The numbers of Wisconsinites who received high school equivalency diplomas plunged by 92 percent in 2014, due mainly to more rigorous testing requirements.
The Department of Public Instruction says that only 912 people passed the General Education Development program in 2014 – way down from over 11,000 in 2013. The state attributed much of the drop to changes in how testing is done.
The state contracts with the national GED Testing Service, which started a new exam this year with a greater focus on technology that can only be taken on computers. The cost also went up, climbing to as high as $135. Both factors made it harder for many people to go through testing process.
Another factor may also be linked to efforts to get people to take the test before changes were made. State officials say they pushed more people to complete GED programs in 2013, before the changes were set to take effect.