GED® Completion Rates?

Hello friends, A while back David Rosen posted a message asking about GED®  (and other high school equivalency tests) completion rates. I wanted to pose the question again since I'm hearing that the completion rates for the new GED® are shockingly low in PA. I'll share some stats from Pennsylvania in my next message. We are also experiencing much lower numbers of students in our GED® classes. I'm wondering how widespread this phenomenon is ---- or not -- for those who are using the new GED® test. How about for other high school equivalency tests?

Thanks, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

 

Comments

I am teaching at New Mexico State University-Alamogordo Adult Education and our GED program had over 300 students for 2013-2014 and we had 97 grads. This year 2014-2015, we have 150 students and only 2 grads so far. I think the student are intimidated by the new test (We use only the ED®) and feel they cannot pass. Many of the students do not like taking the test on the computer and liked the paper and pencil test.

I teach in a maximum security prison in Wisconsin.  Our GED testing numbers are down as well.  I think the reason here is that we pushed anyone through who was even close to passing the test.  The ones that did not pass had a lot left to learn to be successful.

I teach at an urban/suburban program near Minneapolis, MN. Our completion rates are also down; primarily, we think, because so many finished in 2013. Some of our class numbers are down (as are others in Minnesota), but enrollment in our evening GED prep program is at capacity. We think that is because employment has picked up and more of our potential students are working first shift. As we hear back from learners who take the actual GED, we're finding that they aren't actually that far off. What intimidated them and us at the start of the new test, is actually not that far off from what they can accomplish. It's the perception that seems to be holding some back. Each success we do have, we share like crazy. And this encourages others who can do it, to try. It's slow, but we're starting to see it make a difference.

Paula, Thank you for your post. I agree that sharing success as you say "like crazy" is a good strategy. Perception is likely part of the issue with this issue. We will definitely want to be sharing the success that is happening.

Cheers, Susan

I also think that part of the drop in GED numbers is because we worked really hard to get our "borderline" students through by the end of last December. It might be more accurate to compare this year's data to 2012 than to 2013. That said, the new test is harder for most students. We are a voluntary program, and although I don't think our overall numbers are down, we have had fewer students who come in ready to pass the test, and although we still do get students who can pass the practice test after a month or two of prep classes, there are fewer of them.

 

 

Hi Rachel, For sure there was a big push to complete the GED® last year, but we are also comparing pass rates this year to 2012, which also shows a huge difference in pass rate in our state. Do you think this will change over time as people get more familiar with the test or is this a much bigger problem?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Thanks for your posting about what is happening at your program in NM.  In my view, it would be interesting and important to collect qualitative data on this issue to find out exactly how test takers and students -- as well as seasoned teachers-- are feeling and thinking about this new test.

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

The Cleveland Ohio Scene Magazine ran an article about the GED test and the drop in completion rates. I'd like to hear what others think about the reasons discussed in the article. http://bit.ly/1C7zGFV

Hello Di and all, This article states that the new GED is designed specifically to prepare learners for college readiness and that career-readiness was an afterthought. We know that an increasing number of jobs require some training or college, which was the rationale for increasing the rigor of the test to be in line with the Common Core/CCRS. However, the author argues that many adults -- those who are most vulnerable, i.e. those who lack financial resources-- are being left behind. The author states that almost any job these days requires a high school credential or equivalency, a point that I think is obvious. The extremely low numbers of individuals who are taking the test -- let alone passing-- so far, would seem to validate the argument that many are being left behind.

The author also points out that familiarity and access to technology is a factor. Adults who have access to the internet at home have more opportunities to prepare. The cost of the practice tests is also mentioned as a barrier.

What do others think about these issues? Do you think this problem will sort itself out over time as everyone becomes more familiar with the test, or is this simply naive?

This problems seems quite serious to me. What viable solutions might there be? Please share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, strategies, and solutions here.

Cheers, Susan

Assessment CoP

The article did a great job at explaining how students are being left behind on the GED test. There are two things I want to comment on. First, I don't think that the article emphasized enough that the price is prohibitive too. When the GED Testing Service paired with a for-profit company, the costs skyrocketed. Shame on them. It's like seeing Christmas as only a commercial holiday where the focus is on how much Americans spent instead of the meaning and roots of the holiday. I am very glad to see alternative tests out there now to compete with the GED test. Second, our children are now receiving instruction that would adequately prepare them for a test like the new 2014 GED test. But our adults were never instructed the "common core" way. As a teacher, I am struggling not only to teach my students the content they need (more advanced algebra, for example), but I have to change the way they think about learning and education. The days are now gone when they simply need to read a passage and find the answer to the question in the paragraph. Perhaps that is a good thing, but that is precisely how our adults were taught.

I was asked to share this with the list. The National Council of State Directors of Adult Education just released a brief report entitled "The Decennial Scurry". This brief speaks to the lower testing rates and pass rates for all states in 2014 -- regardless of what test(s) they offer, if paper testing was the dominant delivery channel, and regardless of the cost of the test. I think this may be what the group has been looking for to help understand what happened in 2014 for all HSE tests. 

As a side note about passing rates for the GED test... About 1 in 4 GED test states achieved a pass rate over 70% last year, and three with pass rates over 80%. Math continues to be the subject that sets the pass for the national pass rate, as students can no longer mask lower Math scores on the new 2014 GED test as with past test series. Pass rates for the other three subjects nationally average around the mid to higher 70 percent range. Additionally, at least 75% of those adults who fail the Math test are within about 3 correct answers from passing.

Thank you, CT Turner, for posting "The Decennial Scurry." This is a very important summary that I hope all members will take time to read .Although I am not currently teaching an HSE class, I recently took the GED® Ready practice test to see for myself what the 2014 test is like. I found the test to be appropriately challenging. As so many members have noted, the math is definitely more difficult and covers more math concepts than the previous test. To teach the math effectively, I would need to prepare carefully. The reading and writing sections of the test require students to read closely and to think deeply, which are essential skills in the workplace and in post-secondary.

As this report articulates, the pass rate in the first year of any new test is always going to be lower. Once our teaching strategies align to the demands of the tests, we are certain to see improvement in the pass rates. Teachers need to seek out professional development to ensure they are able to provide the high quality instruction adult learners need.

Please weigh in with your thoughts on "The Decennial Scurry" report.

Cheers, Susan

SME, Assessment

 The article is interesting, but states are seeing 70%+ drop in numbers, so the scurry--in and of itself- doesn't explain it. I think we all agree the test needed to be updated, but there's something not quite right about what's happening. Perhaps a glimpse into GED Testing Service's Annual Statistical Reports would be illuminating. But GEDTS has not released it yet for 2014.  Why? You can see nationwide and state results, and demographics of testers at this link:

http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/historical-testing-data

Whatever test we use, we should also all be advocating for more advanced adult ed funding so that we can all provide instruction and student support that's needed.

As I recall, the statistical reports are usually released about halfway through the next year. I don't think it's unusual that the 2014 one is not yet available. (Others can correct me if I'm wrong.)

While it is discouraging to see the decrease in numbers, I am proud of the level that our "passers" have reached. I feel good about sending them to the local community college and trade schools because I know they'll be up to the challenge. If the result of this change is that more students get more of their education from free adult education programs, thus avoiding remedial classes in the future, then I'm in favor of it.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that we need to be advocating for more funding. When you ask students to reach a higher bar, you must provide them with the resources, including quality instruction, that they need in order to reach it. Those resources do not appear magically out of nowhere. Either corners are cut elsewhere in the program, or the resources--most critically the training for instructors--get skimped on. That is the inequity here. When a student arrives at a publicly-funded adult education program with the time and energy available to study, the program ought to be able to provide adequate instruction to allow the student to reach that goal. There needs to be an acknowledgement that per-student instruction is more expensive with the new tests; technology and textbooks aside, the average amount of preparation time has increased. This is not just hours of class time per student, but also the hours of research, professional development, and lesson planning instructors must engage in. Teaching a wider range of more demanding material requires better preparation and more carefully designed classes.

In Pennsylvania, our programs are organizing to advocate for higher levels of funding. I know some other states are doing the same. The new tests aren't going to go away, so we need to make sure that we have the resources to help our students meet their expectations.

Carole and Rachel, You both make a good case for additional funding to prepare students for the more rigorous HSE tests. Teachers need a great deal of professional development and support since business as usual is not going to be enough.

Rachel wrote, "While it is discouraging to see the decrease in numbers, I am proud of the level that our "passers" have reached. I feel good about sending them to the local community college and trade schools because I know they'll be up to the challenge. If the result of this change is that more students get more of their education from free adult education programs, thus avoiding remedial classes in the future, then I'm in favor of it."

Adult educators play a critically important role in preparing students for the workplace and/or training and post-secondary education. There is no doubt  that more resources for professional development are needed and would be welcome!

Let's hear from others on this important issue. How are teachers  being prepared in your area? What is working well? What additional support would you like to see?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hello friends, Here are the shocking stats from PA. There have been approximately 3,000 test takers in 2014 vs 25,000 in 2013 and 21,000 in 2012. In 2013, 19,500 people passed the GED® test in PA ; in 2012, 15,000 people passed; and in 2014, only 1,600 people have passed.

As some posters have noted, since there was such a big push to complete the GED® before the new test, the 2013 numbers are exceptionally high. BUT it is clear that the current numbers are dramatically  lower this year in PA than 2012, too.

It would be good to hear form members at other states that are using the GED®. Are you aware of your state's stats?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Good Morning Everyone!

My name is Alfons Prince and I teach/prepare adult students for the GED at a technology school in Washington DC. Since August we've only had two students pass the math piece of the exam. I have several theories for this, but my major one is that students aren't prepared for taking a test, much less an online test. During this time in between, I want to try and give my students practice tests. But testing that prepares them for testing. My students have the knowledge but the testing intimidates them. I would love any suggestions or any resources to combat this.

-Alfons

Hello colleagues, Any and all information about free online materials would be welcome. Do you know of other resources that are free? The cost for practice tests, according to the article posted by Di Baycich, is one of the barriers for adult learners and programs. Please share information here!

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP
 

I have been researching this same topic and how it applies specifically to the extended response portion of the test. 

If anyone is interested in reading my paper, I have attached a copy. It discusses the challenges and a few solutions to teaching the extended response. 

Here is a link to my blog post with my paper:

http://karenzandarski.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/reaching-for-success-writing-instruction-for-the-2014-extended-response-and-beyond/

I would love to hear successes of other teachers. 

 

Karen

Karen, Thank you for sharing your blog with us. As was noted in the Ohio article cited in the discussion above, you acknowledge that many learners lack keyboarding skills, even though they often have access to and are comfortable with technology. Of course, to complete an essay online as required on the GED(r), one must be able to type fairly well.

Your comparison of the extended response with the previous GED(r) narrative writing task and how to teach the extended response will be useful to others who are preparing students to take this test. You argue that teaching reading and writing together is the way to go, and I would concur. I would add that we need to engage students in TALKING about what they are reading and writing, too. When students have the opportunity to talk about what they are reading and writing this deepens their understanding and supports them to build the academic language they need to reflect higher-order thinking. What are your thoughts about this?

What do others think about the value of integrating listening, speaking, reading and writing?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hello Susan,

When Western Iowa Tech started the STAR Reading program, we bought textbooks first. We bought only enough to use in class and asked the students not to write in them. Books we're using are Groundwork for a Better Vocabulary, 4th ed. and Groundwork for College Reading in Phonics. As I was reading the "To the Instructor" part of the book, I read where Townsend Press had an online site that was designed to go with the textbooks. So I contacted them and their support team approved an account for myself and a co-teacher. It's really great. As we finish a chapter, we go into the lab and students that we have put into the program can go to the class we set up and do online exercise and tests that are covering the same type of material we're covering in the books. We did not pay any extra for this, however they do have it advertised on their site that students can sign up for what they call "Vocabulary Plus." It would be so much per student if we bought several spots. This would give students access to a whole list of books that cover Reading and Vocabulary and some novels online that can be listened to, etc. We haven't done this yet because we've exhausted our budget. As an administrator with the account they provided for us, we as teachers, do have access to that whole big list of books. I cannot say enough about how well it's been received by the students. After a question is completed, there's a brief explanation about why it's right or why it's wrong. I love it! The support team at Townsend had also been incredible. Joe Webb is who helped me in the beginning work through it all and get it set up. I dealt with a different support person today to ask if they could set up two more instructors. She was awesome too! She said that all you would need to do is go to Townsend Press and request to have an account set up. Then you have to wait for approval. I'm not sure if you would need to order books to be approved, but you might try it and see all the wonderful resources they have to offer! Good luck.

Hi to Alfons and others,

I think that a way to help the students who are intimidated by the actual testing process is to use the testimonials from students that have successfully passed the test.  That can be very powerful.  You might want to video tape the student who passed the test or collect student comments and post them on a wall or bulletin board.  Has anyone encountered success with doing this at your workplace?

Meryl

Susan and others,

In an article published on December 17th in the Cleveland Scene http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/after-a-major-overhaul-to-the-ged-test-in-2014-18000-fewer-ohioans-will-pass-the-exam-this-year-than-last-along-with-nearly-500000-across/Content?oid=4442224&showFullText=true the claim is made that: "In the United States, according to the GED Testing Service, 401,388 people earned a GED in 2012, and about 540,000 in 2013. This year, according to the latest numbers obtained by Scene, only about 55,000 have passed nationally. That is a 90-percent drop off from last year."

I am not sure where the Cleveland Scene got their data on 2014 GED(r) pass rates. Has GEDTS published this data yet for 2014?

David J Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing this.

I would be curious if we had statistics on the TASC and the HiSet as well. What are their pass rates? And, when the GED test changed in 2002, did we see similar trends in lower numbers of graduates in the first 6 months of that test? 

Colleagues,

As I get new information about the GED2014®, the TASC®, and the HiSET®, I will add to this post. So far, I have (unofficial) reports from eight states on GED®2014 results. We also have some preliminary national GED2014® results.  If you have a report on HSE results for 2014 for your state, please post it here, or email it to me and I can add it to this post.

David J. Rosen

Djrosen123@gmail.com

GED2014®

Preliminary 2014 National Results

"Nationally, the GED Testing Service says while it has seen a "sizable decrease," it won't be able to release final 2014 numbers for several weeks. But here's what we know so far:

— In 2012, a total of 401,388 people passed the GED test.

— In 2013, people rushed to take the old test in its final year, creating a bump: A total of 540,535 people passed.

— How many earned a GED credential in 2014? In the general population: 58,524.

This drop, first reported in the Cleveland Scene newspaper, is dramatic, but that 2014 number is also incomplete. It excludes state and federal prisoners — thousands of whom pass the test in a typical year (although, in the past, many fewer than 100,000). It also excludes those taking alternative tests, though that number, too, is not yet large.

The decrease is considerable and, combined with the development of those alternative tests and some states' decision to abandon the GED entirely, represents a challenge to the exam's decades-long dominance in the field of high school equivalency."

Source: NPR Article "A 'Sizable Decrease' in Those Passing the GED" January 9,2015  http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/01/09/375440666/a-sizable-decrease-in-those-passing-the-ged

State Results

Colorado

"In my mind, to calculate the Pass Rates, don't we count the entire number of Test Takers (6,530 in PA) and calculate the percentage of Passers (2,194)?  That would mean that 33.5% of those that began the testing process were actually successful in reaching their goal (not a 60.30% Pass Rate).

In Colorado, out of the 4,460 individuals who took at least one GED test, only 1,707 went on to pass all the tests--a 38% pass rate.  Even though there are many reasons that individuals begin the process and don't go on to complete, we are finding that the test itself is a stumbling block to the average adult needing this high school equivalency diploma.  Many individuals are--once again--being left behind."

Glenda Sinks, 1.7.15 post to the LINCS Assessment CoP

Georgia         

The number of people taking the new, computer-based GED high-school equivalency test in Georgia also dropped dramatically in 2014, and the number of people passing the test at the beginning of the year declined even more, but by the end of the year approached the pass rate of previous years.

·      As of Nov. 31, 5,340 people had completed the test and 2,270 had passed, a 51 percent pass rate. However, the pass rate for the new test has increased throughout this year as teachers and students grow more used to it. Only 29 percent passed in January 2014, the first month it was administered, but 70 percent passed in November, close to the usual average for those who complete the entire four-part test

·      For the 2013 calendar year, 28,732 people completed the previous test and 22,178 passed, or about 77 percent

·      In 2012, 24,053 completed that test and 15,980 passed, or about 66 percent, Source: Technical College System of Georgia statistics reported in “Dramatic drop in GED numbers for Georgia, nation”

Source: 12.30.2014 Athens Banner-Herald article http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2014-12-29/dramatic-drop-ged-numbers-georgia-nation

Idaho

"The Idaho Department of Correction would typically have 350 - 400 completions within a twelve month period.  The IDOC ended 2014 with 66 GED completions.  Testing began within the IDOC on April 1, 2014."
Source: Private correspondence (posted with permission) from Julie Oye-Johnson, M.Ed., IDOC Director of Education Services

New Mexico                                                                                                                               

New Mexico State University-Alamogordo Adult Education and our GED program had over 300 students for 2013-2014 and we had 97 grads. This year 2014-2015, we have 150 students and only 2 grads so far. I think the student are intimidated by the new test (We use only the ED®) and feel they cannot pass. Many of the students do not like taking the test on the computer and liked the paper and pencil test.”

Source: Judith Strawderman, December 17, 2014 post to LINCS Assessment CoP https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/ged%C2%AE-completion-rates

Ohio

·      “…according to the GED Testing Service, 401,388 people earned a GED in 2012, and about 540,000 in 2013. This year, according to the latest numbers obtained by Scene, only about 55,000 have passed nationally. That is a 90-percent drop off from last year.”

·      “In Ohio, 16,092 passed the test in 2012, and 19,976 did so in 2013, but only 1,458 have passed so far this year.”

Source: “Nearly 500,000 Fewer Americans Will Pass the GED in 2014 After a Major Overhaul to the Test. Why? And Who's Left Behind?” Article in December 17 Cleveland Scene http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/after-a-major-overhaul-to-the-ged-test-in-2014-18000-fewer-ohioans-will-pass-the-exam-this-year-than-last-along-with-nearly-500000-across/Content?oid=4442224

Pennsylvania

·  There were 6,530 test takers in 2014 vs. 24,937 in 2013 and 20,956 in 2012. In 2013, 17,654 (77.80%) of test-takers passed the GED® test in PA ; in 2012, 12,996 (70.50%) of test-takers passed; and in 2014, only 2,194 (60.30%) of test takers have passed. (Corrected version of 1.5.15)

Source: Susan Finn Miller. January 5, 2015 post to LINCS Assessment CoP

Rhode Island

“The number of Rhode Island students who passed the GED has dropped dramatically. The Providence Journal reported that as of Dec. 3, 225 students had passed the high school equivalency test in Rhode Island, compared with 2,363 in 2013. Just 625 people have taken the test in Rhode Island in 2014. The Journal reported the GED is more difficult. A spokesman for the national GED program said numbers are down nationally. (AP)”

Source: http://epaper.bostonglobe.com/epaper/viewer.aspx?noredirect=true

Texas

"The data released by TEA[Texas Education Agency] though, shows that 23,526 people were tested in 2014 with 9,890 people passing the test compared to 63,006 taking the test in 2013 with 44,330 passing the test." Source: 1.7.15 San Antonio Current article (that discusses some of the multiple changes in Texas in 2014 that could account for the lower passing rate)  http://www.sacurrent.com/Blogs/archives/2015/01/07/2014-texas-saw-big-changes-in-adult-education

 

 

 

Hello colleagues, I need to correct the GED® figures I previously reported. See below for the revised data from PA. I understand that the official 2014 statistical report has not yet been published. Also, it's relevant to note that PA has a grandfather policy which gives credit to individuals who passed portions of the old version of the test. When these individuals pass, they do not show up in the 2014 data.

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

 

2014

2013

2012

Test takers

6,530

24,937

20,956

Completers

3,636

22,686

18,447

Passers

2,194

17,654

12,996

Pass Rate

60.30%

77.80%

70.50%

In my mind, to calculate the Pass Rates, don't we count the entire number of Test Takers (6,530 in PA) and calculate the percentage of Passers (2,194)?  That would mean that 33.5% of those that began the testing process were actually successful in reaching their goal (not a 60.30% Pass Rate).

In Colorado, out of the 4,460 individuals who took at least one GED test, only 1,707 went on to pass all the tests--a 38% pass rate.  Even though there are many reasons that individuals begin the process and don't go on to complete, we are finding that the test itself is a stumbling block to the average adult needing this high school equivalency diploma.  Many individuals are--once again--being left behind.

 

Hi Glenda, Thanks for your post. The numbers I reported for Pennsylvania come directly from our state office. However, I can't say for certain how the figures are calculated. If anyone has insight into this, please add to the conversation.

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hi Susan,

When I was doing research for my doctorate, which focused on the characteristics of GED students, in my explanation of GED-related terms, I had to define the terms GED test taker, GED completer, and  GED passer so the reader could understand the difference. While the statistics change every year, the definitions don't. According to the  2013 Annual Statistical Report on the GED(r) test, which reported the stats for 2012, the glossary defines these terms. I know the terminology refers to the GED 2002, but below are the distinctions among the terms. A test taker can certainly complete all parts of the test without passing a specific state's requirements for a GED certificate. Below is what I copied from Appendix B: Definition of Terms (pp. 88-90). Perhaps this will clear up some of the confusion.

Sue

GED® test candidates − Adults who have tested in at least one of the five content areas of the GED® test, regardless
of whether they completed or met the GED® test passing standard. In this report, the terms candidates and test-takers
are used interchangeably with GED® test candidates.
 

GED® test completers − Candidates who have tested in all five content areas of the GED® test, regardless of whetherthey met the GED® test passing standard. The number of completers serves as the denominator for calculating the passrate. A candidate must have completed all five content areas and met the minimum passing standard in order to beconsidered a passer. In this report, the term completers is used interchangeably with GED® test completers.

GED® test passers − Completers who have met their jurisdiction’s minimum passing standard (see Appendix A for
detailed score requirements). The number of adults who met the passing standard serves as the numerator for
calculating the pass rate. Some jurisdictions require adults to fulfill additional requirements beyond passing the GED®
test in order to receive a GED® test credential (see Appendix A). In this report, the term passers is used
interchangeably with GED® test passers.

Hello friends, These stories about low GED® pass rates made the front page of the Lancaster News yesterday.

Revised GED Test Creates Hurdle for Many

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/too-tough-revised-ged-test-creates-hurdle-for-many/article_976ed962-a352-11e4-ba2c-4b218b712f00.html

How Has the GED Changed?

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/how-has-the-ged-changed/article_9b1bdf52-a356-11e4-a3bc-d771719c012d.html

 Test Yourself with Sample GED Questions

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/test-yourself-with-these-sample-ged-questions/article_8b9a80bc-a359-11e4-94cc-3ba03ed3cf45.html


Comments welcome!

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hi All,

I thought you would find this of interest. Just out on PBS: Is the new GED test an educational improvement or setback? Thank you to both Lecester Johnson and Randy Trask for having this conversation on PBS NewsHour.

"An overhaul of the GED to meet Common Core standards has made the high school equivalency test more rigorous and more expensive. As a result, fewer people are taking and passing it. Gwen Ifill gets debate from Randy Trask of the GED Testing Service and Lecester Johnson of Academy of Hope about what the changes mean."

What do you all think about the arguments they presented? What would you add to what they discussed?

Jackie Taylor

SME, Evidence-based Professional Development Community of Practice

 

Thanks Jackie for calling this national debate on the GED(R) exam to our attention. This is a useful debate, and one that is happening now in many states, both those that have gone through a formal high school equivalency exam procurement process and chosen the GED(r) exam and the more than half of the states that have not completed a formal procurement yet.

I was surprised that GEDTS CEO Randy Trask didn't mention that there are two levels of the GED(r) exam, the traditional high school equivalency level normed on graduating high school seniors as well as the new College and Career readiness level. I wonder why the high school equivalency level doesn't meet the needs of the people that Academy of Hope Executive Director, Lecester Johnson -- and many others -- are rightly concerned about, who don't necessarily want to go to college (yet). Anyone have thoughts about this? Perhaps Lecester could join this discussion. I would be interested to hear her answer, as well as others' answers.

It is important to keep in mind that in the competitive high school equivalency exam environment  -- currently there are three competing tests including the GED(r) --  the other two tests (TASC and HiSET) will likely also be raising their bars in 2015 and 2016. Will that mean that the "bar too high" phenomenon that Lecester has described will play out in all states, that even in the few states that currently offer options of two or three HSE tests, there will be fewer choices for adult learners and programs?

Some readers may be interested in reading the whole discussion that has been taking place about the HSE -- and in particular the GED(R) exam -- here on the Assessment list. https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/ged%C2%AE-completion-rates As part of this discussion I have posted an update on what is happening with HSE completion rates in several states https://community.lincs.ed.gov/comment/9228#comment-9228 and provided a reasonably up-to-date list of what states offer what test(s) and a list (with information provided by CTB McGraw Hill's Mike Johnson) about which of the 28 states that have not done a formal procurement process plan to do that or are doing that now. https://community.lincs.ed.gov/comment/9208#comment-9208.

I wonder if this important HSE discussion might be of interest to members of other LINCS CoPs. If so, perhaps someone could cross-post an announcement about it on those where there might be some interest.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

I agree the open debate about the meaning of the change is a good thing. David, Interesting that you mention the two levels of the GED. It is my understanding that if they pass it, without honors, they still pass it. So, even though the standards were raised as a way of supposedly getting rig of the gap between passers and college and career readiness, it still remains.  As a result of looking at the test, I will definitely agree that the gap has been narrowed, but interesting that it still remains isn't it?   

The question of fewer people taking the test needs to be interrogated carefully.Why are the numbers down? There are multiple different possible interpretations.

Every week we see recommendations that adults need to learn more to earn more (get on career pathways, etc) --consistently low rates of GED attainment this past year are tremendously concerning!  Here in our Portland OR program- we have the same # of students, but students aren't getting to a high enough level to take and pass the GED test. Of those who have passed, they are our "gifted" students-- the 1% of our studentswho don't need much help from a teacher. For them, the new GED works great! 

I think also that the GEDTS/Pearson Vue online practice test system is very flawed- students get discouraged and don't get the classroom help they need......

Terry, Thanks for bringing up this topic. It would be great to hear more about online high schools. How does this work exactly? Are students earning credit toward a traditional high school diploma? How are these schools funded ?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

 

At New River Community College, in Virginia, we have an online High School program that we sometimes use with our students of Middle College age, and also Adult Education students. We cooperate with a private online high school in West Virginia, to give diploma's to students who can not get one in cooperation with the local district, for whatever reason. However, we have another service provider that helps us work with students in cooperation with local school districts. That way we are able to provide a full list of options for all our students, and piece together a plan that is in their best interest.  I think this is an important part of Adult Education programs, and will likely increase as you indicated.

David, Thank you for posting about how your program in Virginia is making an online high school diploma a viable options for adult learners. Could you clarify what you mean by "middle college" age? I'm also curious about the funding. Would you be able to offer any details about that.

It would be great to hear from others who offer this option to adult learners in their communities.

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Could you please give me more information about your online diploma program...what program do you use.  We are looking into CyberHigh. Has this program been successful with anyone?

 

Thanks,

Debra

Debra,

We use multiple different ones for different reasons. When we give out a diploma in cooperation with the local school districts, we use a online curriculum provider they recognize - APEX.  Here is their link  http://www.apexlearning.com/

When, for many different reasons, the student is not able or willing to get a diploma in cooperation with their home district, we have a private online high school we use - Compuhigh.  Here is their link http://www.compuhigh.com/

They have both been very good partners.  If the student does not want to use either of these options, we have online GED preparation they can use. We were looking into the National External Diploma for some students missed in this toolkit, but that had to be put on the back burner for a while.

If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know!  

David  

Middle College is for youth from 18-24 for those that want to get their GED or HSD and goto college. Here is the link for our program 

http://www.nr.edu/middlecollege/

It was originally funded by the state VCCS system, which has now run out to my understanding. So, the community college is picking up the expense of the program.  Our MC is part of an office that administers many other Adult Education services that are funded by State grants. So it is what we euphemistically call a program with "blended funding."  

 

David