GED Emerging As A Popular Alternative To Diploma In Eastern Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Education officials in eastern Idaho are reporting a big increase over the last four years in the number of students taking the General Education Development test.

Known as the G-E-D, the test has long been considered a second-chance route to earning a high school certification for students who didn’t earn a diploma.

But its surge in popularity has some educators wondering if student frustrations with testing required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act is driving more away from the classroom … then later into the testing center.

Gary Mills, test center coordinator at Eastern Idaho Technical College says the number of 17-year-olds taking the GED increased from 54 in 2004-05 to 100 last year.

Figures from the school also show the number of 18-year-olds registering for the test increased 65 percent during that period.

Mills also says statistics show that 24 percent of test takers in 2004-05 cited a dislike for academics as the reason for not finishing high school. That figure increased to 44 percent last year.