The America’s Promise Alliance released their 2014 Building a Grad Nation report highlighting that, “for the first time in U.S. history the nation’s on-time high school graduation rate rose above 80 percent.” While this is a huge accomplishment for the organization, and its partners that have been devoted to helping create conditions for educational success for all young people, there is still a remaining 20 percent of students not completing high school. In 2013, nearly 4.1 million students enrolled in 9th grade, following this statistic as a guide, an estimated 820,000 students will not complete high school with their peers. History has shown that while it may not be the root cause, ...view middle of the document...
The reasons behind the difference are unclear, are they not as skilled as other students?
Russell Rumberger, author of the book Dropping Out, suggests that GED recipients do not earn as much because they are not viewed as being as capable as diploma holders. "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." There are a variety of view points on the matter that incite a number of questions about the tests and possible alternatives. If the GED credential does not help students compete in the workforce, is it no longer a valuable alternative?
In 2014 the GED Testing Service rolled out a revision, like they had in previous years, which is supposed to be a better assessment for students college and career readiness. Will the 2014 GED Test revisions add rigor for learners and credibility to the perception of the exam as an alternative to the traditional diploma track or has the new model created more barriers than benefits for the test takers?
THE HISTORY OF THE GED
The General Educational Development credential was created in 1942 for the U.S. Military during World War II, as a high school equivalence exam so soldiers returning from the war could gain employment or enroll in college. The test, at that time, was sufficient for assessing recipients for a more industrial workforce, as only about 37 percent of test-takers were looking to pursue higher education. Three other versions were released between 1978 and 2002. While the original exam tested for reading, writing, math, and social studies, the next generations of the exam evolved to match the marketplace and social parameters of the times. In 1978, the exam shifted from basic memorization of material toward testing students for ability to apply and evaluate the material. The 1988 exam changes included insight from a panel of professionals from all sectors of education. They suggested the new exam should include competencies more in line with the information age that was emerging. Some of the components included a direct writing sample, questions with an emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving and an understanding of potential sources of societal changes. The last revision to the GED exam, in 2002, made accommodations for test-takers to complete a written or computer-based exam in English, Spanish, or French. The learning components tested language arts in reading and writing, math, science, and social studies; and it attracted more students that needed the credential to obtain promotions or meet pre-requisites for occupational training and secondary education.
BRANDING FOR THE GED EXAM
In the case of people looking at trade skill or labor positions, the GED certificate is considered the same way a high school diploma is. Brett Yardley, a marketing and...