[Assessment 3285] Re: EXT : Re: Alternative Pathways to High School Equivalency/GED

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Donna Chambers donnaedp at cox.net
Thu Nov 17 12:05:47 EST 2011

Hi All,

The topic of alternative pathways is so important and timely. For far too many years education has looked at standardized testing as the primary means for assessing skills. Passing a multiple choice test may or may not indicate that the test taker has the assumed skill that is being tested. The current trend in assessment is to consider alternative pathways for determining proficiency/competency. The recent redirection in education to the Common Core State Standards Initiative emphasizes “evidence of knowing”, which must be tested in multiple ways.

Some adult educators, but far too few, have been involved in competency-based assessment through the National External Diploma Program (NEDP), administered through CASAS. (www.nedp.org) Adhering to a reliable and validated process, NEDP allows participants to demonstrate high school level competencies through a series of projects that simulate life and work activities. This does not mean that the assessment is diluted, but rather it is different. NEDP has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards and so it is assessing skills that are expected of all high school graduates.

NEDP is offered to adults in my state of Rhode Island with great success. It is particularly beneficial to those students who are able to demonstrate their skills without being subjected to a timed test. NEDP works well for students for whom English is not their first language or students who experience some learning disabilities and need to “chunk” out their competency determination. It serves learners who have been stuck on their educational pathway by not being able to pass a timed test. As an alternative means of achieving a high school credential, the NEDP helps graduates meet their academic goal and many have moved on to college or other post-secondary programs.

In Rhode Island we operate an NEDP Cohort model which uses formative assessment strategies to determine a person’s readiness for the NEDP Assessment. Once the learners have acquired the necessary skills, they are admitted to the NEDP assessment which acts as the summative assessment and awards the high school diploma. Just as we know students learn in different ways, students need to be assessed in different ways and NEDP offers multiple ways to assess whether a person is skilled or not. It works!

Donna Chambers

Rhode Island NEDP Coordinator

From: assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of Oge, Woody J. (HII-Ingalls)
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:12 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 3284] Re: EXT : Re: Alternative Pathways to High School Equivalency/GED

Thanks. Are the Adult High Schools funded by the state through normal formulas like MFP or are you using some Perkins money.

Woody Oge
Director, Business Affairs
Avondale Operations
Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.

Ingalls Shipbuilding

woody.oge at hii-ingalls.com
Phone: 504-654-5193
Cell: 504-908-4327
Fax: 504-654-5187

From: assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of carolrac at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:49 AM
To: assessment at lincs.ed.gov
Subject: EXT :[Assessment 3283] Re: Alternative Pathways to High School Equivalency/GED

Here in New Jersey we also have Adult High Schools and GED programs. I've worked in an adult high school for 25 years and feel it's superior to the GED in that students can take classes at their own pace and and when they've completed the program they receive a regular high school diploma through the school district. All students are required to complete the NJ Core curriculum and pass our state exam, the HSPA. They need to have a total of 120 credits, including 4 English, 3 Maths, 3 Science, US History I and II, World Cultures, Career Development, health and a fine and practical art. I've been told by our graduates that the adult high school diploma is more readily accepted. Many need it to get into the military and many unions in our area only accept regular diplomas. One of the unfortunate problems is that we do not offer any type of special education. If the students was classified in high school we can't give them any special ed. help. Two years ago our state funding was cut and many adult high schools closed. Only those connected to other programs such as vocational/ technical schools or at-risk programs have survived. Through the years we have been able to offer the program free of charge but that will probably change in the coming years.

Carol Rachfalski


Gloucester City Adult High School

Gloucester City, NJ 08030

<mailto:crachfalski at gcsd.k12.nj.us> crachfalski at gcsd.k12.nj.us

-----Original Message-----
From: Carol King <cking at lyon.k12.nv.us>
To: The Assessment Discussion List <assessment at lincs.ed.gov>
Sent: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 8:05 am
Subject: [Assessment 3282] Re: Alternative Pathways to High School Equivalency/GED

Nevada has school districts establish Adult High Schools where adults can earn their GED or Adult High School Diploma. The Adult HS Diploma reflects all of the same credits for a HS diploma except they do not require 2 credits of PE and starting this year we are one credit less in Science, which I expect will be changed soon,(Adult HS Diploma Credits required: 4 English, 3 Math, 2 Science, 1 Humanities, 1 Government, 1 US History, ½ Computers, ½ Health, 7 ½ Electives). Nevada also lets students use the GED to test out of classes by waiving credits toward an adult education diploma if the student scores well enough. Students can waive up to 4 English credits, 2 science credits, 3 math credits and 2 electives. We can also accept college level courses that are 100 level and above toward credits for the Adult Diploma.

Carol King


Fernley Adult Education Center

Fernley, Nevada

cking at lyon.k12.nv.us


From: <mailto:assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov> assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov [ <mailto:assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov?> mailto:assessment-bounces at lincs.ed.gov] On Behalf Of <mailto:Mark.Trushkowsky at mail.cuny.edu> Mark.Trushkowsky at mail.cuny.edu
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:08 AM
To: <mailto:Assessment at lincs.ed.gov> Assessment at lincs.ed.gov
Subject: [Assessment 3282] Alternative Pathways to High SchoolEquivalency/GED

Hello everyone,

In NY State, there are currently three pathways on the books for an adult student to earn a High School Equivalency diploma. They can get a GED, receive a diploma after receiving 24 college credits and in some places, they can earn a diploma by completing the National External Diploma Program (NEDP). Though the three pathways exist, in practice the GED is the most used, widespread and practical.

In light of the changes to the GED, I am exploring the alternative pathways to High School Equivalency diplomas that are offered in other states.

I would love to hear about what your states offer, aside from the GED, in terms of multiple pathways for adult students to get their high school or high school equivalency diploma.

In addition to just learning what the different pathways are, I am also curious about the following:

- How many students receive diplomas by way of each pathway?
- What does a student's trajectory through the pathway look like?
- Who designs the pathway/assessment?
- How are the pathways funded?
- Any sense of the kind of success graduates of the pathways are finding in college?
- Are any states having success with pathways similar to the 24 college credit pathway we have in NY?

I would appreciate your feedback. Even if you don't have the answers to all of my questions, I'd love to hear what people have to say. Since the new GED is a pressing issue for all of us, I imagine many of you are exploring similar questions, so hopefully we will all benefit from everyone's responses.

Thank you,


Mark Trushkowsky
Mathematics Professional Developer
CUNY Adult Literacy and GED Program
101 W. 31st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001

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