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Friday, October 8, 1999

Study club plans meet

The Modern Study Club will meet at 3:30 p.m., at 2004 Hackberry on Wednesday, Oct. 13, for a Home Life Department Program with Pearl Gustafson, Department Chairman, in charge.

Pharmacist John T. Rediger will present the program _ Preventive Care _ Diabetics Education. Roll call will be answered with _ What are you doing to keep mentally well and physically fit?

The club's bi-monthly project for this meeting is the donation of scholarships to a graduating senior of Pecos High School.

Lena Harpham will join Joyce Morton with hostesses duties in the Morton home.

The thought-quote for the gathering is _ "Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of; a blessing money cannot buy,:" Izaak Walton (1593-1683)-Life of Donna (1646).

New GED Tests to be released in 2001

Adults in Texas who are working toward their GED diploma now have fewer than three years to successfully complete the GED Tests. In 2001, the GED Testing Service in Washington, DC will release new tests to replace the current edition.

Any GED candidate who has not successfully completed the battery by the time the new tests are introduced must start again with the 2001-series tests to qualify for a Texas GED Certificate. The obsolete scores cannot be "converted" to scores on the new tests.

The new GED Tests, which may be released as early as September, 2001, will continue to measure the major and lasting outcomes of a four-year high school course of study in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics. The tests will incorporate the most up-to-date, widely used curriculum standards and standardized assessment practices available. Graduating high school seniors will continue to see the benchmark by which passing scores are set.

However, the structure of the GED Tests will be realigned in a way that no longer corresponds to the five tests found in earlier test series. At the recommendation of a panel of education professional experts, two tests which are now separate _ the Interpreting Literature and the Arts Test and the Writing Skills Test _ will be incorporated into a single English Language Arts Test and a new cross-disciplinary test will be introduced. This new test will use real-life "authentic" materials that cut across traditional classroom subject areas and require candidates to process information in multiple disciplines simultaneously. One example of the type of test materials found on the cross-disciplinary test, say the GED's developers, might be a newspaper article about worldwide health care trends from which the test-taker would be required to answer questions relating to social studies, science, and mathematics.

According to GED Testing Service Executive Director Joan Auchter, "These types of test questions not only mirror the tasks students are being asked to perform in the K-12 environment, but also closely match the ways adults must function as effective workers, parents, students, and citizens."

Another feature planned for the 2001-series tests will be a report of skills that are used in nearly all academic and life situations _ skills such as critical thinking, communication, and information processing. Performance ratings in these areas will be drawn from across all five tests in the battery, providing a "third dimension" to the scores. While this added feature may not affect whether the candidate passes the GED Tests, it will equip the GED graduate and other end users, such as college and employment counselors, with helpful insight into the GED graduate's strengths. Because the GED Test reporting system has never before been designed to provide this information, scores from previous series are not compatible with scores from the 2001-series tests.

As these changes can be expected to affect test administration practices on many levels, the GED Testing Service says that it is working now with adult education policymakers in each state, province, and territory to determine the needed practices and begin their implementation. Additional information about policy and procedural changes, such as specifications for the type of calculator to be used and the length of time candidates may take to complete the tests, will be forthcoming over the months and years ahead. The testing services says that it will announce the exact release date of the new tests one year in advance.

"Nearly 60 years ago," says Auchter, "the GED Tests created a revolution by making it possible for people who had gained high school academic skills and knowledge outside of the traditional classroom to document their ability. We've entered an age where the ability to find and use information is becoming more important than the ability to merely own it. These changes will ensure the GED Tests' continued value to the individual and to educational, business, and trade organizations as an authoritative measure of high school-level skills and knowledge."

Persons who need information about GED testing in Reeves County or assistance with testing center locations should telephone Michelle Workman at 445-5535.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise