PASS RATE AT ALL-TIME HIGH
NASHVILLE - Since January 2002, the passing rate of those taking the GED exam in Tennessee has climbed 12 percent to an all-time high of 76 percent. Strategic planning, focused on customer satisfaction, and strong partnerships between the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, local programs, and testing sites are credited for the growth.
"We instituted a policy in January 2003 that requires individuals to take the Official GED Practice Test before they are allowed to take the real test," said Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley. "A passing score is not required; however, local adult education programs have done an outstanding job of counseling those who are not ready to pass to enroll in class and provided them with the quality instruction they need. Our number one goal in instituting this policy was to decrease failure and frustration on the part of hundreds of students who took the test with no preparation and failed, often multiple times. We are succeeding in doing that."
Statewide training in the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Success, as part of the Tennessee Quality Award program, is another reason adult education programs are increasing the success level of GED test-takers. "Using the Baldrige Criteria as a tool for quality management and continuous improvement has caused our programs to step back and look at how they operate," according to Adult Education Director Phil White. "With the customer, or student, in mind, programs are re-designing the way they do business to operate more efficiently and serve their customers more effectively."
With this increase, the Tennessee pass rate is now on par with those states that do require a passing score. "At this point," said White, "there are no plans to require a certain score on the Practice Test. As part of our strategic plan, however, we will set higher goals and take the necessary steps to achieve an even higher passing rate over the next five years."
ANDREW JOHNSON TOWER, 8TH FLOOR