"Looking at a random sample of 1,000 GED holders five years removed from gaining their certificates, (Nobel Prize-winning economist James J.) Heckman found that recipients have easier entrée into colleges than dropouts, but they often blow the opportunity. Only 31 percent actually enroll, with the large majority of certificate holders going to two-year colleges. Seventy-seven percent last no longer than one semester."
That's a paragraph out of James Warren's May 6 commentary for Bloomberg's Businessweek. Yowie. Heckman has released a new study showing that GEDs are not anywhere near as valuable as a high-school diploma.
He may have data to show, but more importantly, "he also has a cause," Warren writes.
Heckman believes our society should invest more in early childhood learning that encourages kids to stay in school. He has a point. I don't argue that. But I believe the GED gives people a second chance that many really do take advantage of.
And by the way, what's wrong with two-year colleges?
I know there's some discrimination out there. People rise above it in many, many cases. Are you one? Don't let anybody tell you you can't achieve your GED and go forward to do whatever your heart desires. Go for it. Prove the naysayers wrong.