Tassels on the Cheap

Research Report

Tassels on the Cheap

November 1, 2002


Since the late 1960s, there has been a stagnation, and possibly a decline, in the rate of students graduating high school each year. This has gone mostly unnoticed because the preferred measure of estimating the graduation rate used by the Current Population Survey includes students who receive a General Education Development certificate, or GED. In recent years, the proportion of students leaving high school with a GED rather than a diploma has been increasing. This article explains why a GED certificate should not be considered the equivalent of a high school diploma and discusses alternative methods for calculating graduation rates. (Education Next Fall: 24-29, November 2002.)

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