Skip to comments.High School Equivalency Exam
Posted on 01/06/2005 7:58:45 PM PST by Kevin OMalley
I've been getting asked more and more about my position that high school is a waste of time and my recommendation for parents to give their children a choice to skip high school. This is in response to the liberal agendas now prevalent in high schools as well as the simple fact that such a strategy would give kids a 4 year head start on their peers. Below are some useful links for investigating this option. I will repost my own experience under that.
UCB Parents Advice about School Taking the High School Equivalency Exam Advice and recommendations from the UCB Parents mailing list. This page is brought to you by UC Berkeley Parents Network Back to: Advice about School & Preschool --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How does GED differ from CHSPE? What's an R-4 Affadavit? 16-year-old wants to drop out & take the GED
California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
Tests (CHSPE and GED) By Wes Beach Tests provide a limited means of measuring test-taking ability and maybe other things. Don't let them be any kind of measure of who your kids are. They can, however, serve important practical purposes such as high school completion or college admissions and credit.
There are two tests by means of which to earn a high-school-diploma-equivalent certificate: the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) and the General Educational Development (GED). The CHSPE has a narrower focus and tests skills and knowledge in reading, math, writing, and language. The GED includes these areas and also tests in science and social studies. Opinions vary about which test is more difficult, and different perceptions probably arise from kids with different strengths. The GED is more widely known and may be more readily accepted, although it is a myth that the CHSPE Certificate is unacceptable outside California.
In California (different states have different rules), anyone 18 or older can take the GED, and there are exceptions for somewhat younger people under some circumstances. It is administered by adult education schools in public school districts and is offered frequently. Contact your local adult school for information on the GED or call the GED Office at the California Department of Education at (800) 331-6316.
The CHSPE may be taken by anyone who, on the day of the exam, is 16 or older, or has finished the tenth grade, or is enrolled in the second semester of the tenth grade. This exam is offered two or three times a year at test sites throughout the state. CHSPE information bulletins can be found at high schools and libraries or at http://www.chspe.net/. For questions not answered in the bulletin, call (866) 342-4773. There is a great deal of misinformation about the CHSPE floating around, especially within the public schools. Check the official bulletin to confirm anything you hear. A student who passes the CHSPE still has the right to attend public high school if desired.
If a CHSPE or GED certificate is to be used for admission to college, entering the military, specific job requirements, etc., be sure to check at the source (the colleges, the military, the employer, etc.) regarding their policies.
Preparation books for these exams can be found in bookstores and libraries.
The College Board/Educational Testing Service offers a number of exams that can support college admission and/or can lead to college credit:
The PSAT, a shortened version of SAT I, is usually taken by high school juniors. If a student is in high school at the time he takes this test, he is automatically entered into the National Merit Scholarship competition. The PSAT is administered by high schools on their campuses; non-enrolled students may be allowed to take the test. Contact local high schools. SAT I (possibly along with SAT II) may be required for admission to four-year colleges and universities. There are two parts to SAT I: verbalanalogies, sentence completions, and critical reading questionsand math at the high school college preparatory level. The SAT's (I & II) are given at test sites throughout the state; sites are listed in the application booklet (see below). SAT II is a set of separate tests on high school subjectsworld history, chemistry, French, etc. Advanced Placement: Colleges often grant credit for sufficiently high scores on AP exams. These exams are final exams in college-level classes taught in high school and are given at high schools at the end of the courses; students who have not taken the courses may be allowed to take the exams. Colleges also grant credit for good scores on CLEP exams. These exams are generally easier than AP exams, are given at test centers throughout the state, and cover the content of more than thirty college-level courses. ACT (formerly American College Testing) offers the ACT, a somewhat broader college admission test that colleges may use instead of or in addition to the SAT. The ACT consists of four sections: English, math, reading, and science. Even when SAT/ACT scores aren't required, they provide one way (there are others) to demonstrate academic ability and acquired knowledge in the absence of a traditional transcript. It may be possible to gain admission to the schools your kids choose through testing alone, and impressive test scores always add strength to a college application. Just as in the case with the SAT/ACT, good scores on AP and/or CLEP exams can support a college application. Check carefully with colleges of interest for their policies regarding credit. Classes that prepare students for these tests may be offered by high schools, adult schools, community colleges, and private companies.
Guides and preparation materials can be found in libraries and bookstores. Explanatory and application materials from the College Board and ACT can be found at high schools, colleges, and libraries, and also can be obtained directly from the College Board at (510) 873-8000 or at http://www.collegeboard.org; SAT tests will be changing within the next few years. To keep informed of those changes, check the website http://www.collegeboard.com/about/newsat/newsat.html. Information about the ACT can be obtained at (916) 631-9200 or at http://www.act.org. Information on the GED is available at http://www.acenet.edu/calec/ged.
College Confidential: Does CHSPE = GED?
Question: When colleges say that they accept GEDs, what does that mean for the CHSPE? Do they accept that credential as a high school diploma? If not, what should I do?
At the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) Web site (www.cde.ca.gov/statetests/chspe) you can find an Information Bulletin and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the CHSPE. California law states that the Certificate of Proficiency provided to students who pass the CHSPE is equivalent to a high school diploma. In other words, institutions that are subject to California law and that require a high school diploma must also accept the CHSPE. (However, the Certificate of Proficiency is not equivalent to completing all course work required for regular graduation from high school.)
Therefore, if you've received the CHSPE Certificate of Proficiency, your certificate would be equivalent to a high school diploma. The Certificate of Proficiency is not equivalent to completing all course work required for regular graduation from high school in California. However--and this is a good caveat for most general college-entrance-related questions--you should always check with the admissions offices (or admissions sections of the Web sites) of those colleges to which you are considering applying. This is especially important if you're interested in colleges and universities outside of California that may not accept the CHSPE or may not even be familiar with it.
Prior post on another thread:
Religion Today (Southern Baptists Unhappy With public Schools)
Posted by Kevin OMalley to borntobeagle
On News/Activism 12/16/2004 12:29:50 AM PST · 100 of 100
"Mr. OMalley wins the prize!
I have to say that this is the best statement I have read over the entire course of this discussion. It has become so true in life now that HS diplomas mean nothing. "
Thanks for the kudos.
Here's a bit more follow up, a recycled post from a different article:
Allowing gifted students to skip high school in Calfornia
Posted by Kevin OMalley to Lizavetta
On News/Activism 10/24/2003 3:04:53 PM PDT · 24 of 24
I took the CHSPE when I was 16, and moved on with my life. I refer to people who remain in high school as 5 percenters, which is to say that staying in high school only makes sense for those 5% of students who either can't pass the CHSPE (California's version of the high school proficiency exam), are trying for an athletic scholarship, are the most popular guys with the prettiest cheerleaders on their arm, or just want to goof off. The rest of the people in high school should just take the test and go to community college, start getting college credits out of the way.
It's particularly bizarre that the kids today are going to be REQUIRED to take a test when they graduate; that just means that you're wasting your time from the moment you CAN pass that test. A high school diploma means NOTHING in today's economy -- a 4 year college degree is a true necessity and the sooner you get it, the better off you are.
I have often heard that the reason to stay in high school is "so you can go to the senior prom". This is just an incredible joke -- what a waste of time. I can't believe kids waste 4 years of their lives for a chance at one night of fun, or because they're "building up cherished memories". That's a crock for many, if not most high school kids today, and they need to get the heck out of this socially repressive environment... leave it to the 5 percenters to harrass each other. For those parents who are trying to convince your kids that they're having fun when the kids know they aren't, you'll end up getting the worst end of the teens' treatment when the chickens come home to roost with their surly remarks, attitude problems, and drug use.
An 18 year old with an AA degree has a MUCH better chance of getting into the college of his or her choice than an 18 year old clueless high school grad with a 3.0 grade average. This will have the effect of increasing competition in the upper tier, which will trickle down to the lower/middle capability students. Hopefully we'll see kids in community college saying things such as, "I got out in 1 year" or "I skipped high school entirely". A bright kid with an Bachelor's degree at 19 or 20 years old will finally have an education on par with what goes on in Japan & other industrialized nations.
AB2607 is the best policy proposal for secondary school in California since the introduction of the CHSPE.
We use this program.
Important thing with this program is to NOT seek a GED or you will not be allowed in the program.
My son started in 10th grade, he'll be starting his 2nd term of his 2nd year next week, he's 16 and by the end of the term will have his 60 credits needed for an AA.
Good news, he'll still be eligible for the program next year so we'll continue to use the program for one more year but just for science and math courses that will be transferable to another state university.
I've got no problem with a smart kid wishing to skip right through and move on to bigger and better things. I don't see why anyone would. Of course my opinion is just common sense, which liberals lack.
Most of my high school experiance was a complete waste of my time. If you can't homeschool, PUT YOUR KIDS IN PRIVATE SCHOOL.
If someone had given me these ideas when I was a kid, I would have done it this way.
I did my 4 years in high school and graduated with a lot of extra credits and had average to good grades. Some took the minimun credits and got all straight A. In college I graduated a quarter early with lots of extra credits. At least I did it my way.......but wish someone had given me this idea.
We homeschooled through the 9th grade.
His high school years are being spent at college. He has lots of friends at church, many are in the same program and attend some of his classes at college. He doesn't seem to regret skipping high school. He comes and goes from classes and has so much more free time than his public high school friends.
We saw an oral surgeon (wisdom teeth extraction time, LOL) the other day and he asked my son why he hadn't started back to school yet.
My son explained the dual enrollment program to the oral surgeon, and the oral surgeon said, "You're so lucky. High school was the biggest waste of time for me...and I was valedictorian of my class."
When you say, " I don't see why anyone would." Does that mean you don't see why they would move onto bigger & better things by taking advantage of these kinds of tips? Or do you mean you don't see why anyone would move on, that they should stay in high school?
Admittedly, private school is best. But this would be a program for people who can't afford it. Maybe even some of the ones who could afford it might prefer to give their kids the same 4 year head start offered.
People would be able to afford it with a Voucher system, but oh wait the Democrats are against that!
Just think of what you could have accomplished if you had the same degree 3 or 4 years earlier rather than 1 quarter earlier.
One of the reasons why a lot of people don't go to grad school (myself included) is that they get burned out on so many years of schooling. I don't see much of a way to avoid the 4 years of trudging through college, the best you can do is shave a quarter here or there. But kids today can completely skip the wasted time of high school and avoid the burnout phase.
I can't see why anyone would have a problem with kids moving on more quickly if that is what the kids want to do.
That looks like a good program, very impressive. The fact that kids can take classes online is perfect. I'm glad your son is escaping the Sheldon Cauffield stage of modern existence.
Laura, I also hated high school, and college and grad school, and work. Private schools are just different ghettos.
you mean Holden Caulfield?
We haven't tried the online classes yet, but this summer he's thinking of taking one of the TV courses.
Our only hassle was the first year he was in the program he wasn't old enough to have his driver's license, so we had to transport him back and forth to the campus, and the first term we didn't plan it out right so he was back and forth a lot (2nd term we got smarter and booked all his classes on two days a week).
Once he got his driver's license, it was a cinch. This year his math classes are 5 hours, so he has to go to the campus almost everyday, but since he can drive himself, no problem!
I don't understand why you are posting this. Are you a high school student, a homeschool student or a parent? Or have you just done a bunch of research?
In a perfect world, this would be ideal. When I was in high school, I searched in vain for a way to skip it by taking some sort of test. I was truly educated at home, even when I was enrolled in school.
However, most colleges still attach a lot of weight to having the high school diploma, even though ultimately it means nothing.
I went to Community College while I was still in High School (I graduated in my junior year since I had tons of credits.) I love education, as well or I wouldn't have spent so much time, effort and money at it.
Private schools are no better than public schools. I have sent my children to both and I'll take a good public school over a private school anytime. My children have had more opportunity with their GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) programs than they ever had at their stifling Catholic schools.
The two youngest are A students and Superintendent's Honors List for the last 4 years. Middle one is up for Junior ROTC, as well.
Oops. "Catcher in the Rye" was starting to get aged even when I was in high school. Didn't the author marry some famous good-looking model?
I'm a parent who happened to take the CHSPE about 25 years ago, so this position is borne out of experience.
They forgot that he was once an underwear model... ;-)
"I'm a parent who happened to take the CHSPE about 25 years ago, so this position is borne out of experience."
Wait a minute - you're a parent and you're thinking about keeping your kid out of a public high school. What are you - nuts? Think about what your kid will miss: Sex, drugs, alcohol, fights, knifings, and liberal indoctrination.
Some parent you are.
Keep reading this thread. There appear to be multiple ways of taking advantage. Our kids are going to have a choice. You did, too, but no one was listening to your frustration at the time, and you couldn't find the way out.
Unfortunately, in leftist domains there is a strong desire not to challenge the children or let them take on too much. This is especially so with minority children. My story:
I originally attended a bad inner city high school. Credits in the district were awarded based on hours spent in the classroom, and NOT demonstrated knowledge. So my desire to advance without wasting my time on familiar subjects was unfulfilled. There were no choices, no options. My English teacher told me I could probably teach the class myself, yet, I had to sit there, bored out of my mind, watching other students misbehave and learning nothing. It was like glorified daycare.
In the ninth grade they forced me to take Algebra I. Not only did I know the subject very well, I had already taken this class in the eighth grade. But that didn't count. I made my case to the counsellor to allow me to at least take Algebra II. But the "well-meaning"
lackey lady worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it, as I was a poor black child. I fought it to little avail. I took my appeal to the head of the math department and we struck a secret deal two months before the end of the school year. I'd have to teach myself Algebra II at home, and if I passed final exams, he'd pull strings. I didn't know about formal homeschooling at the time so I just took a textbook home, taught myself as best I could, passed final exams and received credit. Even though I had spent the year in an Algebra I class and passed those exams as well, they didn't give me credit for that.
Left-wing bureaucracies care more about feelings than achievement.
Congratulations on pulling yourself up. It's an honor to have you on this site.
...I just wish I had that kind of ambition.
"Think about what your kid will miss: Sex, drugs, alcohol, fights, knifings, and liberal indoctrination."
***They'll get plenty of that in Elementary school and junior high.
Oh. OK. Got it. I am going to go back a re-read now. Thanks.
These certifications sound great.
It brings tears to my eyes. I am happy other people have the chance now. I am sad because I never did get my diploma, I dropped out because I strongly believed I was wasting my time. For my father's sake, I wish there was something I could do. A GED is the only option here, and I don't want to do that.
Thanks. I couldn't stick with it for 4 years though. I took my SATs that same year, in the ninth grade. But it is my regret now that I couldn't handle 4 years of it, and left school to enter the working world.
I won't slander the nation.
Just the School District of Philadelphia.
"Thanks. I couldn't stick with it for 4 years though."
I saw that in your later post - I'm sorry to hear it. If could get the GED, and then get a college degree, your GED will essentially disappear from your record (i.e., employers care a lot more about your college record than your high school record, providing you have a college record).
Go for it!! If at all possible.
One of the reasons why a lot of people don't go to grad school (myself included).....
I was such a slow learner that I did 3 years of graduate school before I finally understood how worthless it was. I did all but the dissertation. PHds in the social sciences such as education are a FRAUD. Works in the hard sciences though.
When I was a Sophomore in HS, I had dropped out and ended up in alternative school. I begged my principal to let me take the GED so I could go on to college. He refused. I went to my regular high school principal and he refused, also...but let me do a program called "Running Start" where I could take all my classes at the community college and get credit for both. I ended up getting my HS diploma and Associate Degree the same month. It was the best move I ever made. High school was such a waste of time. I will be offering that option to my children, too.
Good points and good post
"High school was such a waste of time. I will be offering that option to my children, too."
I have to admit, this is tempting option for a lot of reasons. You guys are making a LOT of sense.
Credits in the district were awarded based on hours spent in the classroom, and NOT demonstrated knowledge.
The same thing happened to my brother. He was quite gifted as well, but he was so bored by the whole thing he skipped class a lot. They were going to make him re-take his senior year because of it, even though he had straight "A"'s. He ultimately dropped out and got his GED instead of retaking his entire year.
He wasn't black, but the liberal mind set that ran his school was trying to hold him back as well. Good thing for both of you that you found ways around it. Although I have to say, I think your approach was a lot more responsible than his. :)
One thing I did was take a job where I was working on swing shifts as a security guard. Everyone else was bored stiff, but I was able to take advantage and study on the job. Unfortunately, the supervisors saw that I was someone trying to improve himself and jealously sought to hamper this activity. Reading magazines -- OK. Reading text books -- not allowed. I had to photocopy my text books.
I would encourage you to take that GED test and focus on some kind of strategy such as this one. There are scholarships available which come to your advantage. When I was working my way through college, there was no such thing as a 529 fund. If there were, I wouldn't have paid any income taxes whatsoever. Every little bit helps.
Also, keep in mind that you have a support structure of more than half a million people here in FR that would be rooting for you. GO Girl!
Get your GED. My brother did. He then got an Associates degree at the local community college, went in the Army for several years and now runs product development at Dell Computers.
Me, I sit here with my almost MBA (I need to do the electives and the school is a 2 hour drive away) with huge student loan debt.
Bro owns his home, has one of his girls in college and is getting ready to build on his new property.
Because it challenges the liberal's sacred cow of equality. If some kids can do it faster, that means they're smarter or more ambitious...and the class clown might feel stupid as a result - which we just couldn't have /sarcasm