Some 10,128 Georgians passed the GED graduation test last year, up from 9,842 in the 2016 fiscal year, Gov. Nathan Deal announced recently.
Those who pass the GED earn the right to say they’ve got the equivalent of a high school education, and can move on to college, technical training or the increasing proportion of jobs that require at least a high school diploma.
“Achieving this milestone means that more of our citizens than ever are now qualified for greater educational and career opportunities, and we are extremely proud of each and every GED graduate,” said Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin in a news release. “Each step we take in educating the working-age Georgians who have yet to graduate from high school also gives our companies greater access to the talent they need to be successful.”
Most GED education in Georgia is conducted through the Technical College System of Georgia.
The 10,128 total for the fiscal year ending last June 30 represents about a 2.9 percent increase over the previous year — but it’s far below the number who were passing the test annually before 2014.
Back then, about 16,000 to 18,000 Georgians were getting GED credentials annually, former Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson said then.
But after the company that owns the GED changed the test and made it more expensive, pass rates plummeted in Georgia and nationwide, along with the number of people who take courses to learn the math, English and other material on the tests. Pass rates have improved since the new test was first introduced, however. Last year, the pass rate was about 75 percent.
Even before the new test, the state’s adult education efforts weren’t making much of a dent in the number of Georgians without a high school diploma. Nearly 866,000 Georgians between 18 and 64 lacked a high school diploma in 2014, according to a Georgia Budget and Policy Institute analysis.
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