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G.E.D. Test Pays Off for Maryland

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The state of Maryland may get back $10 in taxes for every dollar it spends on General Educational Development programs, researchers in the state department of education calculate.

Naomi Reed, an adult-education specialist with the department, said a survey conducted last spring among 544 of the 1981 and 1982 ged recipients found that their unemployment rate dropped from 23 percent to 18 percent between the time they took the test and the time they answered the survey. Their rate of full-time paid employment had increased by 14 percent, and more than half of the respondents had received salary increases.

Pay Raises

Ms. Reed pointed out that 101 of the 276 individuals who received salary increases directly attributed their raises to their ged certification.

About 44 percent of the 101 said they received raises of less than $2,000 since getting their certificate; 15 percent said the figure was $2,000 to $4,000; 14 percent said it was $4,000 to $6,000; and 9 percent said it was $6,000 to $8,000. Some 19 percent said their salaries went up $8,000 or more, probably because they had previously been unemployed, Ms. Reed said.

She added that she may use the study to lobby the state legislature for more test funding. Maryland spent about $833,000 in 1982 on ged testing and on preparation classes, according to Ms. Reed, and ged certificates account for about 17 percent of the diplomas awarded in Maryland.

"A major source of learning about the test and instruction is word-of-mouth," she said. "We also need to link getting the [certificate] with increased employment."--at

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