Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 12, 2012

State making GED change

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The state education department will be making changes to the General Education Development testing program that will go in effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The GED test is what people have to pass in order to receive a New York state high school general equivalency diploma, often referred to as a GED. Each year, about 26,000 people across the state receive one.

The GED is needed for those who leave school, in place of a high school diploma. It was created 60 years ago to serve returning World War II veterans.

Currently, in order to pass the exam, test takers have to pass each section. Sections are split into math, social studies, science, English, reading and writing. People can sign up at any testing site, which can be found online on the New York State Education Department’s website.

Among those changes coming, includes an increased fee for New York state, about $120 a test, more than double what it costs now. Also, the test will be harder, as it will be aligned to the state education department’s new, tougher Common Core standards.

And since the GED is being revamped, those who haven’t passed the exam need to pass the sections they failed or start the entire process over.

”Students who have failed a section only need to retake the section they failed,” said Russell Buckley, director of alternative education for the Lockport City School District. “But in 2014, they’ll have to retake the entire test.”

There are concerns about the increased cost to take the exam, as well as it’s difficulty. The state education department is looking into the GED changes.

The Board of Regents is planning to send out a Request for Proposals asking for other assessments that would lead to a high school equivalency diploma, according to Antonia Valentine, SED spokesperson.

New York’s pass rate for the GED is one of the lowest in the nation, with 59.4 percent passing. The national average is 72.4 percent.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.