Liz Smith: GED price shameful

September 25, 2013 

GED price shameful

The Sept. 19 front-page article “GED hopefuls race to beat change” on the rise in cost of the GED test from $35 to $120 is cause for concern. The test is owned by Pearson, a for-profit corporation, and the American Council on Education, currently run by Molly Broad, the former president of the UNC system.

The article stated that the test will be offered only on computer beginning in 2014. The fact that the test will no longer be given on paper argues for a savings, not an increase. Computerized and standardized, this should be a benefit for the test takers, both in turnaround time and cost. Why are people who are perpetually trying to catch up being undermined yet again? Is it that Pearson and ACE need to make more money?

As a society we say we want people to benefit from opportunity. The message here is that opportunity is only for those who pay and pay. More than 1.3 million North Carolinians have dropped out of high school. At $120 a head, that is real return on the backs of those who can afford it least. As the Steep Canyon Rangers sing, “Ain’t no easy street on my side of town.”

Liz Smith


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