Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Myth of Achievement Tests – The GED and the Role of Character in American Life - Chicago Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Myth of Achievement Tests: The GED and the Role of Character in American Life

James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries, and Tim Kautz


Modern societies rely on written tests. Achievement tests have come to play a prominent role. They are used to sift and sort people, to evaluate schools, and to assess the performance of entire nations. This book evaluates the predictive power of achievement tests for life outcomes by examining one widely used achievement test --- the General Educational Development test --- the GED for short. The GED enables high school dropouts to certify high school equivalency. Currently the GED program produces roughly 12% of all high school credentials issued in the U.S. GED recipients are as smart as h ... More

Keywords: Achievement Tests, Character, Noncognitive Skills, GED, High School Dropouts, Interventions to Improve Character

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780226100098
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226100128.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James J. Heckman, editor

John Eric Humphries, editor

Tim Kautz, editor

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.



I introduction

II The History of the GED

3 Growth in GED Testing

John Eric Humphries

III Evaluating the Benefits

4 Who Are the GEDs?

James J. Heckman John Eric Humphries Tim Kautz

5 The Economic and Social Benefits of GED Certification

James J. Heckman John Eric Humphries Tim Kautz

IV the ged creates problems

7 The GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out

James J. Heckman John Eric Humphries Paul A. Lafontaine Pedro L. Rodríguez

8 High-Stakes Testing and the Rise of the GED

Andrew Halpern-Manners John Robert Warren Eric Grodsky

V what can be done to promote character?

10 What Should Be Done?

James J. Heckman John Eric Humphries Tim Kautz

End Matter