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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: 22 September 2021

High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED

High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED

(p.318) 8 High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED
The Myth of Achievement Tests

Andrew Halpern-Manners

John Robert Warren

Eric Grodsky

University of Chicago Press

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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