The Prichard Committee will be framing pivotal issues in achieving excellence in education with new topical web pages laying out basic issues and suggesting what citizens can do to ensure progress.
The first page, focused on the importance of students earning a meaningful high school diploma, has already launched. Strategy pages on strategic priorities, including: high quality early learning, K-3 preparation, school climate and culture, transitions to postsecondary education and college affordability are in the works.
In addition to explaining key issues, the pages will also collect helpful resources.
“Having clear and concise information about the Committee’s policy priorities is critical in moving forward an education first agenda. This is a primary tool in delivering the resources necessary for our members and the general public to engage in discussions about education in their communities,” said Perry Papka, director of policy for the Prichard Committee. “Each strategy page will indicate why the topic is important to a world-class public education system in Kentucky, key data of which to be aware, best practices from around the state and nation, as well as major challenges that Kentucky faces.”
The topics are drawn from key focus areas in the Prichard Committee’s strategic plan — emphasizing crucial moments across the education continuum. The pages will soon take a prominent place on a redesigned home page of the Prichard Committee’s web site.
In the area of ensuring a meaningful high school diploma, the strategy page points out that “too many students today graduate, diploma in-hand, without having mastered the knowledge and skills required to be successful in college, career, and life.” It notes that 62 percent of Kentucky jobs by 2020 — and a majority of positions that pay well enough to sustain a family — will require some level of postsecondary education. Yet, only 59% of Kentucky’s students were “ready graduates” in 2017.
Ensuring high expectations through rigorous course work, access to postsecondary-level work, staffing schools with highly qualified teachers, and implementing innovative new ways to earn high school credits are important steps for schools to take, the page points out.