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The American Council on Education, which administers the GED testing program, announced today that it will join with Pearson PLC, a British-based media company, to develop a new GED test that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and better-equipped to prepare students for college and careers. ACE and Pearson will create a joint corporation to develop and administer the new test, which is expected to be ready in 2014. Starting in April, the new ACE-Pearson entity will begin to overhaul select sites from its 3,400 testing stations in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia so they can offer the existing GED in a computer-based format. That process will eventually extend nationwide, making the GED strictly a computer-based test by 2013. Nearly 800,000 GED tests are taken each year, according to the American Council on Education.

Independently of Pearson, ACE will begin to offer “a transition network that connects GED test takers to career and postsecondary educational opportunities” in conjunction with the test. Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, said that such a network will include “a portal or personal counseling to assist in [the] decision to go on in higher education or to go directly into a job.”

The new GED is expected to be released sometime in 2014.

"This bold, far-sighted and innovative partnership will provide a new, fresh approach toward solving an old and pernicious problem -- the incredible waste of human talent represented by the millions of Americans who lack a high-school diploma," said Broad in a press release.