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Education

What You Need to Know About Changes to the GED

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Ilga Vise talks with Katherine Chaudhri, the site manager at the Missouri Hotel, about the changes and updates in the General Education Development test, commonly known as the GED.

Originally, the GED was created in 1942, by the American Council on Education (ACE),  to  measure high school-level academic skills for those who dropped out of high school in order to serve in the military during World War II.  The test included five subject areas: social studies, science, math, reading, and writing.  It was given in all 50 States, plus Canada.    

Locally, before 2014, it was administered by Missouri State University and Ozarks Community Technical College.  Since January of this year, only OTC administers the test.

Major changes have taken place since January of 2014.  Pearson, a for-profit company, purchased the previously non-profit GED and raised the cost of the test from $45 to around $140.  In response, two other test organizations proposed high school equivalency tests, developed by McGraw Hill.  New York and nine other states adopted the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion) test.  Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee and several other states, chose the HiSet (High School Equivalency Test).

The format of the HiSet test was changed to computer only, and the cost also increased, to $95.  The   majority of the people preparing to take the test live in the northern part of Springfield, and at the Missouri Hotel, a homeless shelter. They face additional challenges: low income and often a lack of computer skills.

When a person enters the program to prepare for the HiSet test, an assessment test is given to measure their skill level.  Based on that, an individualized course of study is prepared for them.  It takes two to three months to prepare for the test, although it varies from one individual to another.

If students do not make a passing score the first time they take the test, for a nominal fee, they may retake the part they didn’t pass, or all of it, in a year’s time.

In order to defray the cost of the test, financial help is available through the Megan Cramer Memorial Fund, at The Kitchen, Inc., in honor of a young lady who died in a Kansas City restaurant explosion.  Megan was the daughter of a long time teacher volunteer at the Missouri Hotel.   The donation is tax deductible.  Many organizations and individuals have already donated to the fund.

Additional volunteer opportunities to help those preparing for the HiSet test exist, from teaching opportunities to providing snacks and supplies.  Contact The Kitchen, Inc. at (417) 837-1500, or on the web at Kitchen, Inc.

Educated citizens are crucial to Making Democracy Work.

Hear a conversation with Katherine Chaudhri about the GED changes above.

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