Why A Single High School Equivalency Exam?
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced on Wednesday that it selected a new test to replace the GED, the HiSET.
The cost of the new test will be $95, which includes a $60 registration fee for the cost of the test and $7 for each of the five test sections to cover the costs of administering the test. Because examinees do not have to complete the entire test at one time, they can take the test in sections.
The $60 registration fee will allow individuals to test three times during a 12-month period. Examinees who do not pass the test the first time can retake the entire test or any of the test sections two more times within the 12-month period by paying an additional $7-per-section fee.
The change was prompted because
. . . the American Council on Education GED Testing Services (GEDTS) and Pearson announced plans to create a for-profit organization to develop a new computer-based high school equivalency test to replace the current GED test in January 2014. Shortly after the announcement, GEDTS revealed that the price of its new test would be $120, not including any state administrative fees.
Changes to the GED have finally prompted others to enter the market for high school equivalency tests.
I commend DESE’s attempt to keep the cost low for test takers. What puzzles me is why they chose only one exam. It would be a much better system if multiple providers of high school equivalency tests were recognized and individuals were given the ability to choose among them. Some students may wish to pay to take the GED because it is so widely recognized.
Having multiple tests would give individuals who have not graduated from high school more opportunities to better their lives. Instead of providing options, we have simply moved from one monopoly to another.