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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: 25 September 2021

The Military Performance of GED Holders

The Military Performance of GED Holders

(p.268) 6 The Military Performance of GED Holders
The Myth of Achievement Tests

Janice H. Laurence

University of Chicago Press

According to evidence from the nation's largest employer—the military, the GED program does not adequately prepare its “graduates” for work, particularly the non-cognitive or non-academic demands of the job. Perhaps the most important indicator of adjustment is first-term attrition—failure to complete a contracted term of enlistment. Despite the fact that GED recipients are screened more thoroughly (and thus, may be atypical of GEDs overall) they are more likely to create discipline problems and as a result are twice as likely as traditional diploma holders to be dismissed from or quit the military. The relationship between high school graduation status and attrition rate is consistent over time and attrition patterns by credential also hold regardless of level of aptitude, gender, race, age, geographic region, and socioeconomic status. And, although attrition varies by job, the patterns remain steadfast within occupational categories. There is evidence that noncognitive factors account for most of the diploma's predictiveness. That is, the personal and social skills, experiences, and attributes that enable students to complete high school also enable them to complete their first terms.

Keywords:   GED, Military, First Term Attrition, Education Credentials

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