Although the focus of the article, "City Schools Reject Colleges' Idea to Award Diplomas on Basis of GED" (May 22) was on using the GED as the basis for awarding a high school diploma, the true argument was against awarding the diploma on the basis of testing, as opposed to accumulating credits in the classroom.
(School board President) Shirley Weber is clearly against the idea, stating her worry about "watering down" the diplomas earned by students paying their dues in the classroom. There are several points to be made against this point of view.
First, the idea of awarding credentials on the sole basis of examination is ancient. The great medieval universities, such as Bologna and Paris, followed this practice. No matter what you did (or didn't do) in class, the degree was awarded only upon successful completion of the exams. The University of London--along with most other universities in the United Kingdom--continues this practice.
Secondly, this concept is in full force in the United States today. At least three state universities--the State University of New York, Thomas Edison State College (New Jersey), the Charter Oak College (Connecticut)--will award their bachelor's degrees solely for passing their (and others') examinations. I know; I've done it.