As many of you know, the GED was rewritten to align with the Common Core State Standards. In 2013, Pearson Education bought the rights to the GED and aligned the test to the Common Core State Standards.
If, for whatever reason, you have left the assembly line of the government school institution before receiving a diploma, the GED is what has traditionally been used in this country to show that a person has a basic general knowledge of math, english, social studies and science. Good or bad, as a country, we have moved towards requiring at least a GED, in lieu of a diploma for the vast majority of jobs. The GED, by its nature is a high-stakes test.
There is not a person alive who has taken and passed the GED that would tell you it was an easy test. With the nationalization of K-12 education, through the coercion of the federal government, the Common Core State Standards were adopted in 46 states. Along with this fundamental transformation of of K12 from academics to workforce readiness, everything had to conform. So, the GED was sold to Pearson, (a for profit education company) and aligned to the CCSS.
With the implementation of this new GED in 2014, passing rates around the country dropped by as much as 90%. The Native American tribes in South Dakota, came together and had grave concerns about the effect a 90% drop in passing rate of the GED was having on their tribe members. They began searching for an alternative to the GED. They do not want their people held back because the Pearson monopoly GED is the only test South Dakota allows.
There is a choice. And 16 other states have made the choice to offer the people of their state a choice. Obtaining a high school equivalency degree is about enabling people to succeed. Not hold them back.
To that end, when HB1146 came to the House floor on Feb. 24, 2016, Rep. Jim Bolin took the opportunity to point out that if the state Department of Education and administration had not jumped, “lock, stock and barrel” on the Common Core bandwagon, we would not be having this conversation. He also noted, as he and other legislators have said many times, this top down mandate cannot work. It takes out the human factor. You can watch his speech below. Thank-you Rep. Bolin for saying what so many in this state have been saying and feeling. As you can tell from the reaction of other Representatives, who have stood, sometimes at great cost, to stop the madness, parents and teachers are not the only ones who are vindicated with the GED debacle. Thank-you to all the Representatives that have stood.
Unfortunately, because the education elitists and bureaucrats would not listen to those on the front lines, this vindication has come at great human cost.
I would ask you to let the video play until the end of the debate on HB1146. Rep. Jacqueline Sly, actually says that we should not turn this issue into a debate about Common Core. I’m still not sure how she said that with a straight face. You can watch the full debate, including the presentation from Rep. Bordeaux of what is happening with the GED not only on the reservations of South Dakota, but for everyone around the state and country at the 2:57:55 mark. It’s well worth 22 minutes of your time.
Watch for more to come on the GED problems in South Dakota. It’s time to stop setting our kids up to fail!