GED: Influence My Thinking

We have GED in-house this year for Randolph students and I’m wrestling with the subject. I understand how valuable GED is for adults who, for whatever reason, didn’t make it to a diploma. I saw Kimberly Mansfield deliver a wonderful program as part of Gowanda’s Adult Education program. It was one night per week, free of cost to the students and the district, helping prepare for the GED those students who had dropped out and those adults in the community who wanted it. Makes perfect sense to me.

I can’t deny it’s a good thing that we have our students coming to RCS for their GED instruction and attending BOCES for a vocational certificate–it’s definitely better than dropping out, no argument there. I’m not sure why they don’t get the GED instruction at BOCES, while there for the vocational piece. Can we deliver the instruction in a better or more cost effective way than BOCES can for GED? I’m not sure about that. Could our RCS teachers offer something else to our students, like additional electives, if they were freed up from that GED assignment?

I wonder what’s best for our GED students. Most of all, I wonder if we tried every other option first and if they absolutely would have been drop-outs without this program in-house. What about alternative ed at BOCES? There’s a program that offers an alternative that results in a diploma.

Readers, if you have an opinion, please respond. Influence my thinking. GED students, help me to understand how GED at Randolph is better than GED at BOCES, or is it? GED Teachers, what do you think? Parents? In a cost/benefit analysis, wouldn’t the rest of our students benefit more from those teachers offering more electives? Would GED students get a better or equitable program at BOCES?

My biggest fear? That our in-house GED program will look like an appealing alternative to those students on the brink, that we’ll have more drop-outs to GED (yes, it still counts as an RCS drop-out in the eyes of the State Education Department) because it looks easier to our struggling students than hanging in there and getting a high school diploma.

  1. Wow! Here is yet another thing that I didn’t know about our high school. I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that any type of GED class is an option here in Randolph. Consider this: a program of this type may be our very last chance to have these students achieve some sort of academic success. It seems to me that for this fact alone, a GED program is valuable.
    Perhaps we should also spend some time considering the reasons that students are dropping out in the first place. This is such a complicated issue. In addition to kids who struggle academically (and always have), there are those kids who are at serious risk for social reasons- the power of which we can’t underestimate or ignore. I think public schools in our country often fail miserably in getting marginal students to buy into what school has to offer, and our one-size-fits-all mentality certainly doesn’t help. Sometimes “hanging in there” for that piece of paper just isn’t worth the price it will take to get it for some of these kids. For some students, a GED is the only choice that seems viable to them. We should help them achieve that much- it could be a turning point to something more.

  2. Ms. Moritz,
    As a former GED teacher for BOCES, I feel that there are many factors that way into Randolph’s decision. Consider these three factors. Are the students in Randolph’s GED program able to stay in the program for more than one year? Many of the students that I worked with, I had Juniors and Seniors, would not open-up, soften or trust another teacher for a very long time. It took me two years to convince my students that I cared about them and that I felt their education was as important for their long term success as their health. Some students never softened. The second factor is class size. I had 20 students per class when I was a GED teacher for BOCES. I had 20 Juniors in the morning and 20 Seniors in the afternoon. 20 students is a lot. If Randolph’s class size is smaller than that may be a benefit for the students. The last factor is teacher stability. This may have changed and it might not be the most positive thing say about my current employer, BOCES, but the Alternative Education teachers did not stay in the job very long. Usually, the Alternative Education teacher was the new person on the totem pole regardless of certification area. If a position was eliminated often the GED teacher would get bumped. If the teacher did not get bumped, then teacher burn out was a factor. This too made it hard on the GED students. It is really all about relationships with all students, but especially Alternative Ed. students. Alternative Ed. students are the same student as everyone else but sometimes they make poor choices. Sometimes these poor choices can not be changed or in anyway made better. A trusting adult that models making proper choices for students is the best teacher. I look back and miss many of my students I worked with and I know that their time in my program was well spent–Not necessarily with “book learning,” but life learning. I would love for you to hear from some of my former students and see what their opinions are. I hope this helped.

  3. My opinion on keeping GED at randolph school. there r some people that dont go to boces but some of us do go to boces. i think that GED at randolph is easier cause they explain it more to you so you under stand. so i think that it should stay at randolph but i think that the GED kids should have there own saying where to go to GED at.

  4. My opinion on ged at randolph is that is better because the teachers at boces are probably not as nice as the teachers at randolph ged in randolph is better place the boces because it is easier because they help us more

  5. My opinion on the whole GED program is that i honestly think that we should take this GED program at BOCES. I think that it would definitely be better for the students that are taking there GED and the Students that already attend BOCES to remain at BOCES for the remaining of the day. So i think attending BOCES for the remander of the day would be cool with me. So that’s my opinion on your idea of the whole GED thing.

  6. I think that having the GED classes here at Randolph is a good idea. Mainly because I don’t go to boces and Randolph was the only choice that I had when I dropped out. So for me these classes were a really good choice and is working for me. So because I don’t go to boces I feel that I get more time to study and the day isn’t so hectic for me. So for me it doesn’t really matter but for others that actually go to boces the opinion is most likely different.

  7. My opinon on your blog for the GED program is that, I’m fine with it…like staying at boces the rest of the day for it or just coming back to randolph I don’t really care about it as long as I’m getting the education I need. Although i go to boces already so I guess it would be easier and faster to do by staying at boces. Maybe that would be the better option for us.

  8. i think we should keep taking or G.E.D. at randolph its alot easier for us insted of going to boces and staying their all day because what if we had a doctors apointment or something like that our parents would have to drive all the way doen their to pick us up and for some of the people that dont go to boces in the morning they would have to wait untill the G.E.D. classes started. so basically thats why i think we should keep the G.E.D. classes here at randolph

  9. My opinion on ged is that we should keep it in randolph. There are some people in ged that dont go to boces. If we had it in boces than those people who dont go to boces will have no way to get there ged. They probally dont want to change all of there classes just so they can get there ged.

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