March 24, 2014
The General Educational Development test, or GED that used to be the gateway for a New York State Diploma, has been replaced with a harder test called TASC, short for the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.
Marcia Tate, Executive Director of Literacy CNY, doesn’t know how test takers did, but she knows she’d have had trouble with it.
"The math is going to be very difficult," says Tate. "I’m not sure that I could pass it, to be perfectly honest with you, without some preparation.”
The test is aligned with the much tougher Common Core curriculum that’s been instituted in New York State. It will test a for a higher level for reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, as well as a deeper understanding of math concepts. EOC instructor Amy Kozachuk says so far in the essay is harder in new test, but general questions are still on par with the GED. That will change.
"The level of difficulty will probably progress from 2014 to 2016 when the final version is rolled out. It’ll also be a computer based test by that time.”
That’s why Literacy CNY, in conjunction with ProLiteracy, has created a new program to help adult learners. Called Buddy Up, it will train volunteer mentors to help students struggling with the new, tougher, standards. One of those volunteers, Tia McIntyre, recently finished a six year road to her high school equivalency diploma.
"It was not easy. I took the test seven times, and each time, coming to EOC and with the teachers help, it helped me move up."
And she’s glad she did it before the new test came out.
"I was trying to make my goal before it came out. So I did. Thank you Jesus, thank you EOC thank you.”