Assessment and Professional Development Colleagues,

The recent national COABE conference in New Orleans had more sessions on the 2014 high school equivalency (HSE) exams than I can recall seeing for any past COABE conference. HSE exams, for good reason, are on adult educators' minds.

There are now three HSE Exams: the GED(r), the CTB-McGraw Hill test (the TASC, I think) and the ETS High School Equivalency Test (HSET). It is important, in at least the LINCS assessment and professional development CoPs, but perhaps for other CoPs too, for our field to stay up-to-date on these tests, to help learners adequately prepare for them.

I am particularly interested in new teacher professional development resources for all of them. I hope we can learn about these -- and discuss them -- here. To get the ball rolling, here's a new resource page I have added to the Literacy List, High School Equivalency Exam Videos for Teachers, Learners and Others  It includes a few free, online videos about what to expect on the GED(r) 2014 exam. I hope to add to this page as new learner and professional development resources become available. Perhaps you have suggestions of other video links that could be added. If so, please let me know.

Here are some possible HSE topics we might discuss on one or both of these CoPs:

1. What are states doing to prepare teachers for the HSE exams in 2014? I know Minnesota has developed a plan (presented at the COABE conference) and also has some good short videos on GED(r) 2014 exam test item types and the digital literacy skills needed for them. What are other states doing to prepare teachers now to help their students in the summer fall who will be preparing for their state's HSE in 2014?

2. What are states planning, specifically, to help HSE teachers improve their teaching skills in mathematics, writing, and their ability to provide students with needed background knowledge in science and social studies?

3. What is the relationship between each of these tests and the Common Core State Standards, and now the "Core of the Core," the College and Career Ready Standards for Adult Education, recently made available by the U.S. Depart ment of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education?

4. What are HSE instruction programs planning -- and perhaps already doing -- to help learners prepare for these new exams? For example, for the GED(r)  2014 exam, how are programs planning to help students aquire good keyboard (typing) and digital literacy skills, for example to manipulate multiple open windows, and efficently use the "hot spot"  test item? How are programs planning to help learners increase time-on-task that may be needed for these tests that are aligned with the new, more difficult, Common Core State Standards? Offer more class hours per week? More online learning? More tutoring? Different content? Something else?

What other HSE topics do you think we should discuss here?

David J. Rosen


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David J. Rosen's picture


As a follow-up to my previous post, I learned today that the CTB/McGraw Hill HSE exam is, in fact, the TASC. See:

CTB/McGraw Hill Launches the TASC, New High School Equivalency at


David J. Rosen

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