The guest column on the GED test is partially correct [“Guests: New GED test fails to measure skills that matter most,” Education Lab, Jan. 23].
It is true that the test doesn’t measure those items that many would associate with good character. When teaching the GED at the Seattle Indian Center, I used to play Stephan Covey’s leadership tapes, which address ideas like persistence and unconditional love, and are common to most cultures around the world. It helped many students stick it out and later helped former students and employees create businesses.
There are a lot of differences in GED programs in this country. If they are focused on education, then they have a well-organized curriculum that doesn’t allow students to go to the next topic until they master the current topic. They try to check for dyslexia and reading levels. If they are focused on getting students to just pass the test, then they push them through without mastery and hope they retain enough to barely pass the test, which is multiple choice.
The Navy GED curriculum used in Everett is probably the best, and probably still includes writing assignments on Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders.” The teachers are also trained to be strict. If the GED center is focused on education, the students will succeed after getting their GED.
Keith Wellman, Freeland