Let’s take a break from all this federal policy stuff and check back in with the looming GED disaster, by way of this article by Marc Larocque in today’s Taunton (MA) Gazette:
[Carmen] Botelho [director of the Taunton Adult Education Partnership] said that if the more costly 2014 GED exam is implemented as a standard in Massachusetts, it would also put a burden on adult education programs in Taunton and across the state.“Absolutely, it will be tougher for the program,” Botelho said. “We have funds available through the Taunton Literacy Council that we provide to students for the test, if they can write a letter to the council explaining the situation and its approved. It will be tougher for program in that way. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for the students. And the program will also face financial difficulty because there will likely be more requests for assistance.”
Botelho predicted that fewer adult students will try to get their GED if the costs are nearly doubled, as monthly bills and immediate family needs take precedence. (my emphasis)
Whatever the business rationale is for increasing the costs or otherwise making high school equivalency exams less accessible, pricing adults out of the opportunity to earn a high school credential doesn’t make much sense as a matter of public policy, does it? (Presuming we agree that increasing the number people in this country who have high school level credentials is desirable.) Yet despite two or more years of hearing stories like the one above, there seems to me to be sort of grudging acceptance in some circles that it’s reasonable to make the whole process “tougher” and more expensive, and I (honestly) don’t know why.
I realize that this is primarily a state matter but a national discussion about policies that would encourage more adults to acquire their high school diploma in light of these increasing costs (and other challenges) might not be a bad idea.