Safeguarding the Standards for GED Testing

(By Julie Zhu)
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By Jay Mathews
Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear Extra Credit:

As former students and educators, we at GED Testing Service certainly understand that some academic subjects can be more challenging than others. The GED tests, however, are designed to measure outcomes of a national high school curriculum. All five tests, including the mathematics test, reflect national high school graduation requirements, which are increasingly rigorous.

For math, the number of courses required to obtain a high school diploma has increased nationwide, and Algebra 1, once taken predominantly by college-bound students, is virtually universal as a graduation requirement.

I agree with your statement in your Dec. 4 column ["Betting Against a Big Drop in Graduation Rates"] that "if we change the test so that your friend can pass it, that will reduce the confidence in the GED [credential] among employers." Employers and colleges have a right to expect that GED credential recipients are on par with graduating high school seniors in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts (reading and writing).

Martin D. Kehe

Director of test development,

GED Testing Service


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