Pearson Is Everywhere: 2014 GED Results Show 90% Drop In Passage Rate

PearsonWelcome back to Pearson Is Everywhere!

Last time, we learned that the FBI seized documents related to technology devices (iPads) at LAUSD and were investigating the possibility of fraud in relation to the contracts.

Today, we’re looking at the crash and burn of the GED test scores after Pearson and American Council On Education (ACE) took it over, re-wrote the test and made it ‘Common Core Aligned’.  Not only was the content ‘aligned, but so was the method. GED test takers now have to do it online. The result has been a catastrophic drop in the passage rate.

The title of the article at the ‘Janresseger’ blog in the Tweet above is Pearson Now Runs the GED: Passage Rate Drops by 90 Percent in One Year.  

The key except from that blog entry that informs its title is this one:

In an examination of December 2014 data, McGraw details the dismal results of the launch of Pearson’s new GED test. “In the United States, according to the GED Testing Service, 401,388 people earned a GED in 2012, and about 540,000 in 2013.  This year… only about 55,000 have passed nationally.  That is a 90 percent drop off from last year.”

Holy crap.

Read the whole thing. It gets worse. The old test used to cost $40 bucks. It now costs $120.
CHA-CHING!  There’s that Pearson.. Always EARNING.

The blog entry is based on a Cleveland Scene article, which is a must read. The stats Cleveland Scene has uncovered about the GED passage rates in 2014 is astounding. Here’s an excerpt, but please — read the entire article:

Has the GED test always been hard? Some would say so. Especially if you are 20 years or more removed from high school and haven’t thought of quadratic equations or Thomas Jefferson’s verbiage since then. But for those trying to take the GED test in 2014, passage of the high school equivalency is probably less likely than at any other point in the 70-year history of the test.

The changes were made to bring the test up to date, in some people’s eyes. That meant adapting the test to reflect the new Common Core standards being taught in most high schools across the country, doing it online only and not on paper, and requiring more essays. The results have been dramatic:

Based upon preliminary findings by Scene, about 350,000 fewer people will earn a GED nationally than in 2012, and close to 500,000 fewer than last year. The GED accounts for 12 percent of all the high school diplomas awarded each year.

In Ohio, 16,092 passed the test in 2012, and 19,976 did so in 2013, but only 1,458 have passed so far this year.

Other states have similar rates. The drop off in Texas was about 86 percent; Florida, about 77 percent; Michigan, about 88 percent.

About 2,100 prisoners in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections earned a GED in both 2012 and 2013. Only 97 have earned the GED in 2014.

Project Learn, the local program contracted to tutor inmates in the Cuyahoga County Jail, saw a total of 80 inmates pass the GED test in the past three years, but only one county jail inmate has passed so far this year.

Another local GED tutoring program, the Seeds of Literacy, had 131 of its students pass in the past two years, but only two so far this year.

The Cleveland Scene also notes a large drop in participation of the re-designed 2014 test:

But there is another reason for the small number of people passing the GED test in 2014: Hardly anyone is taking it this year. And that has as much to do with how the test is administered as the content. The previous test was administered with pen and paper, but this version can only be taken on a computer. And here’s the kicker: More than half the people in the U.S. who do not have a high school diploma do not have a laptop or desktop computer at home. The same number, not surprisingly, have no Internet access either.


What are the results for the 2014 GED North Carolina?  

I was unable to locate the current set of results, but I did locate was the 2013 set.  I have reached out to various contacts in search of the 2014 results and will update accordingly.

North Carolina uses the GED Credentialing Program.

If you look up GED testing services for North Carolina, it takes you to this webpage: GED Testing Services.

On that page, it has a FAQ of sorts. One of the questions is, “Do I need to take a class or receive instruction before I can take the test?

One of the answers to that question is, “No, North Carolina does not require test-takers to receive classroom instruction before taking the GED® test. ”  

Given the test results coming in, perhaps that answer needs a revision.

The GED is overseen by the NC Community College System.  The NC Community College system has an entire page dedicated to “College and Career Readiness (Basic Skills) Contact Information”.

It should also be known that if one did not complete their tests to receive their GED Diploma by December 31, 2013, the person had to restart the process under the new GED rolled out in 2014.  Test prep for the new exam can cost you up to $289.


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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), Common Core, EDUCATION, Testing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Pearson Is Everywhere: 2014 GED Results Show 90% Drop In Passage Rate

  1. Pingback: Pearson Is Everywhere: Silencing Edition | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. Pingback: The Common Core Weekend Reads – 1-11-15 | Lady Liberty 1885

  3. GTobin says:

    Our Government doing and acting in the best interest of the people and representing the people’s best interest, remember? But modern U.S. Government / politicians are getting out of the people business.


  4. The GED used to be a “great equalizer” for people who had less than ideal early lives and could not finish high school in the usual way; if they could pass the test, they could go directly to a community college and get a degree or transfer to their university of choice if they had a decent GPA and college transcript under their belts. Losing that gateway to higher education and jobs that require a HS diploma or GED is going to hurt people who are already at a disadvantage the most. What a disgraceful turn of events!


    • “…to create just these kinds of tests—next-generation assessments aligned to the common core. When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching.” – Bill Gates, 2009 Speech To Natl. Conference of State Legislatures

      The goal is to align everything so that students and the money have nowhere to go but Common Core.

      Liked by 1 person

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