Yasmeen Khan is an associate producer covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
The 18,000 young adults in New York City who have started but not finished their G.E.D. are being encouraged to do so this year. Come January 2014, the high school equivalency test will change and any previous scores on portions of the G.E.D. will no longer count.
The non-profit Fund for Public Advocacy is leading the charge to recruit and counsel New Yorkers age 17 to 24 who have already started the process. The group aims to reach at least 3,000 of those individuals and bring them over the finish line.
"If you've started and you had the motivation to start, we want to help you finish," said Paula Gavin, executive director of the Fund for Public Advocacy. "Because we don't want you to lose another year for getting on a pathway to a better job or to college."
The Fund launched its campaign on Wednesday, along with partnering organizations like the public advocate's office and the Department of Education. They are targeting specific communities across the five boroughs with high concentrations of young adults who have started the five-part examination.
The campaign is employing social media and a new website. There's also a hotline, hosted by the D.O.E., meant to offer guidance on seeing the G.E.D. through to completion and referrals for test preparation programs. That number is 718-557-2525.
Testing for the G.E.D., an acronym for General Educational Development, will change in 2014 to reflect Common Core learning standards. The exam has five parts. Anyone who has passed only a portion of the current exam will be required to start over as of January 1, 2014.