GED Goes For-Profit

Since 1942, when the United States Armed Forces Institute asked the American Council on Education (ACE) to develop a test to measure high-school level intelligence and skills, the General Educational Development Test (GED) has existed to help high school dropouts get on with their lives and sometimes even get into college.

But the test is about to change. According to an article by Lauren Sieben in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The American Council on Education and Pearson announced today that they will work as partners to redevelop and administer the General Education Development test, transitioning the service from a nonprofit program to a for-profit business.

The partnership comes after the council announced its GED 21st Century Initiative, which seeks to restructure the test to align it with a modern high-school curriculum and to develop stronger instructional programs. The new test will be released by 2014.

ACE’s president, Molly Corbett Broad, said the partnership with Pearson (and the profit motive) will supply a “much-needed fresh start to attack what is really an old and pernicious problem.”

Right, because the potential to make money has been an unqualified success in its ability to improve education quality.

The average cost to take the GED exam is $75. It’s unclear how Pearson plans to make a profit off the GED or if the price of the test will increase in three years, when GED seekers have to take the new test.

About 800,000 people take GED tests taken every year.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer