His quest for a GED is thwarted by rule changes

My story is a familiar one. I say this because it is filled with hopes, dreams, and goals. These things […]

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My story is a familiar one. I say this because it is filled with hopes, dreams, and goals. These things are a part of our life, especially if you’re an ambitious person like me.

I am a southern drawl from Houston, Texas. It was there when I started to put my life in the order I could live with. I started taking classes to complete my GED around 1997. Due to the abuses of many forms this chapter in my life was delayed.

Although I was ready to move forward, my failure to pass my GED stopped me in my tracks. I started writing a lot, including short stories and poetry. A story I wrote for a magazine brought me to Minnesota.

Someone told me this is the place to be if I wanted to be successful in my artistic venture.

After visiting St. Paul, I fell in love with its atmosphere. In 1999 I moved to the land of 10,000 lakes. It is here I was determined to complete all of my goals. I studied, first at the Hubbs Learning Center.

When I got sick in June 2002, it really slowed things down for me. First my doctor said I had a brain tumor. Later other doctors gave me different diagnoses. Because I was ill so much, it caused me to miss too many days from my GED classes. At this time the Hubbs Learning Center teacher told me to sign a paper stating that if I agreed, if I missed too many days I could no longer attend Hubbs Learning Center.

Sure enough, I end up missing a lot of days and they dismissed me. I was really upset about this but this gave me time to focus on my illness. After many years of frustration from doctors telling me, you have this. No you have that, I decided to stop all their nonsense and do the things that made me happy. Since I had passed all my subjects except math, it was time for me to complete this goal.

Math class at Fairview was great, I did better – and everyone was so helpful to me.

One day my teacher told me about the new GED policy effective January 2014. I was told that if I don’t pass the math test, every test I did pass will be removed from my records. I felt this wasn’t right. It made me feel like a child being punished. This was imposed on for not completing the GED test.

At this time in my life I was stronger emotionally and my health I understood it better. I wasn’t taking this, so I started a campaign against the National GED Education Department. My goal is to get people to sign my petition at www.Change.org  

This gave me the opportunity to challenge Minnesota’s GED Administrator Jim Colwell.

I did contact Colwell through email and we conversed on the telephone.

My Change.com campaign goal is to give the signature petition to him. I’m hoping Colwell and Nicole Chestange, Executive Vice President of the GED Testing Service, would take my situation into consideration and hear me, hear us out.

When I told Colwell I wanted to present the petition to him, he asked me to email it to him. In an email I told him no, I wanted to hand it to him in person. I went on to ask “when is the best time for me to come by and hand it to you.” I never heard back from him.

Since then my illness has worsened. I am weaker, my headaches have increased and sometimes I lose my ability to walk. But I plan to present my petition to the GED Administrator in December of 2013.

If you would like to join me on this campaign, join me at: http://tinyurl.com/GEDpetition  


Editor’s note: O. Crisstopher is a writer from St. Paul.


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