Cimko, who said he has taught with Oneonta Adult Education for 15 or 16 years, said adults that come in to the program usually need the most help with math and writing essays.
Rowe said although both the math and writing portions of the test will be more challenging than in previous years, she is not too concerned.
“We have a pretty strong program,” she said, “so we don’t have to change much. It will involve a lot of professional development and getting the teachers used to the new standards.”
Unadilla Valley Central School Superintendent Robert Mackey said he believes the old GED was not properly preparing students for the workforce. He said the TASC will open more doors for students than the GED did as far as acceptance into military and trade school, but he said he does have some concerns about the change, particularly whether or not the problem-solving level needed to pass the TASC is as high as what students will need in the workforce.
Oneonta City School District Superintendent Joseph J. Yelich said the TASC is definitely more rigorous than the old GED, and that the challenge will be in preparation for the exam.
Yelich said the Oneonta City Schools will continue to provide students with tutoring, training and HSE programs through BOCES. He agreed with Mackey and said he wished there was a greater focus on job-readiness in High School Equivalency tests.
According to Rowe, the old GED test had become mistakenly synonymous with the High School Equivalency credential.
“People and employers always want to know, ‘Do you have your GED?,’ but the High School Equivalency diploma is the actual credential that is needed,” Rowe explained. “The GED was just the test you took to get that credential. Now the test you take is the TASC. The GED was just a brand of High School Equivalency test.”