GED Testing halted due to theft
Tuesday's theft of graduation equivalency exams from Pima Community College in Tucson means roughly 50 people per month in Mohave County now must wait to get the equivalent of a high school diploma.
Ingrid Lee, vice president of foundation studies at Mohave Community College, said the Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu campuses of the college are three of 44 GED test sites in Arizona and the only ones in Mohave County.
She was informed of the theft Tuesday during a phone call from a representative with the state Department of Education.
"We had to halt a test Tuesday night in Lake Havasu because we got word in the morning everything was to stop," Lee said.
"But on a positive note, the opportunity remains for people to continue taking GED classes free of charge, so students should continue preparing.
This won't stop GED; it just delays it."
One or more people stole a locked file cabinet containing three versions (English, Spanish, French) of the General Educational Development test, Greg Hart, Pima Community College dean of adult education, told The Associated Press.
A glass door was smashed.
The cabinet stolen was locked and reinforced with a welded bar, which is protocol for GED test materials, Hart said.
Administration of the test in Arizona was immediately halted.
The Arizona Department of Education may extend the 12-week deadline people have to take all five subjects of the GED test so they are not penalized for the actions of someone else, said Tom Horne, superintendent of public instruction, in an AP report.
General Education Development Testing Service, which designs and scores the test, has decided not to pull the exams from other states, said Executive Director Joan Auchter.
The test maker has notified all GED administrators and test centers across the country and is closely monitoring the testing and scoring, the AP report said.
"I just put the word out to our staff (Tuesday)," Lee said.
"They're all very bummed out and disappointed because students were shooting for their GEDs by the end of this semester and now everything is on hold."
Postponement of tests will allow students more time to study, the one positive aspect of the theft, Lee said.
Mohave Community College administers the GED once a month on its campuses in Kingman and Bullhead City with 15-25 students per site taking it, Lee said.
The exam is given weekly in Lake Havasu, but not as a full test.
It is offered in four-hour rotations per week with 15-25 people taking it in Lake Havasu, she said.
"In a time of potential cutbacks, this is a hardship on the adult education program," Lee said.
"However, we will rebound."