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Published: Wednesday, 3/23/2005

GED violations cited at Fremont facility

BY STEVE MURPHY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FREMONT - An investigation has found numerous violations of state procedures for administering GED exams by a Fremont-based vocational school, state and school officials said yesterday.

The Vanguard-Sentinel Career Center stopped giving the tests Jan. 28 after the Ohio Department of Education notified school officials of the violations, said Dottie Howe, a department spokesman.

Ms. Howe said though the department considered the violations serious, no test results were thought to have been tainted because of them. She said Vanguard-Sentinel has corrected the violations and is to begin giving the tests again April 1.

Violations included storing exam copies in unsecured areas, failing to monitor test takers during their entire exam time, neglecting to keep logs of test booklets before and after exams, and failing to properly rotate versions of the test given to students.

Ms. Howe said the education department began investigating Vanguard-Sentinel's handling of the exams after receiving an anonymous tip about possible violations.

"Normally, we do annual inspections once a year, but this came in through a call," she said. "It's not common to get anonymous phone calls, but when we do get them we investigate."

GED programs - short for General Educational Development - allow people who did not finish high school to earn the equivalent of a diploma. Ms. Howe said complaints to the department about such testing programs are rare.

David Danhoff, superintendent of Vanguard-Sentinel, said the school has corrected the violations cited by the state.

"We're in this thing to help people, and the bottom line is, we had a few minor infractions and we've corrected them," he said. "They're procedural issues the state had with us. It wasn't like we were cheating anybody."



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