Some States are dropping the GED ® Test as Testing Price Spikes

Change is in the air. As the price and delivery method of the GED ® test are dramatically changing next year, 40-States and the District of Columbia are looking at dropping the GED ® test for their high school equivalency program.

The responsibility for issuing high school equivalency certificates or diplomas rests with states and accredited schools. The States have relied on the (GED ®)  General Education Development exam since soon after the test was created to help returning World War II veterans.

But now, 40-states and the District of Columbia are participating in a coalition of States considering other testing options to the GED ® test. Since the GED ® test was recently taken over by the for-profit company Pearson VUE, the costs of the test in 2014 will double in price.

The GED ® has been the monopoly in equivalency testing, but now other companies and accredited institutions are getting into the market of providing Adult High School Equivalency Testing. Until recently, the GED ® test has been the only option in town for high school equivalency testing. It’s kind of like Kleenex at this point,” said Amy Riker, director of high school equivalency testing for Educational Testing Service, which developed one of the alternative tests. The GED ® is only one option for high school equivalency testing. Adult students deserve other options to complete high school proficiency.

Last month, New York, Montana and New Hampshire announced they were dropping the GED ® program and switching to a new high school equivalency exam. California officials began looking into amending regulations to drop the requirement that the state only use the GED ® test. Missouri has requested bids from test makers and plans to make the decision this month concerning changes with their high school equivalency program. Many others states, including Maine, Massachusetts, Iowa and Indiana are making plans to request information about alternative equivalency exams.

Tennessee and New Jersey are exploring offering more than one test for their high school equivalency certificate program.

The backlash stems from GED ® Testing Service is introducing a new, higher priced version of the GED ® exam in January 2014. This is the first revamp since the for-profit company Pearson VUE  acquired a joint ownership interest in the nonprofit Washington-based GED ® Testing Service. The cost of the GED ® test is doubling in January 2014.

States considering switching to an alternative High School Equivalency exam say they’ll put more emphasis on the equivalency credential or diploma they issue, rather than the test taken to earn it.

New Hampshire, New York and Montana have already make the decision to drop the GED ® test and will roll out a different high school equivalency test provided by a new partner in 2014.

States are reacting to the rising costs to the now for-profit GED ® testing services.  States are making changes to manage cost and enhance services to those adults in need of a high school equivalency credential.

For those students currently enrolled in a GED ® program, they will need to pass the current version of the GED ® test by December 31st 2013, or they will lose all of their progress; and will be required to re-take all sections of the newer version of the test.

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