Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

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Allison Rose

By Olaf Jorgenson & Percy L. Abram, Independent School Magazine (Summer 2021)
The word "rigor" is like catnip for so many independent school parents. It's all over school websites, viewbooks, glossy marketing materials, social media campaigns, and parking lot conversations. Parents ascribe value and credibility to any course, program, or school labeled "rigorous." Rigor is seen as fundamental to effective academic preparation for young people and is associated with favorable outcomes ranging from high standardized test scores and weighted grades to the grand prize, admission to elite colleges and universities. But what exactly do we mean by rigor? How is it delivered in classrooms? How is it measured? And is rigor—however we define it—good for children?
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