiscal-burden See, More Than Half Of Older High School Dropouts Not Employed Today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/high-school-dropouts-unemployment_n_1291210.html?ref=education&ir=Education

The American Council on Education (ACE) is the official site for the General Educational Development Tests (GED). According to ACE:

What are the GED Tests?

The Tests of General Educational Development (GED Tests) are designed to measure the skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school course of study. The five subject area tests which comprise the GED test battery are Mathematics; Language Arts, Reading; Language Arts, Writing (including essay); Science; and Social Studies.

Watch the video: What is the GED Test?http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/faq/index.htm#GED_stand_for

The question is whether employers and education or training institutions view the GED as equivalent to the high school diploma.

Claudio Sanchez of NPR asks the question, In Today’s Economy, How Far Can A GED Take You?

“The GED is a credential. Is it adequate for gainful employment and a living wage in the United States of America today? I do not think so,” says Los Angeles Schools Superintendent John Deasy. His top lieutenant in charge of adult and career education, Ed Morris, is even more blunt.

“If I were prepared today with a GED, and that’s what I had as an 18-year-old, I’d be scared to death of the future,” he says.

Morris says employers require so much more than what the GED delivers, which is why some students question its value.

“Truth is,” says 18-year-old Juan Valera, “I don’t want a GED.”

Unlike older dropouts at the Friedman center, Valera can still earn a high school diploma by retaking the courses he failed in high school.

He wants to pursue a degree in criminal justice and eventually join the FBI. But right now, he says, a GED wouldn’t even get him in the door at Burger King.

“Every day when I leave here and I go home, I stop by [Burger King] and ask, ‘Are you trying to hire?’ ” he says. “I bother them.”

Let’s say they interview two people for the same job, says Valera. “But one has a GED, one has a high school diploma — someone is far more likely to hire someone who has a high school diploma.”

‘Not As Good As A Diploma’

Valera’s experience has been the same everywhere he has applied — Costco, Walmart, Sears and Best Buy. Companies want a credential that says, “I have the knowledge and skills to handle a job.”

And that’s where the GED falls short, says Russell Rumberger, author of the book Dropping Out.

“If you look at employer surveys,” he says, “the things that employers generally most look for or think are important, especially at lower-end jobs, are the things like perseverance and tenacity, and those kinds of qualities that are not measured by the GED.”

Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says a high school diploma means you went to school for four years, did the work, passed the classes and didn’t quit. A GED, on the other hand, is a shortcut.

“The GED is better than no credential for a dropout,” he says, “but it’s not as good as a diploma. It doesn’t replace a diploma, in terms of labor market outcomes.”

The research also shows that only 1 in 10 GED recipients earns a college degree. Today, this is perhaps the GED’s biggest challenge.


Moi ended The GED as a door to the future with the following paragraph:

Unless, children are given a meaningful education which provides them with basic skills to adapt to a changing environment, the education system is producing a permanent underclass which will not be able to participate in the next “new, new thing.”

The real issue is reducing the number of high school dropouts.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©



One Response to “Update:The GED as a door to the future”

  1. GED March 16, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    “The research also shows that only 1 in 10 GED recipients earns a college degree. Today, this is perhaps the GED’s biggest challenge.”

    I’m not sure I buy this argument. It is as though saying that a bachelor’s degree is failing because only a fraction of grads earn a masters.

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