Changes coming to GED program could affect 43,000 in WI - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Changes coming to GED program could affect 43,000 in WI

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MADISON (WKOW) -- There are some big changes on the horizon for the GED program in Wisconsin and across the nation.

Starting in 2014, there will be a new computer-based GED test, which means the current version of the test will expire at the end of this year and people's scores will expire too.

One problem is 43,000 people in Wisconsin could be affected by this change because if they don't take the test by the end of this year, they'll have to repeat parts they've already passed. 

The Department of Public Instruction says each year, nearly 9,000 Wisconsin adults earn a certificate of high school completion, which can open doors to employment, further education, and opportunity.

"A GED gives adults an option to improve their employment situation or pursue additional education," State Superintendent Tony Evers said. "GED-completers have gone on to successful careers as engineers and doctors, mechanics and office workers. The GED is a second chance that opens doors to the future."

According to the DPI, Wisconsin offers adults seven options for earning a GED or high school equivalency diploma (HSED). One of the HSED options includes the five GED tests. All GED and HSED options for Wisconsin are explained during orientation.

The DPI says the new tests respond to changes in education, the workplace, and the world since the 2002 GED Series was introduced. It says the new GED assessments will be based on the Common Core State Standards and other college and career readiness standards.

"My message to those who started taking the GED but haven't finished is, 'Get it done. Your future is calling'," Evers said.

Evers says the deadline for anyone who started taking the current GED series of tests to finish is December 13, 2013.

"The Department of Public Instruction is partnering with testing center, adult basic education, and community-based organization staff; literacy group volunteers; and corrections personnel to reach out and find people who started the current GED series and help them finish before they must start over with the new tests," Evers said. 

The DPI says adults who want to complete the 2002 Series GED must physically go to a testing center to take the tests, but do not have to finish the series at the same testing center where they started.

GED tests can not be taken online, they are only available at an official GED testing center. Madison College is the area's GED testing center. For a list of other testing centers across the state click here.

Ana Zambie, Madison College GED administrator, joins us on 27 News at 5 on Thursday to talk about the changes.

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