POSTED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 11:15am
Longview, TX — Changes coming next year have students scrambling to complete GED testing — or lose the progress they’ve made.
“Yes, you have to start over again,” said GED Testing Service spokesman Armando Diaz, noting the test’s trademarked creator expects the number of students taking the test this year to jump from the usual 700,000 to at least 1 million as students strive to preserve credit for portions they’ve passed.
A new version of the test, given nationwide, will be introduced Jan. 1. Developers say the first major changes since 2002 will align the test with the new Common Core curricula adopted by most states to increase college and career readiness. Six out of 10 jobs in America are expected to require some form of post-high school training by 2020. The days are fading when a high school diploma, or the GED equivalency, was an end unto itself, Diaz said.
“We decided (to ask ourselves), what can we do to keep them in the education pipeline,” Diaz said. “Technology is everywhere; technology is in the workforce. The top 10 employers in the U.S. don’t have paper applications.”
That’s one reason the GED won’t have paper tests come 2014. Students will be tested on computers at designated sites such as Kilgore College or its Longview campus, where they now fill in bubbles with No. 2 pencils. Thirty-eight states already have switched to the computer GED exam. Texas is not one of them.
Julie Noble with the East Texas Literacy Council estimates her agency has from 50 to 60 students studying to take the GED at any given time. Most of those are single men or women in their early 20s, she said, but range into their 60s. Many are single men who’ve outgrown teen habits that held them back or single mothers who were slowed on the academic path by marriage and motherhood.
Read more  from the Longview News-Journal.