Second-Chance Diploma: Examining The GED

Jean Griggs, GED student, at home with Jalisa Parker, her son’s girlfriend. Parker is helping Griggs with her Academy of Hope math homework.
Credit Emily Hanford / American RadioWorks

Today's workers need more education and skills than ever before. But 39 million adults in the United States don't have even the most basic credential: a high school diploma. Many hope their ticket to a better job is passing a test called the GED. But critics say the test is too easy and hardly the equivalent of a high school education. This program from American RadioWorks documents how the GED — originally designed to help World War II veterans go to college — became the fallback option for millions of high school dropouts. It explores how the GED is changing and what those changes mean for millions of Americans being left behind by our changing economy.