June 2, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Public Education Department and PNM Team Up to Help Students get their GED

( Santa Fe, NM)— Thanks to a partnership between PNM and the Public Education Department’s (PED) New Mexico State GED Testing Office, more people around the state wishing to take their General Education Development Test (GED) will have an opportunity to do so. PNM is running radio advertisements in English and Spanish offering to pay the GED testing fees for New Mexicans who wish to participate. Each potential candidate must contact an Official GED Test Center by June 30, 2005 to qualify. Last year, hundreds of students took advantage of this offer.

The communities where the GED offer will run are as follows: Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Clovis, Deming, Espanola, Gallup, Hobbs-Lovington, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Roswell, Ruidoso, Santa Fe, Taos, Truth or Consequences and Tucumcari, and Silver City. Customers who would like to take advantage of the offer should call one of the participating Official GED Test Sites below.

“PNM’s personal commitment to New Mexico means that we want to be involved in making this a better, more prosperous state for its residents,” said Bill Real, PNM’s senior vice president of public policy. “By helping people earn their GED we’re giving them a better opportunity to get ahead.”

“We think it is excellent that PNM is offering free testing for GED candidates. Hopefully, this opportunity will motivate the 260,000 New Mexicans without a high school diploma to take action,” said Lisa Salazar, state GED director at the PED.

According to the 2002 Census, 34 million persons over age 18 did not graduate from high school.  Worldwide, over 600,000 adults completed the GED Tests in 2002.  Of those, approximately 70 percent passed, thus earning their jurisdiction's high school diploma-360, 000 or one of every seven high school graduates.  The average age of GED passers was just under 24. 

  • Ninety-seven percent of colleges and universities accept the GED as equivalent to a traditional high school diploma; over five percent of first year college freshman have earned a GED credential.
  • More than 90 percent of U.S. employers regard GED holders as equivalent to high school graduates in hiring, salary and opportunity for advancement, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.  Leading employers offer employees reimbursement for GED instruction classes and test fees. 



Today's GED Tests reflect current high school curriculum standards and include content relevant to the workplace and community.  The Tests measure the core academic disciplines of English (Language Arts-Reading and Writing), Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.  The GED Tests, which are 7 ½ hours, also measure communication skills, information processing and critical thinking skills.  Developed by committees of educators in each subject area, the GED Tests' passing standards are based on the performance of a nationally representative, stratified, random sample of 15,000 high school seniors.  GED passers must outperform at least 40 percent of the nation's graduating seniors.  The states may set higher passing standards, but not those lower than the passing scores established by the GED Testing Service.  

The PED and PNM hope that many of the thousands of New Mexicans who have not yet graduated from high school will take this opportunity to get the educational freedom they need to live better lives. The goal is to increase the number of people who participate in the GED program.

PNM launched the GED program in 2002 in Albuquerque to help New Mexicans get their GED diploma by paying for the necessary testing. On average, a person with a GED earns $6,000 a year more than a person without his or her GED diploma.

To get a list of official GED Test Centers that will be participating in the PNM GED promotion visit the PED Website at www.ped.state.nm.us or call 1-866-GED- 4YOU.