The GED and the Role of Character in American Life
"Essential. . . . An insightful, balanced, comprehensive, and critical examination of a test that many proponents of standardized tests overlook. . . . The work questions how the GED is granted equivalent status to a high school diploma and examines how faith in standardized tests is sometimes misplaced."--Richard Boyle, president and CEO, ECMC Foundation "Choice" (10/21/2014 12:00:00 AM) Remarkable. A display of technical virtuosity in the service of an ambitious agenda: restoring character to the heart of US education policy. Analyzing the 'natural experiment' of the GED program, Heckman and his team show that it is lack of character, rather than lack of academic skill, that hobbles life chances today. Everybody interested in education, social mobility, and inequality has to read this book: anyone interested in the future of America ought to.--Richard V. Reeves, Brookings Institution "A masterful synthesis of the research literature on the cognitive and character skills central to successfully navigating both school and life."--Angela Lee Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania "With The Myth of Achievement Tests, James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries, and Tim Kautz have offered a wealth of insightful analysis and brought together a number of topics often treated separately to inform a comprehensive discussion of the growth, character, and impact of the GED that is truly monumental. This is a first-rate book."--Eric A. Hanushek, Stanford University "Every American interested in our most valuable asset--our children--should read The Myth of Achievement Tests. Education reform, as a national enterprise, has lacked a coherent, organized agenda. Heckman and colleagues suggest that the central feature of any nationwide education reform agenda is an understanding of the importance of character to lifelong success. The research in this book can edify education reform, providing the base for a national enterprise that is coherent and organized."--Richard Boyle, president and CEO, ECMC Foundation For decades, the creators of the GED program have promoted it as a second chance for high school dropouts. . . . As promising as that sounds, the GED program is actually failing many of the students it purports to help, argues The Myth of Achievement Tests. . . . While the authors are quick to note that some have benefited from the test, they contend the GED alone isn't enough. Although those taking the test score roughly the same as high school graduates who didn't go on to college, many lack what are referred to as 'character skills, ' such as persistence, motivation and reliability.--Richard Boyle, president and CEO, ECMC Foundation "Chicago Tribune" "More than a meticulous work of social science, [The Myth of Achievement Tests] is also is an objective, but hard-hitting, analysis of the testing that has driven school reform, and a warning about the unintended harm done by ill-conceived policies. . . . A book this important should be read by everyone, not just those who will give it the multiple close readings that its prose requires."--Richard Boyle, president and CEO, ECMC Foundation "John Thompson, At the Chalk Face" (8/6/2014 12:00:00 AM)
James J. Heckman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He is the director of the Economics Research Center at the University of Chicago and codirector of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, an initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the Becker-Friedman Institute. John Eric Humphries is a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. Tim Kautz is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago and the recipient of a National Science Foundation fellowship.