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Pennsylvania seeks flexibility on partial GED scores

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 11:27 p.m.

General Educational Development test takers who missed the January deadline to finish the high school equivalency exam could get an 18-month extension, acting state Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq announced on Wednesday.

In January, the national GED Testing Service replaced its five-part 2002 exam with the more expensive and more rigorous four-part 2014 GED, leaving more than 43,000 Pennsylvania test takers with incomplete and invalid scores.

State officials are finalizing the process for those who successfully completed one or more sections of the 2002 GED exam to apply those scores toward the new test. Department of Education spokesman Tim Eller said the new protocols should be in place by May 1.

The move occurs on the heels of legislation state Rep. Hal English, R-Hampton, proposed that would require the Department of Education to accept partial scores from the 2002 test. House Bill 1930 passed the education committee this week. A companion bill, House Bill 1931, which Rep. Joe Hackett, R-Delaware, sponsored, requires the state to restore a pen-and-paper test-taking option.

English said he anticipates a smooth transition.

“Pennsylvania (is) looking to provide adult learners with flexibility and alternatives because these adult learners should have, and deserve, choice,” he said.

Both bills head to the full House for consideration.

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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