ERIC Number: ED438357
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-29
GEDs for Teenagers: Are There Unintended Consequences?
The General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program is designed to help high school dropouts earn an equivalent credential. However, by helping teenage dropouts, the GED program may encourage enrolled youth to leave high school. This paper examines the issue using data on GED policies from the GED testing service and data on high school continuation rates from the Common Core of Data. After describing the policy background of the GED program and summarizing recent literature on the issue, the paper describes the conceptual and analytic models used to estimate the effects of GED rates and policies on high school continuation ratios. Data analysis indicates that allowing teenagers to get GEDs increases dropout rates very substantially. Policies allowing teenagers to get GEDs without parental permission encourage large numbers to drop out of high school. However, when parental permission is required, allowing teenagers to get GEDs does not have this effect. Most youth who drop out because of the GED option do not actually go on to get GEDs during their teenage years. Three appendixes present problems with data on GED recipients, additional tests for robustness, and summary measures of GED policies. (Contains 27 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (Washington, DC, 1999).