the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Mar 16, 2015
The GED test has provided a way to get a high school diploma for poor and working class people who dropped out of high school since it began in 1943. But the test was changed in 2014, supposedly to bring it up to date.
As a result, pass rates plunged from the longtime average of about 70% to less than HALF of that. In addition, 10 states stopped offering the GED test. And some reports show the number of people who took the test dropped by 90% from what it had been a year earlier.
The new test is harder. The new test costs applicants twice as much. And it is more difficult to take since it can only be done on a computer. The changes mean testing is less likely to result in high school diplomas for the hundreds of thousands who used to try the GED test every year.
Before the 2014 changes, the
GED covered the skills of reading, writing an essay, basic math plus algebra and geometry and other topics covered by high schools.
The GED has been accepted by employers for decades as proof that employees have basic skills. Even the military has been requiring a GED, if not a high school diploma, before accepting new recruits. Millions who had to or wanted to drop out of high school found a way forward by passing the GED.
The changes to the test hurt the very people the test was designed to assist, the 36 million people, according to the 2010 census, who lack a high school diploma.
The excuse given for the changes was to help prepare high school graduates to go on to college. That excuse ignores the reality today that fewer than half of those entering four year colleges and universities actually graduate; for community colleges three quarters will drop out or fail.
In other words, neither the GED nor thousands of high schools are graduating students able to succeed at college work. The problem does not lie in the GED test itself. These changes are only useful to gain more profit for the publishers supplying the tests and practice materials.
The problem – as seen in every school district that is NOT wealthy – is that schools are starved of the resources needed to graduate the vast majority of students with a real education.
Changes to the GED are part of the same attack that leaves the poorest part of the population uneducated. An uneducated work force is a cheap labor pool for the bosses.
To make it harder to pass the GED is another crime by the criminals who run this society, condemning more people to unemployment.