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ACE, Pearson to overhaul GED test

The American Council on Education (ACE) and Pearson recently announced plans to collaborate on a new GED Test, aligned with Common Core State Standards, that will ensure that those adults who have passed the test are prepared to compete in a global economy. Nearly 800,000 GED Tests are taken each year, and more than 470,000 people received their high school credential via the test in 2009.

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Lauren Sieben reports that the new GED Testing Service will be overseen by a board of directors that will include executives from both Pearson and ACE. "The partnership comes after the council announced its GED 21st Century Initiative, which seeks to restructure the test to align it with a modern high-school curriculum and to develop stronger instructional programs," Sieben writes.

According to ACE, the three key components of the GED 21st Century Initiative are as follows:

  • A new, more rigorous GED Test aligned with Common Core State Standards designed to ensure career- and college-readiness
  • A national test preparation program featuring an expanding array of innovative and personalized learning resources
  • A transition network that connects GED test-takers to career and postsecondary educational opportunities

Pearson senior vice president Randy Trask says more than 39 million adult Americans lack high school credentials, and that number continues to grow. Those who don't have high school credentials earn an average of $7,000 less each year than those who do, Trask says. "The lost lifetime earnings for the drop-outs from the class of 2007 alone add up to a $329 billion hole in the US economy," he says. "We recognize that the government and concerned foundations cannot address this problem alone, and we believe that creating this unique partnership is the first step in transforming our national efforts to give adults a second chance at earning their high school credential and pursuing further education or earning a sustaining wage."

The new test is expected to be ready in 2014, Inside Higher Ed reports. "Starting in April, the new ACE-Pearson entity will begin to overhaul select sites from its 3,400 testing stations in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia so they can offer the existing GED in a computer-based format," the article states. "That process will eventually extend nationwide, making the GED strictly a computer-based test by 2013."