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Who Are the GEDs?

Who Are the GEDs?

Chapter:
(p.139) 4 Who Are the GEDs?
Source:
The Myth of Achievement Tests
Author(s):
James J. HeckmanJohn Eric HumphriesTim Kautz
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226100128.003.0004

The pool of exam certified high school equivalents has changed greatly over the past 60 years. At the outset, exam certified equivalents were World War II veterans. The early equivalency tests were successful because they targeted these veterans, who had abundant character skills. The test certified their cognitive skills and their military experience certified their character skills. Nowadays, GED exam certification sends a mixed signal. In this chapter we show that across four different data sets, GED recipients have higher cognitive ability than other dropouts, but come from similar backgrounds and exhibit similar behaviours. The GED exam certifies cognitive skills, but dropping out of high school signals a shortfall of important character skills.

Keywords:   Determinants of GED Certification, Educational attainment, High School Graduation, Character, Cognitive Skills

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