Albany -- Albany Tech shut down its GED testing last month after a cheating scandal. Administrators say several Turner Job Corps students were trading ID's and taking the test for each other. Now the state says the college can resume testing.
Adult literacy student Andre' Hightower is getting in his last few minutes of study before the big test. Today Hightower will be taking his GED exam-- weeks behind schedule.
"They turned us around and said they were going to call us when they started testing again," says Hightower.
In March, two students at Turner Job Corps cheated on their GED test. That discovery caused a chain reaction at all of Tech's testing sites, and halted testing for thousands of students. A resulting investigation launched by the state Adult Literacy Board showed cracks in the way Albany Tech was administering the test.
"They said we weren't checking IDs closely enough so from now on we have put this process in place so students must have a state issued picture ID," says Kate Van Pelt director of public relation of Albany Tech.
And the problems at Tech come at a time when the GED is already experiencing trouble. Recently, testing nationwide was almost shut down after three versions of the GED were stolen from an Arizona College.
For students like Hightower who see the test as way to better their lives, dishonest acts of the few can be far reaching. "I feel like they were cheating themselves and not only did they hurt themselves they hurt other people who wanted to take the test," says Hightower.
Testing officials are giving free tests to students who signed up and were stopped from taking the test last month. The two Turner Job Corps students caught cheating on the test have been dismissed from Turner's program and have had their test scores thrown out.