Several dozen states are looking for an alternative to the GED high school equivalency test because of concerns that a new version coming out next year is more costly and will no longer be offered in a pencil and paper format.
The responsibility for issuing high school equivalency certificates or diplomas rests with states, and they’ve relied on the General Education Development exam since soon after the test was created to help returning World War II veterans.
But now 40 states and the District of Columbia are participating in a working group that’s considering what’s available besides the GED, and two test makers are hawking new exams.
“It’s a complete paradigm shift because the GED has been the monopoly. It’s been the only thing in town for high school equivalency testing. It’s kind of like Kleenex at this point,” said Amy Riker, director of high school equivalency testing for Educational Testing Service, which developed one of the alternative tests.
Last month, New York, Montana and New Hampshire announced they were switching to a new high school equivalency exam, and California officials began looking into amending regulations to drop the requirement that the state only use the GED test. Missouri has requested bids from test makers and plans to make a decision this month. Several others states, including Massachusetts, Maine, Indiana and Iowa, are making plans to request information about alternative exams. <Read more.>