The GED 21st Century Initiative will seek to achieve three high-impact outcomes: delivery of a more rigorous GED test aligned with the Common Core State Standards; implementation of a national preparation program featuring customized instruction; and support for a transition network that connects GED test-takers to career and postsecondary opportunities. The initiative will be piloted in New York City's District 79, where it will focus on providing GED candidates with the best possibility of achieving measurable gains in math and reading regardless of their initial proficiency level. The pilot was announced last week in New York City by ACE president Molly Corbett Broad, MetLife Foundation president and CEO Dennis White, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein. MRDC, a nonpartisan education and social policy research firm, will serve as evaluation partner for the pilot.
"More than thirty-six million Americans lack a high school diploma or its equivalent, and every year more than 1.3 million students drop out of high school," said Broad. "We must reach adult learners and help them achieve, in a reasonable amount of time, the credentials needed to move on to postsecondary education or training and ultimately to family-sustaining careers."