American Radio Works - Second Chance Diploma: Examining the GED

Studying for the GED at an adult education school in Washington, D.C. Photo by Emily Hanford
Studying for the GED at an adult education school in Washington, D.C. Photo by Emily Hanford

Today's workers need more education and skills than ever before. But 39 million adults in the United States don't have even the most basic credential: a high school diploma. Many hope their ticket to a better job is passing a test called the GED. But critics say the test is too easy and hardly the equivalent of a high school education. This program documents how the GED – originally designed to help World War II veterans go to college – became the fallback option for millions of high school dropouts. It explores how the GED is changing and what those changes mean for millions of Americans being left behind by our changing economy.

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