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Elementary and Primary Education
Harris County Department of Education
News Release
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

HCDE registers adult learners for fall GED/ESL classes for 2012-2013

Rising number of students expected with new GED test on horizon

As registration for 2012-2013 GED  classes gets underway, Harris County Department of Education Adult Education division urges GED students to prepare for and take tests prior to January 2014, when a more rigorous and costly GED assessment test is adopted.

HCDE Adult Education provides GED preparation and English as a second language classes to about 10,000 students yearly in 65 locations through the county. September is the busiest month for registration, said Eduardo Honold, HCDE Adult Education director. Classes are free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We expect to see registration climb as more and more students realize the test is changing in 2014,” Honold said.

The nationwide GED Testing Service®  is a joint venture between Pearson and the American Council on Education.  The new 2014 test aligns with emerging national and state standards.  The goal is to assure colleges, universities and prospective employers that adults passing the test are prepared to compete and succeed in a global economy, according to the American Council on Education.

Currently the standard GED test is taken on paper in testing centers.  The new test released in 2014 will be computer-based to meet needs of increased participants but will be offered on paper in special cases.  In the Houston area, the five-section paper test currently costs $75-$100, depending on the local testing center. The computer-based test to be launched in 2014 will cost $120. 

Prior to the new test being released in January 2014, individuals taking the paper-based test will need  to pass all five content areas before that date. Otherwise, test scores will expire during the transition period; and test-takers will be required to retest.  For example, a student who has passed writing, social studies, science and art-and-literature and failed math would be required to take all five parts again versus one as the new test is adopted. 

“All our classes are led by highly qualified teachers who give students the extra academic support they need, as well as encouragement,” said Honold. “Many times our adult students find support, encouragement and camaraderie through fellow students as well.”

Locations for classes include inner-city locations and suburbs such as Katy, Alief, Baytown, Crosby, Deer Park, Galena Park, Huffman and Pasadena.

Classes offered by HCDE include GED, ESL, adult basic education, adult secondary education, English literacy/civics and workplace literacy. Career counseling is offered for enrolled students. For more information, access or call (713) 692-6216. 

About HCDE:  Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 26 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, and Head Start programs.  We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support.  Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at

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