Making a Difference:
KET and GED® Test Enter New Age

Christopher Lawrence, Steven Oney, John Bates

KET is a leader in technology and education, and it's something that, as we go forward, is going to be very vital, both for our kids and for adults.

Tim Coleman

former chair of KET's governing board

Their stories are as individual as they are.

Some, like Christopher Lawrence, had family obligations that kept them away from school.

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Others, like Steven Oney, hated teen drama and didn't fit in. "For the longest time, I just loafed around and mooched off my parents," he said. "I was pretending—but you can't get out of life like you get out of school."

Still others, like John Bates, got involved in drugs or became parents as teens, which derailed their education goals.

They're adults who never finished high school. And for nearly 40 years, these individuals and thousands more like them have been the focus of KET's efforts to provide the preparation necessary to help them pass the GED® test and move on to better jobs, more education, or simply the completion of a personal goal.

In these pages, we have shared their inspiring stories as well as those from teachers and administrators, business owners and community leaders, who all see the value in finishing one's high school studies and using KET's resources to get there.

"As administrator for the school-to-work program for the region, I had adult education under my administration, and that's when I fell in love with KET because of its GED program," said Monroe County Schools Superintendent Lewis Carter. "The vast majority of our programs used these materials."

"For people who don't have a high school diploma, there is a huge array of reasons why they didn't finish," noted adult educator Stephanie Scheer, who uses KET materials in her Paducah Adult Education Center classroom.

Signature Healthcare CEO Joe Steier quickly turned to KET adult education materials to improve his workforce when he realized so many of his employees needed help.

"I started hearing people say, 'You know, I never finished high school because I got pregnant, or my dad was laid off, and I went to work,'" Steier said. "People had the emotional intelligence, the empathy, to be a caregiver but not having a high school education was blocking their way."

"KET is a vital resource for the education of our children, for those seeking GED diplomas, and for all adults throughout the state," emphasized Tim Coleman, a former chair of KET's governing board and a community leader in Morgantown.

"KET is a leader in technology and education, and it's something that, as we go forward, is going to be very vital, both for our kids and for adults," he said. "KET is going to be very instrumental in helping this state move forward."

A New World

Today, the world of adult education is changing, and KET is changing with it. This January, the GED Testing Service® is introducing a new test. At the same time, many states are changing which high-school equivalency examinations they will accept.

In response, KET is developing Fast Forward, a flexible adult learning system aligned to Common Core State Standards and emphasizing skills required for college and career readiness. This new system is digital-based and will include in-depth online instructional courses in all the areas of study plus an eBook that focuses on test-passing strategies.

Race to the Finish

Prior to launching the new service, however, KET continues to encourage learners to finish their testing before the current test expires at the end of 2013. This is especially important for those who have already passed one or more parts of the current test, as their scores won't carry over once the new test launches. Students still have time to enroll in KET's GED Connection service by calling 800-KET-4GED or going online at KET.org/gedstudy.

"None of the big steps I have taken would have happened had I not gotten my GED," says Hasan Davis, a former gang member who followed completion of his GED® diploma with earning both a college degree and law degree and is now commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice.