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The Myth of Achievement TestsThe GED and the Role of Character in American Life$
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James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries, and Tim Kautz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226100098

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226100128.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Achievement Tests and the Role of Character in American Life

Achievement Tests and the Role of Character in American Life

(p.3) 1 Achievement Tests and the Role of Character in American Life
The Myth of Achievement Tests

James J. Heckman

Tim Kautz

University of Chicago Press

This chapter summarizes the main findings presented in this book. It discusses the GED test and its origin in the modern achievement test. It summarizes the large body of evidence, some of it original to this book, showing that GED certifiers perform far worse than ordinary high school graduates and slightly above the level of other dropouts. Accounting for their greater ability, they perform at the level of other dropouts. GEDs lack important character skills valued in the labor market, in school and in society at large. Character skills are defined and the early life origins of character and cognitive deficits are discussed. Factors promoting the growth of the GED program despite the ineffectiveness of the GED credential are summarized. Interventions to promote character are briefly surveyed, anticipating the extensive analysis of Chapter 9.

Keywords:   Overview, Character, Achievement Tests, Main Argument

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