Since 1983, the Prichard Committee has worked to study priority issues, inform the public and policy makers about best practices and engage citizens, business leaders, families, students, and other stakeholders in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children, from their earliest years through postsecondary education.
Thanks to the efforts of the Committee and dedicated citizens, Kentucky has moved from the bottom of the national rankings in education to the middle and above. Our ambitious goal is to move to the top tier of all states within this generation.
The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence emerged from the vision of Edward F. Prichard and his desire to increase the quality of Kentucky education. The Committee was an outgrowth of a state government council to improve higher education and reorganized in 1983 as a citizens’ group to champion the cause of better schools, taking the name of its first chair. When Prichard died in 1984, his friend and colleague, Bob Sexton, took over leadership of the Committee and transformed it into a nationally recognized, private, non-partisan advocacy organization. Sexton and the Committee were instrumental in ensuring the passage of 1990’s Kentucky Education Reform Act, a national model for education reform, and subsequent legislation and programs designed to elevate Kentucky to the top tier of education excellence. Although Sexton died in 2010, the Committee continues his legacy of studying, informing and engaging citizens in improving education excellence for all Kentuckians.