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High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED

High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED

Chapter:
(p.318) 8 High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED
Source:
The Myth of Achievement Tests
Author(s):
Andrew Halpern-MannersJohn Robert WarrenEric Grodsky
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226100128.003.0008

Over the past three decades, many states have enacted legislation mandating that students pass high school exit exams (HSEEs) before completing high school. There is considerable evidence to suggest that HSEEs reduce high school graduation rates, but few studies have examined their consequences for rates of GED testing. To remedy this situation, this chapter uses data from the GED Testing Service and other sources to estimate the effect state HSEE policies have had on rates of GED testing since the early 1980s. The results show that (1) HSEEs significantly increase rates of GED testing among high-school aged individuals; (2) GED test taking rates increase more when states implement more demanding HSEEs; and (3) the effects of HSEEs are most pronounced in states with greater shares of Hispanic students and higher rates of poverty. These findings are robust to a variety of model specifications and are supported by falsification tests.

Keywords:   High Stakes Testing, State High School Exit Exams, GED Testing

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