Equity

Historic divides of poverty, race and learning differences continue to hold back many students. We believe ALL students should have equitable opportunities to learn and succeed in school and in life.

Accountability

We demand excellence through meaningful standards and robust accountability about school quality and student progress from early childhood through postsecondary education.

Ambition

We study, inform and engage citizens to achieve the ambitious goal of moving Kentucky to the nation’s top tier in student achievement in this generation.

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit citizen’s advocacy group. The Committee continuously studies priority issues, informs the public and policymakers and engages citizens, business leaders, families, students, and others in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children.

The Committee focuses on the direct impact of these endeavors on education quality and student success.

  • Student Voice
  • Parent Leadership
  • Community Engagement
  • Early Childhood
  • Excellent Teaching
  • School Climate & Culture
  • College & Career Readiness
  • Postsecondary Education

RECENT NEWS

Delivering Pre-k in Clay County

Teacher Melinda Morgan’s morning preschool class is in high gear.

In the manner of accomplished early childhood teachers, she prompts students to think, share, and discover new learning in steady, enthusiastic give-and-take. Reading from an oversized storybook, Morgan keeps two students riveted. “What is happening outside in this story?” the teacher asks. “What color is that?” “How many leaves do you see?”

The model pre-school class is taking place at the end of a gravel driveway in the remote area of Clay County known as Fish Trap, named after the creek that empties into the Red Bird River. Over the past year, this classroom inside a converted mini-bus has delivered weekly pre-school time to families in a rural county where distance, availability and cost issues deter participation in early childhood programs.

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What Research Tells Us About Exit Exams and the State Board of Education’s Responsibility

The Prichard Committee and partner organizations have called for a delay of the Kentucky Board of Education’s vote on proposed minimum high school graduation requirements, requesting due diligence in the Board’s review of the proposal brought to them on Aug. 2, 2018. This is a critical issue given the changing nature of our economy and the fact that only 65 percent of Kentucky’s 2017 graduating seniors received a college or career ready diploma.

The basic frame of the proposal, which includes a core academic foundation and more personalized pathways for students, holds promise for ensuring a more meaningful high school diploma for Kentucky students. Creating more meaningful diplomas is a critical issue given the changing nature of our economy and the fact that only 65 percent of Kentucky’s 2017 graduating seniors received a college or career ready diploma.

However, two late additions to the proposal – exit exams in reading and mathematics and requiring a student to be transition ready to graduate – are vague in their details and have benefitted from little to no public discussion or input. If approved, the proposal would be a significant shift in Kentucky’s accountability model.

Kentucky vests significant responsibility in an appointed body of citizens to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and their hiring of a professional Commissioner to lead the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). The weight of this responsibility requires the KBE and the KDE to thoroughly research and analyze proposals for assurance that they will serve to move our state system of public education and Kentucky’s students forward.

With that in mind, the following is a review of the body of research on exit exams which we began to put together following the proposal to the KBE in August. While the details of the Department’s proposal have not been clearly spelled out and may not be identical to any one implementation model from other states, the findings of the research can and should be used to inform Kentucky’s approach to increasing student success.

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2018 Elementary Results Raise Concerns

Compared to 2017, elementary school KPREP results released today showed declining levels of proficiency in math, social studies and writing and only small increases in reading proficiency. As shown in the table below, this pattern was visible for all students and also...

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