Resolution to Restore GED Fairness in Washington State

WHEREAS more than one million students attend public schools in Washington State, comprised of about 80,000 students at each grade level and

WHEREAS only 60,000 of theses students graduate from Washington high schools each year, leaving about 20,000 students annually who do not receive the help they need to graduate from high school – in part because our state has among the lowest education funding as a percent of income and the highest class sizes in the nation and

WHEREAS this lack of adequate funding for public education has been repeatedly ruled by our Supreme Court to be a violation of our State Constitution, meaning these struggling students have already been deprived of their right to a quality education and

WHEREAS in the past, more than 12,000 of these annual “high school dropouts” (or about 60% of the 20,000 students annually who did not graduate) eventually earned their High School Equivalency (HSE) certificate, more commonly called the General Education Development certificate, each year by taking and passing a test called the GED test and

WHEREAS having a high school diploma or passing the GED test is often a requirement to get a good job or attend a good college and

WHEREAS those who do not have either a high school diploma or a GED certificate have an increased risk of taking drugs, committing crimes and ending up in prison – meaning that the GED test is not merely a second chance at a productive life, it is possibly their last chance and

WHEREAS in January 2014, a new and dramatically more difficulty GED test designed by a for profit corporation called Pearson was introduced, resulting in the pass rate dropping from 58% to only 8% in the past 4 months and

WHEREAS the Pearson test GED costs about twice as much as the old GED test and

WHEREAS there is a much fairer High School Equivalency test called the HiSET test available for much less from the College of Education at the University of Iowa and,

WHEREAS the HiSET has already been adopted as a HSE option in 12 States,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we urge our Governor and State legislature to restore fairness and hope for high school dropouts by allowing them the opportunity to take the non-profit IOWA HiSET High School Equivalency test rather than the for-profit Pearson GED High School Equivalency test.

Resolution to Restore GED Fairness adopted by the following organizations:

  • 36th LD Democrats on April 16, 2014
  • 32nd LD Democrats on May 14, 2014
  • 46th LD Democrats on May 22, 2014
  • King County Democrats on May 27, 2014

Originated by Elizabeth Hanson, M,Ed. Shoreline College instructor

Note: Information in this resolution was updated on May 28, 2014 based on the latest information from Washington State SBCTC. More info at