I recommend "What’s All This Talk about Rigor?" a recent post from NCTM President Linda M. Gojak in NCTM Summing Up, February 5, 2013 found at http://www.nctm.org/about/content.aspx?id=35428.
Of note is Linda's comment that "The word “rigor” is widely used in policy discussions, but it’s rarely understood or defined, and often it merely passes as code for “better.” It is interesting that the term “rigor” does not appear in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, although it is certainly implied." In the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics (http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/math/0311.pdf) the word rigor appears several times.
Pages 3 and 4 Introduction
- "As specified by CCSSO and NGA, the standards are (1) research- and evidence-based, (2) aligned with college and work expectations, (3) rigorous, and (4) internationally benchmarked."
- "A stronger middle school progression includes new and rigorous grade 8 standards that encompass some standards covered in the 2000 Algebra I course."
- "The 2011 grade 8 standards are rigorous; students are expected to learn about linear relationships and equations to begin the study of functions and compare rational and irrational numbers. In addition, the statistics presented in the grade 8 standards are more sophisticated and include connecting linear relations with the representation of bivariate data. The Model Algebra I and Model Mathematics I courses progress from these concepts and skills, and focus on quadratic and exponential functions. Thus, the 2011 Model Algebra I course is a more advanced course than the Algebra I course identified in the 2000 Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for Mathematics. Likewise, the Model Mathematics I course is also designed to follow the more rigorous 2011 grade 8 standards."
- "The Common Core State Standards for English language arts (ELA) articulate rigorous grade-level expectations in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing to prepare all students to be college and career ready, including English language learners."
- "The Common Core State Standards articulate rigorous grade-level expectations in the areas of mathematics and English language arts."
- "These common standards provide an historic opportunity to improve access to rigorous academic content standards for students with disabilities."
- "These supports and accommodations should ensure that students receive access to multiple means of learning and opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, but at the same time retain the rigor and high expectations of the Common Core State Standards."
Other resources on rigor that of interest may also be found at:
What’s rigor and why is it so important? blog post
Rigor and Relevance Frameworks resources
Questions Derived From The Rigor Rubric