The Corner


Professors Want to Cancel the Concept of Academic Rigor

(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Among the targets of the so-called equity movement in education is academic rigor. Holding all students to objective learning standards is said to be unfair to some and therefore should be stopped.

Two professors at the University of North Carolina, Jordynn Jack and Viji Sathy, recently penned an essay making that argument. In today’s Martin Center article, David Randall of the National Association of Scholars replies.

Randall writes, “Their article cloaks a radical ‘equity’ agenda in education-school jargon. Their current practice likely damages teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill. And their larger ambitions, if successful, will cripple American higher education. Even more serious, Jack and Sathy’s assault on rigor will remove the very ideal of excellence from our colleges.”

Right. remove rigor, and what we’re left with is empty credentialing combined with a load of political indoctrination.

Randall continues, “Jack and Sathy embrace the progressive obsession with censorship in hopes of denying truth. ‘Emphasize that students who have been admitted to your institution have already shown that they can meet high standards,’ Jack and Sathy write. But many students truly shouldn’t be in college—the failures of the admissions offices should not be compounded by deliberate lying by professors. Yet, the authors argue, ‘If rigor is code for ‘some students deserve to be here, and some don’t,’ then it needs to go.’ However, the question ought to be about how well students perform, not what they ‘deserve.’”

Exactly. That’s the truth that our college “leaders” want to ignore — many students they enroll have little ability or interest in real academic work. They’re in college for fun and to get a piece of paper that supposedly attests to their employability.

Here is Randall’s conclusion: “Jack and Sathy’s call to banish rigor will damage universities and harm students in the name of helping them. Their recommendations should be rejected in their entirety.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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