The GED (General Education Diploma) test was supposed to be one of the simplest examinations for Americans. However, according to the Cleveland Scene, many adult citizens discovered the GED test to have been made exceptionally difficult this year, and the trend doesn’t look good at all.
The numbers are quite appalling. According to the GED Testing Service, 401,388 people earned a GED in 2012, and about 540,000 in 2013. This year, only about 55,000 have passed nationally. Needless to say, that’s a drop of almost 90 percent. However, mere numbers don’t even begin to explain the underlying crises. The National Economic Policy is increasingly emphasizing adult education programs, and most jobs (even those stocking Wal-Mart’s shelves) require a high school diploma. Additionally, the dilemma deepens for those who have spent time behind federal prison bars. Many prison re-entry education programs mandate the high school drop-out population to pass the GED test.
What has changed? The GED test has always been perceived to be difficult for those who have abandoned education a long time ago. This is especially true if you are 20 years or more removed from high school, and haven’t given a single thought to quadratic equations or Thomas Jefferson’s verbiage since then. However, for those unfortunate souls who have taken the GED test this year and will do so from hereon, passage of the high school equivalency is probably less likely than at any other point in the 70-year history of the test.
This is because the GED test was apparently made “relevant” and “up to date.” That simply means attempts were made to make the test compliant with the new Common Core State Standards being taught in most high schools across the country, asking applicants to take the test in digital format only, and requiring them to write a lot more essays than ever before. The result has been drastic.
About 350,000 fewer people will earn a GED nationally than in 2012, and close to 500,000 fewer than last year. This is concern-worthy on a national scale, since GED accounts for 12 percent of all the high school diplomas awarded each year.
Experts argue that the problem doesn’t merely lie in the way the test has evolved, but in the primary intention of America behind making its citizens take the GED test in the first place. They wonder if the GED test is geared toward determining if someone has the skills to make it in college or the skills necessary to be employed and to move up to a better job. Though the test has always found it difficult to cater to both the segments, GED test teachers feel the test has moved too far into measuring college preparedness.
[Image Credit | Today]