County GED standards

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 9, 2001

change at end of year


Staff Writer

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Jan. 8, 2001 10 PM

In this day and age, the importance of a high school education is being realized more and more.

Those who dropped out of high school are finding it more difficult to get or stay in a job because of stricter requirements for a high school diploma.

In Pike County, 29 percent of the population is at a Literacy Level I, which means it is difficult for them to handle everyday reading, writing and math skills.

About 16 percent of Pike County residents have less than a ninth grade education. Another 19 percent went to high school, but never got a diploma.

Since there has been a national move to an information-based society and skilled labor force, many employers are insisting employees have a high school diploma or GED (General Education Development).

It is because of such changes that Ann Ammons, instructional supervisor for the Troy/Pike Adult Basic Education Program, is seeing more adults working to earn their GEDs.

During 1999-2000, there were 94 individuals who were enrolled in GED classes in Pike County and 14 of those passed the test.

"We’re really proud of that statistic," Ammons said, adding the test is not as easy as people might believe.

Ammons said the test covers five points: writing, including an essay; social studies; science, interpreting literature and math.

But, what many might not know is the GED tests individuals at what would be the top two-thirds of the traditional high school senior class.

Beginning with Jan. 1, 2002, the GED test will be changing to include workplace skills. The new tests will replace those that have been in use since 1998.

Perhaps what is of significance to Pike County residents is that, if they have taken and passed only parts of the test, they will lose these previous scores on Dec. 31, 2001, Ammons said.

As it stands, now, a learner only has to retake the part that he or she has not passed. If a learner has not achieved the necessary scores in all subject areas to pass the current tests, the individual will have to take all parts of the new series next year.

Ammons said a special effort is being made to reach those who have passed parts of the current test so they can work toward completion of the GED before the end of the year.

She also pointed out an individual can only take the individual parts of the test three times in a calendar year.

"The new series will continue to reflect the major and lasting outcomes of a four-year high school program of study in the core subjects of writing, literature and the arts, science, social studies and mathematics," Ammons said.

In addition to algebra and geometry, the new series will include questions on data analysis, statistics and probability.

Regardless of test series, adult Alabamians who have not earned a high school diploma will still have the opportunity to earn a certificate of high school equivalency.

GED classes are available to any Pike County resident who is at least 16 years old and not enrolled or required to be enrolled in high school.

For information about the GED classes, individuals can call the Troy/Pike Adult Basic Education Program office at the Alternative Learning Center at 566-6638 or 566-4351.

Classes are offered from 4-7 p.m., Monday and Tuesday and noon until 3 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thurday at the Alternative Learning Center in Troy; 8:30-11:30 a.m., Tuesday at Pike Area Career Center in Troy and 4-7 p.m., Tuesday at the Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge.