Massachusetts’ failure to crack the top 10 for the best high school graduation rates is discouraging (“Mass. schools miss key top-10 list,” Metro, Nov. 27). While state policy makers have initiated programs to increase the graduation rate, they should consider a potentially significant dropout cause: the opportunity to obtain a GED.
The GED was developed in 1942 for veterans whose secondary schooling was interrupted by World War II. By 2002, GEDs were available to students 18 and under in 46 states. Although President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address called on states to raise their legal dropout age to 18, it remains 16 in Massachusetts.