While NCLB was meant to ensure that all of our students have the chance to obtain an excellent education and a high school diploma, one of the most troublesome problems faced by our education system was not really addressed: high school drop outs. While there are many different reasons that students drop out of high school and don’t finish their degree, it is a growing problem. One way that students can address this issue is with the GED.
The GED is a test that evaluates students to see if they have achieved the same academic knowledge and skills that a typical graduate from a four-year high school has. It is unfortunate that many of the individuals who study for and pass the GED tests feel they suffer from a stigma. Graduating from high school is the prize, not the GED. This problem is further compounded by students who effectively graduate from high school via a home schooling program. Many parents are unaware that they have the right to issue their home-schooled child an actual diploma and instead opt to have their children take the GED test as proof positive they have completed the course work.
Of course a better solution should be found. Finding innovative ways to keep our high school students in school is important. Today’s students face a variety of problems, teenage pregnancy, money issues, drug and alcohol abuse, divorced parents and more. Instead of letting these children simply slip through the cracks, perhaps it is time to develop a strategy to help them stay in school and graduate. If that is not possible, it may be time to change the way the GED is administered and viewed, making it a more real option for students who have dropped out. Taking and passing the GED should be viewed as a high school diploma, not a poor substitute.