Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

January 25, 2014

Record numbers seeking high school equivalency

(Continued)

According to U.S. census data, more than 33,000 Allen County residents - a little more than 13 percent of the population - age 18 or older do not have a high school diploma.

The Anthis Career Center, in the former Central High School building at 1200 Barr St., serves as a combined site for GED classes and testing as part of Fort Wayne Community Schools’ continuing education program.

From July 2012 to July 2013, Anthis helped 171 students earn a GED certificate Preliminary numbers from the first six months of 2013-14 show that 208 students already have passed the necessary tests to earn their certification.

Boles said the influx in test-takers, especially in the final two months of last year, is likely due to changes to the GED test.

Until the end of 2013, the GED - or General Educational Development - test was a five-section exam designed to measure the test-taker’s high school-level academic skills.

The GED test was created in the 1940s for veterans returning from war to give them the academic credentials they needed to get jobs, attend postsecondary education or have access to training, according to the GED Testing Service website.

In 2012, Pearson, the company that owns the rights to the GED test, announced plans to revamp the exam and create a computer program that aligns with national education standards - in addition to nearly doubling the cost of the test from $65 to $120. The test was most recently revised in 2002.

The changes also meant Hoosiers such as Allen Hackworth of Columbia City, who had only a few classes left to complete, would need to move quickly - or lose credits and be forced to start fresh with a new test.

Hackworth, 24, dropped out of Columbia City High School in 2008 and spent five years avoiding the GED test because he said he was afraid he might fail.

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