Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 24, 2013

New York considering alternative to GED exam for adults

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "We tried to take control of this back by issuing the (request for proposals)," Smith said.

GED Testing Services, the Washington-based company that administers the trademarked GED, has been working with states on the transition, spokesman CT Turner said, and has seen grades rise and students finishing more quickly at computerized trial sites.

The overhaul was necessary, he said, to keep pace with the changing requirements of college and careers.

"We believe in 2014 we are meeting the demands that are put on adults when they go into the workforce," Turner said.

The new system also will provide students with more detailed results, with failing students told not only which of four subject areas need work but what specific areas within them, for example, the algebra section of math.

"We hope that's one of the things that will drive up the pass rate," Turner said.

New York's RFP asked vendors to show how they would phase in computer testing and the Common Core standards over time, giving those who prepare students time to get training in the new standards and the state room to expand its computer infrastructure.

"We're trying to make the transition to the test a little more seamless, a little softer, not put so much stress on our programs, on our infrastructure and most especially our students," Smith said.

Turner said New York is no different than other states in transitioning to the 2014 infrastructure requirements, noting there needs only to be an Internet connection before and after the test, not during the exam.

"A lot of states are thinking creatively about testing centers," he said. "A lot of states are looking at having additional testing centers, using one-stops, community colleges and other places where the technology already exists."

Even if New York develops its own test, GED would plan on offering its test in the state, Turner said.

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