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The Myth of Achievement Tests

The GED and the Role of Character in American Life

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Achievement tests play an important role in modern societies. They are used to evaluate schools, to assign students to tracks within schools, and to identify weaknesses in student knowledge. The GED is an achievement test used to grant the status of high school graduate to anyone who passes it. GED recipients currently account for 12 percent of all high school credentials issued each year in the United States. But do achievement tests predict success in life?

The Myth of Achievement Tests shows that achievement tests like the GED fail to measure important life skills. James J. Heckman, John Eric Humphries, Tim Kautz, and a group of scholars offer an in-depth exploration of how the GED came to be used throughout the United States and why our reliance on it is dangerous. Drawing on decades of research, the authors show that, while GED recipients score as well on achievement tests as high school graduates who do not enroll in college, high school graduates vastly outperform GED recipients in terms of their earnings, employment opportunities, educational attainment, and health. The authors show that the differences in success between GED recipients and high school graduates are driven by character skills. Achievement tests like the GED do not adequately capture character skills like conscientiousness, perseverance, sociability, and curiosity. These skills are important in predicting a variety of life outcomes. They can be measured, and they can be taught.

Using the GED as a case study, the authors explore what achievement tests miss and show the dangers of an educational system based on them. They call for a return to an emphasis on character in our schools, our systems of accountability, and our national dialogue.

Contributors

Eric Grodsky, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Andrew Halpern-Manners, Indiana University Bloomington

Paul A. LaFontaine, Federal Communications Commission

Janice H. Laurence, Temple University

Lois M. Quinn, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Pedro L. Rodríguez, Institute of Advanced Studies in Administration

John Robert Warren, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

The Myth of Achievement Tests
View in iTunes
  • $31.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Jan 14, 2014
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Seller: Chicago Distribution Center
  • Print Length: 472 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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