By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Changes to the General Educational Development, or GED, tests has instructors at the Wilson County Adult Learning Center concerned that students may be forced to forgo the exam due to increased costs.
Starting in 2014, the GED will undergo changes in Tennessee that will make the test computer-based, more expensive and will significantly change the content.
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Developments Adult Education Division and Wilson Adult Learning Center Director Betty Byrd are encouraging anyone in the process of obtaining their GED to complete the test as soon as possible.
We know there are people who havent been able to complete the test, and they should come in and get their GEDs now, Byrd said.
The test is undergoing its largest overhaul since it began in 1942, and Byrd said the current test was created in 2002. The changes to content are designed to reflect Common Core State Standards of high school education.
Byrd said the test will become more difficult, but that does not worry instructors at the local Adult Learning Center. What are major worries, she noted, are the fact that the test will be computer-based and the cost to students to take the test are nearly doubling.
The price is going to increase dramatically, that troubles us tremendously, Byrd said.
The test now costs $65, but starting in January 2014, that price will almost double to at least $120. Byrd hopes the increased cost does not scare people away from striving to obtain their GED now or in the future.
For Wilson County residents trying to obtain their GED, the services of the Adult Learning Center are free of charge, however, the test is only administered in Wilson once every six weeks.
She said Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin is certified to administer the test and only visits Wilson once every six weeks to give local residents a chance to take the GED test here. Otherwise, local residents have to travel to Gallatin to take the exam.
We dont want that money to keep people from coming to our center or to keep them from pursuing their GED, Byrd said.
Along with an increase in cost, the test will become more rigorous academically, most notably in terms of mathematics proficiency. According to officials with the State Department of Labor, the test will require high proficiency in mathematics, writing, reading, science and social studies.
Byrd said she felt the standards should be updated to reflect current high school curriculum, which itself has undergone major changes in the past year. Tennessee is in the middle of raising its Core Curriculum standards on high school End of Course tests and Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests.
According to the Department of Labor officials, 56.6 percent of GED recipients in 2011 were between the ages of 17 and 25 years old. A total of 12,047 Tennesseans earned their GED but department officials estimated there are between 900,000 and 1 million adults without a high school diploma. Also, 29,000 students dropped out of high school this past year.
New jobs are not being created for those without a high school education. Unemployment rates are inversely related to the level of education a person has achieved, said state Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. The more education a person has, the less likely he is to be unemployed. The same is true of income. The income differences between a person who does not have a high school diploma or GED and a person who does is striking.
Byrd said these changes are only the information they have been told at this time, but they are expecting more changes in the future. She said the Adult Learning Center is bracing for these changes and will work to meet them when they apply.
In the meantime, Byrd urged all Wilson County residents currently seeking to obtain their GED to complete the test as soon as possible.
For more information, call the Adult Learning Center at 443-8731.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By PATRICk HALL
The Wilson Post
There are multiple opportunities this Saturday to have your out-of-date prescription drugs properly disposed, with the Lebanon Police Department and Wilson County Community Coalition holding take-backs.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the LPD will hold its fourth annual prescription drug take-back at the department headquarters. Chief Scott Bowen said in the four years theyve been holding the take back it has been extremely successful.
They can bring in a prescription drug and well take it, no questions asked, Bowen said.
The take-back is part of a nationwide event held by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), giving citizens across the country a chance to properly dispose of medications.
Remar Inc. celebrated the opening of its new 250,000 square foot headquarters on Friday, April 27.
Located in Lebanon, the facility contains a Distribution Center as well as offices, and consolidates Remar employees and equipment previously housed in five different buildings.
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead, Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty, Mark Hinesley, president of the Mt. Juliet/ West Wilson Chamber of Commerce; Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce President Sue Vanatta and Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto are some of the dignitaries expected at the 10:15 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.We started our business in Lebanon in 1995 as MEDIAmail, with just three employees in a 10,000 square foot building, said Nelson Remus, president and CEO. In the early days, we were providing direct mail services and duplication, packaging and mailing of electronic media such as CDs and videos.
The Wilson County Fair and The Wilson Post have formed a special partnership this year to share responsibilities related to the fairs annual program, the Fair Catalog.
According to Fair Coordinator Helen McPeak, an agreement was reached between the Fair and the local newspaper in which The Post will be responsible for selling advertising in the more than 100-page program as well as printing the publication. Fair personnel will focus on sponsorships for the August event that are to appear in the program as well as providing content for the many events held during the Fair.
The Post will be selling advertising on the Wilson County Fair website, which has been included as an integral asset to the MainStreet Media Digital Advertising Network.
The Wilson County Fair, which now is attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually and is regarded as one of the top fairs in the nation, will be held Aug. 17-25.
Ada Midgett, a longtime fair volunteer and a key organizer of advertising sales for the annual fair program book, is leading staff members at The Post to help make this years book bigger and better than ever.