OTTUMWA — Getting rid of the GED doesn't mean adults are out of luck if they want a high school diploma.
This month, the Iowa Department of Education announced that a new test will replace Iowa's GED in 2014.
Those earning a diploma will still get the same certificate that's always been given out: the adult high school equivalency diploma. Yet some people trying to improve their lives are already worrying when they hear they won’t be able to earn a GED.
"That's kind of a misconception. People associated the GED with the diploma. [Yet] the state always gave an Iowa adult diploma," said Raeann Wyngarden, director of Adult Education and Literacy at Indian Hills Community College.
GED is actually just a company, "GED Testing Services," which has a diploma test accepted by various states and has been used in Iowa at least as far back as the 1940s. D.T. Magee, interim director of the Iowa Department of Education, said the new test aligns well with state standards in English language arts and math. The new test, called HiSET, was chosen in Iowa through a competitive bidding process.
Sometimes, that means finding the cheapest product available. And HiSET is less expensive than GED. But the DOE said this new high school equivalency test was chosen by a state selection committee made up of education leaders from their department as well as community colleges. In Iowa, community colleges are the entities responsible for adult high school diploma testing.
“As expectations rise for high school graduates in terms of college and career readiness, the expectations for adult learners will rise, too,” Magee said in a statement to the press.
Those adult learners who started studying for their GED exam do need to pay attention to time. They have to finish by December. Even if they completed 90 percent of the exams required for a GED diploma, those tests won’t count after that time.