WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) recently released the first voluntary College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Adult Education. These standards will help prepare adults for the college courses needed to qualify for most jobs. The new 2014 GED test is strongly aligned to these new standards.
GED Testing Service's Martin Kehe, a former assessment official in Maryland who currently oversees development of the new GED test, says that the 2014 GED test to be released on January 2 will continue to measure high school equivalency and provide detailed information about a test-taker's readiness for college and career training programs.
"We have collaborated with experts from across the country over the last few years to build a test that helps adults, educators, colleges, and employers better understand a test-taker's skills and knowledge," said Kehe. "It is clear that our approach for the new GED test is consistent with the standards OVAE has released to help shape the direction of adult education. The new GED exam will be the only high school equivalency test strongly aligned to state and adult education standards, that when implemented, will better indicate college and career readiness."GED Testing Service recently released The Climb to Alignment which shows the alignment between the 2014 GED test and specific standards that are most important to indicate college and career readiness. For example, the adult education CCR standards require adults to demonstrate basic computer skills, and the ability to build arguments based on evidence—the same kinds of skills that employers expect. GED Testing Service also released a detailed crosswalk between the standards and the new GED test. "For years workforce and economic development reports have been telling us that there are not enough low-skill jobs for the number of low-skill Americans. In fact, nearly 4 million middle-skill jobs are unfilled because there aren't enough people with the right skills and education to fill them," said Randy Trask, president of GED Testing Service. "The new adult education CCR standards, Common Core State Standards, and state standards from Texas and Virginia confirm what experts and employers have been saying to GED Testing Service for years—that we need to be concerned with job preparedness, not just high school completion." GED Testing Service leaders say that middle-skill jobs are those that require some college but not a Bachelor's degree, and low-skill jobs require no college training. They also point to data which show that only 12 percent of GED credential recipients go on to earn any type of certificate from higher education. They cite these and other reasons for building a new testing system that is focused on helping adult learners navigate the pathway from being a high school dropout with access to low-skilled jobs to earning transferable, industry-recognized credentials and being competitive for jobs paying family-sustaining wages. The push to change the way adult education and GED testing function is not exclusive to GED Testing Service. The adult education CCR standards, which are voluntary and intended to guide state-level decisions about adult education, state that, "However genuine the concerns about setting the bar higher for college and career readiness, a willingness to act on what educators and employers have clearly identified as non-negotiable knowledge and skills is essential to enabling adult learners to meet the real-world demands of postsecondary training and employment."