I’ve been trying to keep a special eye on policy papers outside the adult education world related to the GED revamp, particularly those that come at the issue from a civil rights, social justice, or economic policy point of view. Here’s one from the North Carolina Justice Center that came out back in November that I missed. It’s a good summary of the potential challenges that the new test may pose to low-income adults. It closes with a critical point:
While these challenges are significant, the changes to the GED test also offer an opportunity for states to reflect on ways to better meet the needs of this target population. (my emphasis)
This has been a point that I’ve been stressing (I hope) since the Pearson VUE partnership spurred several states to look for GED alternatives last year. Whatever you think of the GED and its new competitors, the rapid evolution of the HSE testing marketplace does appear to be forcing policymakers and state officials outside of the adult education office to spend some time actually thinking about the needs of this population. Whether this leads to more investment in adult education and/or policies designed to assist more adult learners to succeed is still an open question.