ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The General Educational Development Test (GED) is a series of tests in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies which, for thousands of adults and high school students in New York who for a variety of reasons have not received a high school diploma, offers an important educational alternative. The GED test is administered to a very diverse population at testing centers throughout New York State in multiple languages, without a testing fee, and with no prerequisite requirements for taking the test. Due to the low GED pass-rate in the State, which according to recent reports is at around 60 percent, the benefits of success on the test, such as entry to college, improved employment opportunities, and higher earning power, continue to remain out of reach for many New Yorkers.
In its 2010 budget request, the State Education Department noted that it expects to have a large increase in the number of people who want to take the GED in 2010 and 2011. The downturn of our nation's economy has placed very serious financial constraints on the availability of resources, and with the expected increase in demand for the GED, it is important to review the administration of the test in New York State to better understand how the State can continue to provide this important educational alternative. Additionally, the Committee wishes to review policy factors that may contribute to the State's GED pass rate to determine how to prepare more adults and students for success on the test, including test preparation both of test-takers and GED instructors, access to information about the GED and testing sites, and the use of practice tests.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at this public hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Please also note if a witness wishes to provide written testimony only, it can be incorporated into the official record if it is received prior to 5:00 pm the day before the hearing.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.