The other was CTB/McGraw-Hill, a for-profit company that is helping states develop assessments of Common Core standards, which put an emphasis on critical thinking and spell out what reading and math skills students should have at each level. It developed a high school equivalency test called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, or TASC.
Both say they offer a quality test at a lower price. They also allow their tests to be taken without a computer and are open to accepting the scores of GED test takers who have partially passed the old test that recently expired, as long as their state approves.
Amy Riker, national executive director for HiSET, acknowledged that both new vendors have a lot of work to do to educate people about the new exams.
Broad, from ACE, said she likes the idea of competition and said it "will keep everybody on their toes."
In Lowell, Mass., Ben Morrison is a GED test instructor at the United Teen Equality Center, which works with former gang members and others doing on-the-job training and GED test preparation. Morrison said that whatever is ahead, his center will adjust its program because the equivalency diploma is critical for the job prospects and self-confidence of the youth it works with.
"We know that having that credential will make our young people more employable," Morrison said, "so regardless of what test it is that they need to pass to get that credential, I can look at it and pull it apart and figure out how to get them through."
Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khefling
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