After a newer, tougher GED (General Education Diploma) test was introduced in 2014, nearly 90 percent fewer people passed than in 2013.
Dan McGraw, reporting for Scene, broke the story
of what that meant for the American economy and for Ohio residents struggling to get jobs without high school credentials.
Now, the GED Testing Service has announced that it will lower the passing score (from 150 to 145)
in "recognition that students who passed the latest, tougher version of it were doing better in college than high school graduates."
If every state adopts the new passing score, which is intended to be applied retroactively, the GED Testing Service estimates that roughly 25,000 more test takers will receive their GED each year.
That's a significant improvement, but nowhere near the levels of attainment before the test was changed.
According to numbers obtained by Scene,
540,000 passed the GED test in 2013. At the end of 2014, only about 55,000 had passed.
By the end of 2015, the GED folks evidently recognized the problem. It's certainly true that those passing the newer test (which is administered online) do better in college than some high school graduates, but it's also likely that changing the score was in recognition of the more pressing problem:
Not enough people were passing.