More States Dumping the GED, Choosing Alternative Tests

By Catherine Gewertz — January 17, 2014 1 min read
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New Hampshire has dumped the GED, joining a growing list of states that have embraced competing high school equivalency tests instead of a revised, more expensive GED.

According to a report in the New Hampshire Union Leader, the state decided to use HiSet, an exam developed by ETS and the University of Iowa’s Iowa Testing Program. ETS announced last month that at least 10 states are using that new test.

UPDATED: Earlier this month, though, Massachusetts joined the pack, bringing to 11 the total number of states that have signed up to use HiSet, according to ETS spokesman Jason Baran.

Not every state is using it exclusively, though. According to ETS, the states using it as their only high school equivalency are Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, Montana, Missouri, and Louisiana. Offering HiSet along with one or more alternatives are Nevada, Wyoming, and New Jersey. Tennessee is offering HiSET and the GED for one year, and then will use only HiSET in 2015, Baran said.

Three states are offering CTB/McGraw-Hill’s TASC as their only high school equivalency exam: New York, Indiana, and West Virginia, according to McGraw-Hill Education spokesman Brian Belardi. Wyoming, Nevada and New Jersey have also gotten approval to use TASC, but state testing centers there can decide which exam to offer, he said.

As my colleague Caralee Adams explained in a story in June, the revamping of the GED sparked lots of reflection by states, and a rush into the market by competitors like ETS and CTB/McGraw-Hill.

Adult-education officials told the Union-Leader that cost was a factor in choosing HiSet over the GED. And this little tidbit from the New Hampshire story offers an intriguing glimpse of the competitors’ push to market their products: “Pearson and ACE sniped at competitors and claimed their GED exams were the only valid reflection of a high school education.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.