more on the GED changes

NOTE: (First post on the GED update is here)

More privatization.  The GED website announces changes to the GED and new collaboration with testing and textbook giant Pearson corporation.

Community College Spotlight | New GED will test college readiness
"The GED is being redesigned “as a step in a journey toward postsecondary training, rather than as an end in itself,” reports Education Week.  “The new exam, due out in 2014, will have two passing points: the traditional one connoting high school equivalency, and an additional, higher one signaling college and career readiness.” 
There will be a bridge program (more from the site) like that run in NY:
Since 2007, La Guardia Community College in New York has increased the college transition rate dramatically through its GED Bridge to College and Careers (pdf) program. While studying for the GED, students also learn college-level material to prepare for careers in business or health care. In addition, instructors also teach “college knowledge,” such as how to apply for financial aid. 
Before the bridge program was created, only 35 percent of GED students enrolled in college classes. Last year, 80 percent of bridge graduates went on to certificate or degree programs. "

New York state is considering other options to this costly privatization:

State may bypass GED - Times Union
"The change is a "radical departure" from the current system, according to Kevin Smith, deputy commissioner for adult career and continuing education services. That's partially because it greatly diminishes the state's role in the process and turns it over to a private company, he wrote in an October memorandum. The test would only be on computer, instead of pencil and paper, which could be a significant hardship for some test takers, according to Smith."
The article also adds this (below) and grasp that this could easily undercut the privatization in New York where a longstanding commitment to a free GED has been in place. Most other states charge and those charges are expected to go up.
One of the new options the state may offer is a local diploma for those over 21 who can demonstrate high school skills and knowledge through their work and other experience.
This privatization is costly:
GEDTS would administer the new exams and the company would take greater control over the process, authorizing test locations, examiners and test scorers. Currently, only 19 Pearson test sites are operating in New York. The state is concerned that it will not be able to accommodate the surge of applicants who want to take the tests before the current one ends in December 2013. 
Company officials have said the new exam would cost substantially more.
The 2012-13 state budget provides $2.71 million to purchase and administer the tests. The current computer-based testing costs $120 for each set of exams, and at that rate the state's cost would more than double to $6 million. King said that price hike could cut the number of test takers.
Pearson isn't worried about those who don't take the GED since they also manufacture tests for those in prisons, the other state-paid pathway for those whom poor-quality schools fail. In fact, Pearson is pretty much school-in-a-box for Texas these days.

Remediation: Can You Spell C-A-S-H?

The windfall for community colleges of so-called remediation services has been huge and the debt and costs incurred by families that cannot easily afford them have been huge. The credential game is a rigged one all the way down the line and it penalizes the poor, all the way down the line, as well.

General Educational Development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In March of 2011, ACE and Pearson, the world's largest education and testing company, announced a new business that will develop changes to the design and delivery of the GED test. The new business will retain the name "GED Testing Service." The GED Testing Service plans to make several changes. The first change is that the test will no longer be available as a pen and paper test but will be strictly on computer. After that, there will be changes in both the content of the test and how it is scored. Finally, there will be two levels of GED testing. One will be for students interested in high school equivalency and job readiness. The other will be for people who want to go to college. The hope is that students who pass the higher level test will then be able to pass college entrance exams at a level sufficient to avoid having to take any non-college credit, developmental (a.k.a. “remedial”) courses. Those courses eat up precious college financial aid resources but generate no college transcript credits."
background posts
school in a box from Pearson
the remediation windfall


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