People wishing to take high school equivalency tests in Spokane County face a long delay because officials suspect someone stole part of the test.
For the first time in 20 years, all 10 GED testing centers shut down Monday. They probably won’t open until January while officials investigate the possible theft.
Anyone planning to take the test will have to travel to testing sites outside Spokane County, where the examinations are slightly different. The nearest is in Coeur d’Alene.
Inmates at Pine Lodge Corrections Center were last to take the test on Thursday, said Ron Johns, a vice president at Spokane Falls Community College.
“When they left, part of the test was missing,” said Johns. “The fear is it’s out there somewhere.”
The tests are strictly monitored to make sure questions and answers are kept confidential.
Testing officials in Washington, D.C., have been notified of the “breach of security,” Johns said. “GED testing takes place nationwide. People are really interested in keeping the quality high,” he said.
The GED is a high school equivalency test that enables students to enroll in college without a traditional high school diploma.
About 100 students were scheduled to take the test this week in Spokane County. About 2,200 take it here each year.
Until the testing centers in Spokane open, students can take the exam at North Idaho College, the Community Colleges of Spokane-Colville Center, Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, and Washington State University in Pullman. Johns refused to discuss details of the incident at Pine Lodge, one of 58 testing sites in the state.
There’s only one bright side, said Mary Ellen Myrene, spokeswoman for the Community Colleges of Spokane.
“It’s happening during the holidays, when not many tests go on.”
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: CENTERS CLOSED People wishing to take the GED test can call 533-3571 for testing dates at centers outside Spokane County. These Spokane County centers are closed, likely through December: Spokane Falls Community College Career Path Services Eastern State Hospital Airway Heights Corrections Center Pine Lodge Corrections Center Geiger Corrections Center Spokane Juvenile Detention Center Spokane City-County Jail Community Colleges of Spokane Adult Education Centers (both Hillyard and Monroe centers)