November 30th, 2004

Disappearing Dropouts

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans enroll in adult education classes to earn their GED, the high school equivalency diploma. The GED was created after World War II to help returning veterans continue their education and, since then, students in the program have traditionally been adults in their 20’s and 30’s.

Today, there’s a new trend: GED classes are increasingly filled with teenagers. In some states, more than half the students taking the GED test are teens. That’s the case in Florida, where we went to explore this trend.

We spent months collecting and analyzing state data and talked with dozens of GED students and teachers. In the end, our program uncovers troubling facts that call into question not only the growing number of referrals to the GED, but also much of the “progress” high schools claim to have made under No Child Left Behind.

This program was nominated for an Emmy in 2005.

(Originally aired November 30, 2004)

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