Changes are on the way for New York State when it comes to the GED. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is making sure that everyone will be able to take the test without the anticipated rise in cost of the exam.

Commissioner of Education John B. King Jr. announced earlier this month that NYSED intends to execute a contract with CTB/McGraw-Hill to develop a new New York state high school equivalency (HSE) diploma assessment to replace the GED. GEDTS, a new for-profit entity created by the American Council on Education and Pearson, has announced plans that it will double the cost of the exam in 2014.

The governor and state Legislature must include an appropriation for the development of the new assessment in the state budget. King said that, in the long run, CTB/McGraw-Hill’s new assessment will save the state money, especially when compared to the new pricing structure announced by Pearson.

New York’s shift to the Common Core State Standards (adopted by New York state along with 44 other states) requires a change in the pathway to a New York state HSE diploma.

“The GED has been published for a long time [by the] American Council on Education, and they were interested in moving the test online and updating the test to reflect the new standard in 44 states,” King said. “In order to do that, they thought they needed to get additional capital, [so they] partnered with Person Corporation to create the GEDTS. By January 2014, the test will reflect the Common Core, and they were planning to double the price for the GED from $60 to $120 per test.”

King added that the due to the increase, they would have had to cut the number of people taking the test by half. However, to ensure that every can get a high school equivalency diploma, Regents made their own changes.

The new test will allow anyone who takes it to be able to receive a high school equivalency diploma, which can be used in any state to get into college or get a job.

“We need a more rigorous exam that reflects the change in the standards,” King said. “A New York state equivalency test will help ensure access and rigor. And we’re going to look at other pathways to high school equivalency. The Regents’ goal is to ensure everyone has the opportunity to earn a high school diploma that reflects the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and a career.”

Numbers from the American Council on GED Testing indicate that nearly 60 percent of GED test-takers are men, and Blacks account for 24 percent of those who take it. The average age of a test-taker is 25.