2014 GED Test Aligned With New National College And Career Readiness Standards For Adult Education

Efforts will ensure more adults are ready for middle-skill jobs

May 23, 2013, 14:03 ET from GED Testing Service

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) recently released the first voluntary College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Adult Education. These standards will help prepare adults for the college courses needed to qualify for most jobs. The new 2014 GED test is strongly aligned to these new standards.

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GED Testing Service's Martin Kehe, a former assessment official in Maryland who currently oversees development of the new GED test, says that the 2014 GED test to be released on January 2 will continue to measure high school equivalency and provide detailed information about a test-taker's readiness for college and career training programs.

"We have collaborated with experts from across the country over the last few years to build a test that helps adults, educators, colleges, and employers better understand a test-taker's skills and knowledge," said Kehe. "It is clear that our approach for the new GED test is consistent with the standards OVAE has released to help shape the direction of adult education. The new GED exam will be the only high school equivalency test strongly aligned to state and adult education standards, that when implemented, will better indicate college and career readiness."

GED Testing Service recently released The Climb to Alignment which shows the alignment between the 2014 GED test and specific standards that are most important to indicate college and career readiness. For example, the adult education CCR standards require adults to demonstrate basic computer skills, and the ability to build arguments based on evidence—the same kinds of skills that employers expect. GED Testing Service also released a detailed crosswalk between the standards and the new GED test.

"For years workforce and economic development reports have been telling us that there are not enough low-skill jobs for the number of low-skill Americans. In fact, nearly 4 million middle-skill jobs are unfilled because there aren't enough people with the right skills and education to fill them," said Randy Trask, president of GED Testing Service. "The new adult education CCR standards, Common Core State Standards, and state standards from Texas and Virginia confirm what experts and employers have been saying to GED Testing Service for years—that we need to be concerned with job preparedness, not just high school completion."

GED Testing Service leaders say that middle-skill jobs are those that require some college but not a Bachelor's degree, and low-skill jobs require no college training. They also point to data which show that only 12 percent of GED credential recipients go on to earn any type of certificate from higher education. They cite these and other reasons for building a new testing system that is focused on helping adult learners navigate the pathway from being a high school dropout with access to low-skilled jobs to earning transferable, industry-recognized credentials and being competitive for jobs paying family-sustaining wages.

The push to change the way adult education and GED testing function is not exclusive to GED Testing Service. The adult education CCR standards, which are voluntary and intended to guide state-level decisions about adult education, state that, "However genuine the concerns about setting the bar higher for college and career readiness, a willingness to act on what educators and employers have clearly identified as non-negotiable knowledge and skills is essential to enabling adult learners to meet the real-world demands of postsecondary training and employment."

The document goes on to state that the Common Core State Standards, which significantly influenced the adult education standards' development, "differ in one noteworthy way from earlier state standards efforts: the CCSS are anchored by empirical evidence of what employers and educators actually demand of prospective employers and students."

The new GED test will be the cornerstone of a start-to-finish program that GED Testing Service says will bridge the gap from high school dropout to middle-skill jobs. The new program will be based on what adult learners have identified through focus groups and research as being important. New offerings will include: a more flexible, test-taker-friendly computer-based testing system; online registration and scheduling available 24/7; same-day score results; an online support system to help adults navigate the adult education and higher education systems; score reports that identify specific strengths, areas for improvement, and individualized next steps with correlation to test preparation curriculum; and an analytics system that provides on-demand reports and information for educators and state policymakers.

"Everyone who works at GED Testing Service is fully aware of the significance of our work, and we are singularly focused on developing solutions and systems that will help more adult learners realize their dreams for a better life," said Trask.

To learn more about the 2014 GED test visit www.GEDtestingservice.com/assessment. To learn more about the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education visit https://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/CCRStandardsAdultEd.pdf.

About GED Testing Service
The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 18 million graduates since 1942. Last year nearly 800,000 adults sat for the GED test, which is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma.

About the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education
The CCR standards for adult education report was written and produced by MPR Associates, Inc. under contract from the U.S. Department of Education. According to the report, "the selected standards do not specify a national or federal set of mandates, but rather articulate a framework of standards for states to employ voluntarily in strengthening their adult education programs with respect to college and career readiness." [p. 8]

SOURCE GED Testing Service