The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the agency tasked with overseeing and issuing high school equivalency credentials and the related Indiana Adult Education program, today announced it will be seeking a new high school equivalency credential exam. This announcement comes as DWD officials and their counterparts from some 40 other states and the District of Columbia have been participating in national working groups to consider viable options to the current GED test.
Various education stakeholders from dozens of states around the country began looking for other options and planning to seek alternatives to the traditional GED as a high school equivalency test when Pearson, the company who owns the rights to the current test informed states the test will move to online only testing in 2014 and will nearly double in price. DWD estimates a move entirely away from traditional “paper and pencil” exam locations and long-established proctorship practices could reduce the number of eligible state providers by at least half. The significant increase in price could also have an equally devastating effect on the number of Hoosiers able to afford the test. State officials released the request for proposal (RFP) today, which is the first step to having a new high school equivalency credential exam in place by January 1, 2014.
DWD is also encouraging Hoosiers currently enrolled in the Indiana Adult Education program, which is aimed at GED preparation, to continue working toward completion and to sit for the exam before the end of 2013, as their scores will expire if they do not complete the current version of the test before the end of the year. More information regarding the Indiana Adult Education program and providers can be found at www.workoneworks.com and www.in.gov/dwd/adulted.htm. Additional details regarding the process and changes will be relayed in the coming months.
“Developing a credential Indiana employers will recognize as a viable equivalent to a traditional high school education is a core priority in this process,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “We will also be relying heavily on our education stakeholder partners for input as the importance of transition to post-secondary educational achievement cannot be overstated.”
Sanders also noted that pricing of any new credential must not be cost-prohibitive to test takers. The increased cost of the traditional GED was a primary concern in DWD’s decision to seek an alternative to the current high school equivalency exam.