January 30, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact:
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director
In a new report, seven nonpartisan organizations in the South—including the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence—urge their states to take swifter action to improve K-12 education for every child with an emphasis on support for disadvantaged students. Accelerating the Pace: The Future of Education in the American South calls for states to move faster to raise the overall quality of education. The report shows that while the South has made major advances in education in recent decades, some achievement gaps between more affluent students and historically disadvantaged classmates widened between 2005 and 2015. The report and complete poll results are online at www.acceleratingthepace.org. The report and the accompanying results of The Education Poll of the South are from the Columbia Group, an informal network of organizations that work to improve education in their respective states. The Columbia Group’s members are:
Accelerating the Pace calls for state leaders and educators to focus on four main priority areas for improvement:
“Clearly, Kentucky has made significant progress in education, but we must greatly accelerate the pace of our improvements to provide each and every child with a high-quality education and improve our economy for all Kentuckians,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee. “As we have since we began this work more than three decades ago, the Prichard Committee will continue its work with state and local leaders, parents, teachers and principals, business leaders and students to build more momentum for improving education.” The results of The Education Poll of the South show that most Southern voters of all political views and backgrounds support better educational opportunities for every child, regardless of students’ background or where they live. The poll surveyed 2,200 registered voters in 12 states, from Virginia to Louisiana, and shows strong consensus for the need to improve education and on key issues that states need to address. Among the key findings:
The poll findings are from mainstream voters across the South that roughly match the political affiliation, gender, income levels, and racial/ethnic backgrounds of registered voters in each state. Nearly three out of four voters in the survey were parents, although 40 percent had children older than school age. Many other partner nonprofit organizations provided data and expertise for the Accelerating the Pace report, spanning different political and ideological viewpoints. These include the Southern Regional Education Board, the PIE Network, and the Southern Education Foundation. For more information, visit the Prichard Committee’s website www.prichardcommittee.org or www.acceleratingthepace.org.