By Kelly Heyboer, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
When test makers overhauled the GED nearly four years ago, they said the new computerized version of the high school equivalency test would be a better, more accurate exam than the old pencil-and-paper version.
But, fewer New Jerseyans are taking the GED — and significantly more are failing — in the wake of the 2014 makeover of the test, according to a new report by Rutgers University researchers.
The passing rate for New Jersey residents who took high school equivalency tests dropped from 68 percent to 54 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to a study by the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations.
The number of test takers in New Jersey has also plummeted — from 16,877 to 8,804 during the same time period, according to the report.
“This does not bode well for the state’s poorest residents,” said Karen White, one of the authors of the report at Rutgers’ Center for Women and Work. “For adults who do not complete high school, passing a high school equivalency test is the only way to receive a diploma — the bare minimum requirement for most New Jersey jobs and military admission.”