Tag Archives: General Education Development Test

Should states make the GED a high school diploma?

1 Feb

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education. 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.

The Best Schools reported in High School Diplomas versus the GED:

Many indicators soundly show that holders of the GED fall behind their diploma-holding counterparts. The following are a few examples concerning future outcome differences:
• High school graduates earn, on average, about $1,600 a month more than those with a GED (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
• Less than 5% of those with a GED receive a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 33% of those with diplomas that do (U.S. Census Bureau), which is supported by several studies showing that high school graduates are more prepared for college and score higher on placement tests than holders of the GED (National Bureau of Economic Research).
• 77% of GED holders do not continue past the first semester of college (American Council of Education study ).
• The military limits the number of accepted and requires higher scores on aptitude test for GED holders, because the military service dropout rates for GED holders is 45% compared to 24% for high school graduates.
The stigma connected with GED holders is not present for diploma holders, and that is the stigma of being a dropout, of lacking persistence, or of taking short cuts. This accounts partly for the large difference in wages between the two groups. Plus, many institutions view the robust education gained by years spent full-time in school cannot be garnered by the taking of a day-long test, nor indicated by it…. Maryland has offered diplomas to GED graduates for decades. Virginia gives GED recipients a certificate. http://www.thebestschools.org/degrees/high-school-diplomas-versus-ged/

Some school districts and states are moving toward issuing a high school diploma upon completion of a GED.

Michael Alison Chandler reported in the Washington Post article, D.C. explores widening the road to earning a high school diploma:

The proposed regulations by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) would remove the standard “Carnegie unit” — 120 hours of instruction, representing an hour a day, five days a week, for 24 weeks — upon which high school credit is based.
Instead, starting next school year, students would have multiple ways to earn credit, including passing a state-approved test or participating in a “course equivalent,” such as an internship, community-service project, portfolio or performance that can be tied to the academic standards. Another proposal would create a “state diploma” that would go to students who pass the GED any time after January 2014…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-seeks-flexibility-in-granting-high-school-diplomas/2014/12/14/814816a6-7fa0-11e4-81fd-8c4814dfa9d7_story.html

D.C. is not the only area looking for alternatives to the high school diploma.

MaryLynn Schiavi reported in Program makes it easy to get a high school diploma:

A pilot program launched in October 2014 is blazing a new trail for students of all ages and redefining the role of public libraries throughout the state. The Career Online High School (COHS) program is offering residents a free and convenient way to earn a high school diploma and other credentialed certificates through self-paced online courses under the guidance of an assigned coach. Students are expected to complete the program within 18 months.
“This innovative project is the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age into full-fledged community resources,” said Mary Chute, New Jersey state librarian…. http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2015/02/01/road-high-school-diploma/22589769/

It is important not only for a particular individual, but the economy for individuals to get a high school diploma. The question is 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 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 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 Anything that states and school districts can do to broaden the opportunity to complete high school is useful.

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The evolution of libraries: Los Angeles Public Library to offer high school diplomas

11 Jan

The American Library Association (ALA) has the imitative, Libraries Transforming Communities:

The American Library Association’s The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities is a groundbreaking libraries-as-change-agents initiative. ALA has partnered with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation to provide librarians with the tools and training they need to lead community engagement and innovation.
The Harwood Institute has a clearly articulated vision of “turning outward,” supported by a tested practice rooted in community conversation and ownership that emphasizes shifting the institutional and professional orientation of libraries and librarians from internal to external.
ALA receives grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance library-led community engagement
“Building on a deep reservoir of trust, public libraries are in an excellent position to lead their communities toward a shared vision and a foundation for growth and innovation,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, libraries and librarians will be better able to engage deeply with their constituents and support community aspirations.” During the grant period, ALA will work with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation to provide training opportunities and learning resources. Libraries interested in the in-person training and coaching will be recruited through an open application process that will be announced in January 2014. To receive an alert when the application period for Libraries Transforming Communities opens, interested libraries should sign up for the ALA Public Programs Office’s PPO Grants electronic discussion list at http://www.ala.org/offices/ppo/about/ppolist.
Tools for Community Engagement and Innovation:
The following tools have been customized for library use. Links to tools will download PDF files.
• Turn Outward (PDF): Are you mostly “turned inward or outward”? Librarians may use this tool to assess the focus of their efforts in the community as they further shift their orientation from internal to external.
• Aspirations (PDF): This tool helps librarians to focus on their community’s aspirations, identify next steps for creating change, and to create an aspirations-based story for their community as a starting point for library action.
• Intentionality (PDF): Librarians may use this tool to test the external orientation and mindfulness of their community engagement choices and decisions.
• Sustaining Yourself (PDF): This tool helps librarians to personally map the components that feed their motivation and commitment for community work.
• How Librarians and Libraries Can Lead Community Conversations for Change (PDF): This conversation guide, inspired by The Work of Hope by Richard C. Harwood, provides a step-by-step plan for librarians to convene small group community conversations about shared aspirations and to share their findings with the community.
More on the Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities project:
This project aligns with ALA’s 2015 strategic plan to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services in a dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment. The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities is the first step in building a sustainable, scalable national plan for library-led community engagement. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/libraries-transforming-communities

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/

An example of the type of community project contemplated by the ALA initiative is the Los Angeles Public Library’s plan to offer diplomas. Julie Watson of AP reported in the article, Los Angeles Library To Offer High School Diplomas:

A Los Angeles library plans to take its role as a place of learning a step farther and will start offering residents the opportunity to get an accredited high school diploma.
The Los Angeles Public Library announced Thursday that it is teaming up with a private online learning company to debut the program for high school dropouts, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
It’s the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age as they move to establish themselves beyond just being a repository of books to a full educational institution, said the library’s director, John Szabo.
Since taking over the helm in 2012, Szabo has pledged to reconnect the library system to the community and has introduced a number of new initiatives to that end, including offering 850 online courses for continuing education and running a program that helps immigrants complete the requirements for U.S. citizenship.
The library hopes to grant high school diplomas to 150 adults in the first year at a cost to the library of $150,000, Szabo said. Many public libraries offer programs to prepare students and in some cases administer the General Educational Development test, which for decades was the brand name for the high school equivalency exam.
But Szabo believes this is the first time a public library will be offering an accredited high school diploma to adult students, who will take courses online but will meet at the library for assistance and to interact with fellow adult learners.
High school course work is not required for a GED diploma, which can be obtained by passing an extensive test. The online high school program, however, will require its students to take courses to earn high school credits. The program is slated to begin this month.
“I believe with every cell in my body that public libraries absolutely change lives and change lives in very big ways,” Szabo said….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/09/los-angeles-library-diplomas_n_4568690.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

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. The Los Angeles Public Library is giving many the chance to go forward and have a future.

Related:

Parent homework: Make friends with your local library https://drwilda.com/2014/01/06/parent-homework-make-friends-with-your-local-library/

More research about the importance of reading
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/reading-literacy-and-your-child/

The University of Wisconsin ‘Flexible Option’ program: A college GED? https://drwilda.com/2013/01/25/the-university-of-wisconsin-flexible-option-program-a-college-ged/

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Several states plan to drop the GED because of cost

17 Apr

 

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

 

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/

 

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/02/closing-the-door-on-some-futures-increasing-the-cost-of-a-ged/

 

Heather Hollingsworth writes in the Huffington Post article, States Dropping GED As Test Price Spikes:

 

 

Several dozen states are looking for an alternative to the GED high school equivalency test because of concerns that a new version coming out next year is more costly and will no longer be offered in a pencil and paper format.

 

The responsibility for issuing high school equivalency certificates or diplomas rests with states, and they’ve relied on the General Education Development exam since soon after the test was created to help returning World War II veterans.

 

But now 40 states and the District of Columbia are participating in a working group that’s considering what’s available besides the GED, and two test makers are hawking new exams.

 

“It’s a complete paradigm shift because the GED has been the monopoly. It’s been the only thing in town for high school equivalency testing. It’s kind of like Kleenex at this point,” said Amy Riker, director of high school equivalency testing for Educational Testing Service, which developed one of the alternative tests.

 

Last month, New York, Montana and New Hampshire announced they were switching to a new high school equivalency exam, and California officials began looking into amending regulations to drop the requirement that the state only use the GED test. Missouri has requested bids from test makers and plans to make a decision this month. Several others states, including Massachusetts, Maine, Indiana and Iowa, are making plans to request information about alternative exams.

 

Meanwhile, Tennessee and New Jersey are exploring offering more than one test.

 

“The national situation is definitely fluid,” said Tom Robbins, Missouri’s director of adult education and high school equivalency, noting that other states plan to use the GED for now and bid later.

 

The pushback comes as GED Testing Service prepares to introduce a new version of the exam in January. In the first revamp since for-profit Pearson Vue Testing acquired a joint ownership interest in the nonprofit Washington-based GED Testing Service, the cost of the test is doubling to $120. That’s led to a case of sticker shock for test takers, nonprofits and states. Some states subsidize some or all of the expense of the exam, while others add an administrative fee. The new GED test would cost $140 to take in Missouri if the state sticks with it.

 

Kirk Proctor, of the Missouri Career Center, said the organization is looking for a way to cover the increased test cost for students participating in a GED preparation and job training program he oversees. He said his students can’t come up with $140, noting they need help paying for the current, cheaper test….

 

Competitors responded with a paper version and a cheaper base price, although GED Testing Service said its price includes services the other two test makers don’t. The alternative exams’ makers also said they will work with states to find ways to combine scores from the GED with their new exams so students who have passed some sections of the current GED won’t be forced to start from scratch. GED Testing Service said that would undermine the validity of a state’s equivalency credential or diploma.

 

Trask also said he feared the competing exams would be confusing for colleges and employers. But states considering switching say they’ll put more emphasis on the equivalency credential or diploma they issue rather than the test taken to earn it.

 

Art Ellison, who leads the Bureau of Adult Education in New Hampshire, called the sudden choice in the exams “the new reality of adult education.” His state and Montana are switching to HiSET, a $50 test that the Educational Testing Service, or ETS, is offering. Both states said cost influenced their decision, with Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau proclaiming in a news release that residents “looking to improve their economic situation by obtaining a high school equivalency diploma should not have to overcome a significant financial barrier in order to achieve that goal.”

 

Ellison also noted that a paper option was important because many students in adult education classes lack the skills needed to take a computer-based test and that it will take time to beef up the courses to add that training.

 

Meanwhile, New York chose California-based CTB/McGraw-Hill’s new Test Assessing Secondary Completion, or TASC. Developers said it will range in price from $50 to $60.

 

Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said in a news release that without the change, New York would have had to pay the GED test maker twice as much or limit the number of test takers because state law bars residents from being charged to take the equivalency exam. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/states-dropping-ged_n_3088855.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

 

In The GED as a door to the futurehttps://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 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 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

 

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.

 

 

Related:

 

Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout https://drwilda.com/2012/11/19/studies-lack-of-support-and-early-parenthood-cause-kids-to-dropout/

 

Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students https://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/

 

 

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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.

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The GED as a door to the future

17 Nov

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.

The GED Testing Service describes the GED in their Fact Sheet:

The GED Tests provide adults who did not complete a formal high school program the opportunity to certify their attainment of high school-level academic knowledge and skills

The tests are field-tested and normed on graduating high school seniors before becoming final test forms

Only 60% of graduating high school seniors would pass the GED Tests on their first attempt

The GED Test battery comprises five content area assessments:

Language Arts, Reading

Language Arts, Writing

Mathematics

Science

Social Studies

The GED Tests are currently offered only in a paper-pencil format at Official GED Testing Centers – they cannot be taken online

Completing the entire test battery takes just over 7 hours

http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/pubs/GED_Testing_Program_Fact_Sheet_v2_2010.pdf

Because of the competition for jobs in the current economy, there appears to be an “arms race” for completion of degrees and training.

Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s

Call it credential inflation. Once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D. or just a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, the master’s is now the fastest-growing degree. The number awarded, about 657,000 in 2009, has more than doubled since the 1980s, and the rate of increase has quickened substantially in the last couple of years, says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Nearly 2 in 25 people age 25 and over have a master’s, about the same proportion that had a bachelor’s or higher in 1960.

Just as there is an “arms race” in the completion of university degrees, there is a push to look at what successful completion of a GED means.

Catherine Gewertz is reporting in the Education Week article, Higher Education Is Goal of GED Overhaul about proposed changes to the GED.

The project to redesign the GED is far-reaching. It includes not only reworking the content in the five subject-matter tests and transferring them from pencil-and-paper to computers, but also overhauling professional development for GED teachers, reworking curricula, and adding strong counseling supports to help students pass and plan their next steps.

Pivotal to the ambitious initiative is repositioning the GED as a step in a journey toward postsecondary training, rather than as an end in itself. Epitomizing that shift in thinking, the new exam, due out in 2014, will have two passing points: the traditional one connoting high school equivalency, and an additional, higher one signaling college and career readiness….

Value Questioned

Situating the GED as a pathway to higher education echoes its original intent. The first exams, in 1942, were envisioned as a way for returning World War II veterans to complete high school and use the GI Bill to attend college. In 1949, the first year statistics are available for nonmilitary test-takers, 39,000 people took one or more of the five sections of the test: reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. By 2010, that number had risen to 750,000….

The GED is widely used as a high-school-completion tool by those in the military and in prisons, and by dropouts who are too old for the public school system. Although one-quarter of those who take the test are 16 to 18 years old, the typical GED candidate is 26, has completed 10th grade, and has been out of school nine years, according to ACE data….

Even as the GED is overhauled, scholars continue to debate its value.

Some research has found that GED recipients earn no more than high school dropouts; a 1993 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader found them “indistinguishable” from high school dropouts in the labor market. Other research concludes that they earn moreRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader than dropouts, and nearly as much as those with high school diplomas. But a 2010 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader attributed that added earning power to personal traits and family characteristics that GED passers shared with diploma earners, such as higher levels of parental education.

One of the co-authors of that study, Nicholas S. Mader, said that any next-generation GED program would have to incorporate “soft skills,” such as persistence and study skills, if recipients are to stand a better chance in work and higher education than dropouts….

Shift in Content

When it comes to some postsecondary measures, GED recipients do better than high school dropouts. According to a 2010 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader by the Washington-based ACE, 43 percent enroll in certificate or college programs within six years, compared with 20 percent of those who don’t pass the test and 64 percent of high school graduates. But few complete more than a year of coursework.

A 2009 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader by the ACE followed 1,000 people who took the GED and found that only 307 had enrolled in postsecondary education five years later. Three-quarters dropped out after one semester, and only 17 completed a degree or certificate.

Such outcomes have fueled criticism of the widespread view that a GED is “equivalent” to a high school diploma….

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/11/16/12ged.h31.html?tkn=OLNF%2BDEky%2BnV0%2B%2FJLiSY2K1xeBkjdbsk1elT&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1

This world is in a period of dislocation and upheaval as great as the period of dislocation which ushered in the “industrial revolution.” The phrase “new, new thing” comes from a book by Michael Lewis about innovation in Silicon Valley. This historical period is between “new, new things” as the economy hopes that some new innovator will harness “green technology” and make it commercially viable as the economy needs the jump that only a “new, new thing” will give it. Peter S. Goodman has a fascinating article in the New York Times, Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

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.”

Resources:

GED Testing Service

http://www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Section=GED_TS&CFID=4438019&CFTOKEN=45604581&jsessionid=1630edd8748a$D9$60$C

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2008 Compendium Report

December 2010 http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011012.pdf

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©