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Stallworth, who also sits on the House Education and Detroit Caucus Committees and is the Chairman of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, is visiting the Center to see first-hand how the SVSFC program operates and bring attention to the significant federal changes taking place in GED testing beginning in January 2014, including tougher standards and a 500% price increase. In addition, anyone currently taking the multi-part GED test who has not completed all segments by the end of the year will have their partial scores wiped out and have to start from the beginning in 2014 on an online only basis.
It is estimated that over 1/3 of Detroit residents do not have a high school diploma or GED which is in many cases a requirement for even the most meager forms of employment. The SVSF helps thousands of Metro Detroiters obtain their GED's and is feverishly working towards encouraging residents to complete their testing and urging others to start and complete the process before the tough new standards, higher payments and on-line only testing begins in January 2014.
Although there are sincere efforts being made to improve our educational system, the efforts are not as effective as they could be, because looming national changes to the GED (General Equivalency Diploma)
In 2014, the national test standards for the GED are going to increase in difficulty and the GED test itself will be taken completely online. Further, the test cost for Detroiters is going to increase to 500% of its current fee. The standard $30 per test is going to skyrocket to $150 per test.
Why is this change significant?
• According to the State of Michigan Department of Education, approximately 230,000 of the 700,000 residents in Detroit do not have a high school diploma or GED
• An additional 8,000-10,000 students drop out of Detroit schools annually
• Many industries such as retail, food service, trucking, manufacturing, etc. now require a minimum of a GED for employment. As a result, roughly 1/3 of Detroit's population (which also has a 47% functional illiteracy rate) is not just unemployed, they are unemployable.
• There will be a charge to take the practice test online as well, which many residents simply cannot afford, but need the practice because they do not have home computers and are not comfortable taking a standardized test to begin with, much less online.
• There are multiple generations of Detroiters that have been failed by the system and therefore, have a generational resistance to education. They do not have the education they need to obtain employment and support their families, resulting in heavier reliance upon assistance, higher crime rates and lower economic base for the City. By assisting adults in completing their education and thus improving their family's financial stability, the value of education is better understood and taught to the next generation. We believe this is how we will truly help the families in our community.
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