Drop-outs could have additional options for high school diploma

Governor John Kasich would like the Ohio Department of Education to add two testing options in addition to the GED

School Testing Generic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Governor John Kasich wants two more test options in addition to the GED for students who drop out of high school.

The GED has been a common way for drop-outs to earn job qualifications. It has been a form of alternative schooling in Ohio for 74 years.

In 2012, a company called Pearson updated the test. Since then, Policy Matters Ohio says Ohioans passing the GED is down 85 percent, but costs have tripled.

“From what I understand, the students that came back to us, they tell us that they had difficulty passing the GED. That’s why they come back seeking other options,” said Jennifer Merritt, Director of Alternative Education.

Kasich would like the Ohio Department of Education to add two additional testing options. Some lawmakers hope this would drive down prices and provide options for adults too.

“Any way that a student can go through and get an opportunity to get a diploma is absolutely critical,” Merritt said.

Besides the GED and the two additional tests Kasich is proposing, another alternative schooling option is the Ohio 22+ Program.

The program, funded by the state, allows former students age 22 and older to re-enroll and earn their high school diploma. Courses are provided at Mahoning County High School and online.

“When we started the adult 22+ program, that was one of the biggest things we heard. Students had to try to take the GED and they just weren’t successful,” Merritt said.

The legislation is not official yet. Kasich would like the bill to be added to House Bill 474.

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