The Ged Diploma: A Substitute, Maybe, But Not Second Rate

No one has ever claimed that the General Educational Development diploma (not the General Education Degree, as cited in your story) was a "cheap substitute" for a regular high school education ("Failing grades for high school equivalency tests," Economic Trends, Oct. 7). However, for almost 50 years, the GED Tests have promoted adult learning and created educational and career opportunities for millions of Americans. As a consequence of preparing for the tests, many adults improve their reading, math, writing, and higher-level thinking skills considerably. Our studies show that passing the test is a good indicator to employers that GED graduates possess valuable workplace skills and a level of initiative important to success in the job market -- a fact to which many of your readers will attest.

The best advice for any student is to finish school. But 50 million American adults do not have a high school diploma, and for them the GED can improve opportunities.

Jean Lowe


General Educational Development Testing Service

American Council on Education


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