October 17, 2017


For More Information Contact:
Michael Andrews, Communications Director

Kentucky Teens Release Book on College Readiness:
Ready or Not Aims to Lift Student Voice in Education Policy 

LEXINGTON, KY — The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team today released Ready or NotStories from Students Behind the Statistics, the culmination of over a year of student-led research and interviews about life after high school.  The 300-plus-page book features stories of high school seniors and recent graduates from across Kentucky about their plans to continue their education—or not. 

Ready or Not is devoted to lifting the voices of students who explain the challenges they face in navigating postsecondary transitions. Chapter headings such as “Moonlighters,” “Dismissers,” “Oddsbuckers,” “Givens,” “Misnavigateds,” and “Newcomers,” organize the narratives into categories that define students’ challenges in pursuing and persisting to college degrees. 

The teen authors of Ready or Not outline some of the central themes that emerged from their original survey and conversations, including contentions that: 

  • Too many students in Kentucky are not sold on the value of college 
  • Family support can make a significant difference in young people’s learning trajectories after high school, yet too many Kentucky students feel they don’t have that support 
  • The primary tool to measure college readiness reflects and possibly even perpetuates inequity 
  • Kentucky has a school counseling crisis

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School senior, Sahar Mohammadzadeh, executive editor of the book, asserted that beyond serving as important feedback, Ready or Not is meant for both the public and policymakers. “Ready or Not aspires to connect the head with the heart in public education policy, she said. “I hope if nothing else, the stories students shared with us spark intergenerational conversations that will include student voices in more education decision-making.”   

Ready or Not is available for purchase at this link: prichardcommittee.org/readyornot 

Comprised of over one hundred self-selected students in middle school through college, the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team is a part of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and supports students as education research, policy, and advocacy partners to improve Kentucky schools.

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, non-partisan citizens’ advocacy group. Comprised of volunteer civic and business leaders from across Kentucky, the Committee has worked to improve education for Kentuckians of all ages since 1983.

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