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Maine Chooses ETS's HiSET™ For High School Equivalency

Joins growing number of states offering the affordable, accessible replacement to the GED ® test

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Focusing on the College and Career Readiness Standards, Maine has become the seventh state to announce that it will use the HiSET ™ program for high school equivalency testing.


Beginning in 2014, the state will begin using the HiSET program—which offers paper-based testing in addition to computer-based testing—to serve a greater number of candidates. Furthermore, while the HiSET test is affordable at only $50, Maine is paying all fees for its test takers.

The announcement follows Montana's, New Hampshire's, Tennessee's, Missouri's, Iowa's and Louisiana's adoption of the HiSET test during the last several months. The number of states, educators, policymakers and employers looking for a high school proficiency exam replacement that includes elements that are critical to providing out-of-school youth and adults with proof of their readiness for higher education or the workplace is expected to grow. 

"The decision to use the ETS HiSET put a lot of local programs' minds at ease and our students' learning first," said Maine Adult Education Association President and Auburn Adult Education Director Bill Grant. "This decision to select ETS is a great example of the state being fiscally responsible with taxpayer funds while ensuring education standards remained high. The state selected a rigorous and respected test that is reasonably priced, and was mindful of the spending required by local school departments for new testing materials and technology for testing."

The Maine Department of Education has awarded an adult high school equivalency credential since the late 1940s. For decades, Maine's local adult education programs have been deeply committed to providing each test taker with a welcoming and supportive environment for their test preparation and testing.

"The selection of ETS's HiSET ensures Maine's adult learners will have access to a high school equivalency assessment that provides the flexibility local programs require to best accommodate the needs of their learners," said Gail Senese, Ph.D., State Director of Adult Education and Family Literacy.

Developed by nonprofit Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the University of Iowa's Iowa Testing Program (ITP) the HiSET test covers the same content areas as the current GED, and will be accepted by institutions in the same way, however, the HiSET program's advantages include:
  • Affordable test fees to keep this valuable credential accessible for candidates, states and educational programs
  • Up to two retests within 12 months, for no additional cost
  • Flexibility with the use of existing test centers, test prep and curricula
  • English and Spanish versions of the test
  • Computer-based and paper-based testing
  • Test design and validation by experts in assessment development for fair and reliable results

Furthermore, the HiSET program offers much needed flexibility to states wanting to avoid GED ® score expiration in 2014 by supporting combined pre-2014 GED ® scores with HiSET scores to issue equivalency credentials. 

"ETS and ITP welcome the opportunity to work with educators in Maine to provide learners in their state with an affordable, accessible high school equivalency exam," says John Oswald, Vice President and General Manager, K–12 Student Assessment Programs, ETS. 

"The Phase 1 HiSET test, which will launch in January 2014 will be compatible with current instructional materials used for high school equivalency assessment," added Oswald. "It will measure the more rigorous college- and career-readiness standards that most states will use beginning in 2014–2015, such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in reading, writing, and mathematics as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)."   

Phase 2 HiSET will align even more fully with the CCSS and NGSS once instructional programs for those standards are developed and instructional providers learn how to teach to the new standards. ETS and ITP will work with the states in designing the Phase 2 assessments.

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