Will this happen here?
The Hechinger Report has a very disturbing article about how new replacement tests for the old GED are getting corrupted in New York. Per Hechinger, 20-year old Nurul Ali says he passed New York’s new replacement for the GED, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, or TASC, even though he guessed at many of the science test questions because the material was something he had never heard of before.
Ali apparently passed because while the new TASC has a lot of hard questions, an applicant only has to correctly answer somewhere around 30 to 40 percent. On tests with four possible answers to each question, pure guessing should generate about a 25 percent score, so not much knowledge is needed to get over that 30 percent level.
So far, Kentucky has kept the recently rewritten GED as its alternate high school completion measure, but the new GED started out with both hard questions and fairly rigorous scoring. Nationwide, Hechinger says that dumped the pass rate on the new GED dramatically from the rates on the old test.
According to Hechinger’s article:
“The GED Testing Service estimates that the number of people passing in 2014 was about 90,000, down dramatically from 540,535 in 2013 when there was a rush to take the previous “easier” GED and down from 401,388 in 2012.”
With alternative, dumbed down options to the GED out there now, there will be a lot of pressure on the new GED to dumb down, as well.
And, the experience of TASC shows that even hard questions on a test may not mean it is all that difficult to get a passing score. It all depends upon whatever standards the educators running the program really chose to use.