Expert says character is as important as high test scores are for child's success

Author Paul Tough, right, speaks about his book as Mayor Andy Berke listens Monday in the Baylor School library.

High test scores and intellect are not the only factors determining a child's success. Educators should also focus on inner traits like character, perseverance, curiosity, self control and grit, according to one expert.

"What scientists and educators are finding out is that there are another set of skills that matter at least as much," said author and journalist Paul Tough. "We know less about how to nurture them, how to teach them to kids. But we need to put more focus on them."

Tough, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, spoke Monday at Baylor School as part of the Baylor Parent Alliance Speaker's Series. He has written extensively about education, parenting, poverty and politics, including stories on character education, the achievement gap, and the Obama administration's poverty policies, according to his website.