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Web letter: Exam replacing GED can help 500,000 Hoosiers

The article, “GED test overhauled” (Jan. 2), summarized important changes nationally regarding the high school equivalency exam.

A revamped GED will be more rigorous, computer-based, and more expensive. Locally, those changes will be felt.

Indiana has adopted the Test Assessing Secondary Completion to replace the GED beginning in 2014. There are two differences from the new GED: a phased-in increase of rigor and a paper-and-pencil option will be available over the next two years. The content of the exam will move from basic reading, writing, and math skills mastery to developing critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. Adult education providers in northeast Indiana have attended trainings so they are prepared to align lessons with the Common Core State Standards, which are the foundation of TASC.

The cost of the exam for students increases to $90, a $25 increase over what they have been paying. TASC is not as expensive as the new GED.

A challenge identified in “GED test overhauled” involves acceptance of the TASC by the military, employers and colleges. Local adult educators are working together to ensure a smooth transition to the new exams. Marketing of the TASC will be important so that adult learners, colleges, and businesses understand that as a high school equivalency assessment it will, like GED, measure readiness for college and the workforce. And for students who pass it, TASC will award a high school credential.

We are optimistic that the new exam will benefit the 500,000 Hoosier adults who lack high school diplomas as well as colleges and businesses in our community.

JUDITH STABELLI Executive director The Literacy Alliance Fort Wayne