Colorado Considers High School Equivalency Options Beyond GED

Coloradans who want to get their high school equivalency could soon have testing options beyond the GED. The State Board of Education will discuss those options Thursday.

Two years ago, the GED tests got much harder, computerized and more expensive. Since then, the number of people who have passed the GED has gone down dramatically – 75 percent, according to a research report by the Bell Policy Center.

Several groups are pushing Colorado to adopt other tests to reflect the diverse needs of students. And 17 other states have done so already.

"The tests may assess the students' skills in different ways, but they’re assessing the same skills," said the center's senior policy analyst, Frank Waterous. He says it would open the path to the work force for the 340,000 Coloradans who don’t have a high school diploma.

GED officials say their test is more rigorous and worry the other tests won’t prepare students for higher education.