Closing the door on some futures: Increasing the cost of a GED

2 Dec

Moi wrote in The GED as a door to the future:

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to the July 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

There are many reasons why kids drop out of school. Kate Convissor lists the following reasons in the EduGuide article, Why Kids Drop Out of School:

While the reasons kids drop out vary, the following are six important risk factors:

  1. Academic difficulty and failure. Struggling in school and failing classes is one of the main reasons teens drop out, and this pattern often shows up early. Students who fail eighth grade English or math, for example, are seventy-five percent more likely to drop out of high school.

  2. Poor attendance. Teens who struggle in school are also absent a lot, and along with academic failure, absenteeism is an important future predictor for dropping out. As with the previous example, students who are absent for twenty percent of their eighth grade year (one day per week) are also highly likely to drop out in high school.

  3. Being held back (retention). Linked to academic difficulty, students who are held back and who are older than the kids in their grade also tend to drop out.

  4. Disengagement from school. Many kids who drop out say that school was boring and teachers did little to connect learning to real life. They didn’t feel invested in their school and they didn’t feel that adults seemed interested in them or their high school experience.

  5. Transition to a new school. A poor transition from the smaller, more protected environment of middle school to the anonymity of a high school can cause a teen to have difficulty catching up-and some kids never do.

  6. Other life factors. Pregnancy, family problems, and financial difficulties are all factors that distract a student from schoolwork and make keeping up more challenging. http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2132/

Because many entry level jobs require at a minimum a high school diploma, the General Education Development Test or GED is often substituted for the high school diploma to show that an individual has reached a basic level of education achievement. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/17/the-ged-as-a-door-to-the-future/

The GED has been an option for many who failed to complete high school and cost is a factor to that population.

Diane Orson of NPR reports in the article, Educators Worry Revamped GED Will Be Too Pricey:

Last year, the GED Testing Service — part of the nonprofit American Council on Education — announced that it was merging with Pearson, a for-profit British company, and one of the largest educational testing companies in the world.

The merger, the testing service says, would help to generate the money needed to revamp the test. The new assessment will be more rigorous and aligned with Common Core Standards, a set of uniform educational standards now adopted by almost every state. The test will be offered only on computer, and it will cost more.

Fees to take the exam vary by state, says Randy Trask, president of the GED Testing Service.

Administrators at the adult education center are concerned that the GED overhaul will make it harder for many test takers to complete the exam.

“Historically, states have chosen to subsidize the GED test; some partially and some in its entirety,” Trask says. “The state then chooses what to charge test takers for the test. And the state bears — or has historically born — all of the costs associated with the delivery of that test and the scoring.”

In Connecticut, it currently costs $13 to take the GED. The actual price of the exam is closer to $60, but the state subsidizes the balance. The price of the new test, however, will jump to $120. And though Connecticut may pick up the difference for a while, state Rep. Walker says that probably won’t last. As a result, she’s worried the higher cost will hurt the low-income people the test is supposed to help.

“It is going to be prohibitive … People come here with pennies and nickels, bringing us change to pay for their GED,” Walker says. “So it’s going to be a class issue. People who have no money will never be able to actually take the GED.” http://www.npr.org/2012/11/28/165916695/educators-worry-revamped-ged-will-be-too-pricey?sc=emaf

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. Meanwhile, for those who fail to complete high school, the cost of a GED make become a barrier to moving forward with their lives.

Where information leads to Hope. ©                     Dr. Wilda.com

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