Passing the GED (General Educational Development) does little to help dropouts earn more or go on to college, a new University of Chicago study finds. Worse, the availability and low cost of the GED may induce some students to drop out of school.
In 2008, GEDs made up 12 percent of all high school credentials, notes Curriculum Matters.
“The GED is not harmless,” says the study. “Treating it as equivalent to a high school degree distorts social statistics and gives false signals that America is making progress when it is not.”
. . . “We show that noncognitive deficits such as lack of persistence, low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and high propensity for risky behavior explain the lack of success for many GEDs,” the report says. “Deficits of what are sometimes called ‘soft skills’ are often not taken into account in public policy discussions involving economic opportunity.”