Latest GED Stats Alarm, Confuse Experts

Update: Please be advised that this was an April Fool’s post!

Released today, the latest statistical information produced by the GED Testing Service indicate that the severe downturn in the number of people taking the GED in 2014 has only been getting worse during the first quarter of 2015. In some states, the number of test-takers have slipped below zero for the first time, with Rhode Island reporting -2,177 people signing up to take the test in February alone. “If this trend continues,” said an unidentified source inside the Rhode Island Department of Education, “we’ll need to average at least 200+ new test takers per month over the next three quarters to have any hope of getting our total number of testers back to zero by the end of the year.”

Other states, including Maryland, Nevada, and Georgia, are experimenting with a new program called “Multiplying Success,” in which students who previously applied to take the GED are encouraged to apply again – in some cases as many as a half-dozen times – even if they have previously passed all of the sections of the test. As a result, these states are among the few experiencing dramatic growth in their numbers. Traditionally, students who have passed the test have been discouraged from applying to take it again, which critics say results in artificially depressed demand numbers. As one Nevada official noted, “while conventional wisdom—some might even say common sense—suggests that it makes little to no sense to sign up to take a test again after you have already passed it, it’s not the government’s role to decide. Limiting people to taking and passing the test just once is blatantly discriminatory.”

Again, I want to emphasize that all of this new information emerged just today. It’s too early to tell how seriously to take it.

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