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Community Task Force encourages public to take GED exam before 2014

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Buffalo: Community Task Force encourages public to take GED exam before 2014
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There are changes coming to the GED exam next year and a community task force is encouraging those working towards their high school equivalency diploma to take the exam before that happens. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us more about their message.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "Without a high school diploma, without a GED, it actually minimizes the potential success of our students, of our adults," said Julius Gregg Adams, executive director of UB's Educational Opportunity Center.

And so the GED Now! Community Task Force wants to spread the word that it might be more difficult to earn a high school equivalency diploma once 2014 rolls around.

They say the test is changing because the vendor is changing - which means as of January 1, all past scores for anyone who hasn't completed the GED will not count.

"Our nervousness is really about the unknown. We know that the new test will have a paper and pencil component, we know that the new test will reflect the common core standards, we know nothing else," said Adams.

Adams says that's because the State Education Department is working to determine who will produce the new high school equivalency test.

A representative from the department says two companies, McGraw Hill and the Educational Testing Service, answered its request for proposals and an expert panel is currently reviewing their applications.

But some who currently help prepare teens and adults for the exam have concerns.

"Personally, I think it will become a lot more difficult for people that may have been out of school for 10, 15, 20 years. A lot of the people are not used to the core standards, it's a different way of learning for many of these people," said Darrell Slisz, educational director for Catholic Charities of Buffalo.

However, the task force says they're already working to prepare for the new test.

"We're ensuring that the current faculty are going to become entrenched in the common core standards," said Adams.

And he says there's plenty of opportunities for those who'd like to complete the GED before it changes.

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