Seeds featured in Pacific Standard

Seeds of Literacy is featured in the newest Pacific Standard, an online and print magazine known for its journalism on cultural issues, as part of in-depth article on the GED and its current purpose.

In “Making the Case for a Good Enough Diploma,” journalist Dan McGraw argues that the current GED exam, aligned with Common Core standards and owned by for-profit Pearson in conjunction with the American Council on Education, focuses too heavily on college-level skills, to the detriment of many people who who need to pass the GED exam.

Mr. McGraw interviewed Seeds of Literacy student Jose Rosado, who has been attending GED classes since early 2014, and Program Officer Dan McLaughlin, who has been with the program since 2011.

“I’ve gone as far in my job as I can go,” Mr. Rosado said in the interview. “And I want to make my dad proud of me, and be a good example for my son. So I’ve been studying for a year, and I’m no closer than when I started. I already know how to weld, but most jobs want you certified, and I can’t get certified without the GED.

“It’s almost like I am doing everything I can to better myself, and they changed the rules so I can’t do that”

Mr. McLaughlin echoes the frustration that many GED students feel. “There is a middle ground of qualified people that could use their GED for those middle-skill jobs that are being cut out merely because they perhaps aren’t very good at algebra.”

Many people are being unnecessarily and unfairly shut out of the opportunity to advance economically because of the burdensome standards of the GED test, Mr. McGraw argues.

“The focus of the new test also questions a tacit, if real, goal for many taking the GED: It’s a tool for moving up a few rungs on the vocational ladder, not a launching pad for those who want to jump onto the university escalator.

“Right now the new test is failing a large number of people who need a second chance to get ahead.”

You can read the full article here.

Dan McGraw previously interviewed Seeds of Literacy staff and students for an article in Scene magazine about the 2014 changes to the GED exam.