Prichard Committee releases national rankings report – Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

Prichard Committee releases national rankings report

Prichard Committee releases national rankings report

Committee sets focus on Big Bold Future for Kentucky

October 1, 2020

For More Information Contact:
Jessica Fletcher, Senior Director, Communications & External Affairs
(cell) 859-539-0511

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence concluded its 2020 Annual Meeting Friday, Oct. 2, with the release of a new report that compares Kentucky’s progress relative to other states in 13 key areas, shows trends over multiple years, and identifies areas where urgent attention is needed. Big Bold Future: Kentucky’s National Rankings Report builds on the baseline of the Prichard Committee’s last decade of reporting and on two decades of mobilizing communities before that.

“For this report, which is a new iteration of our Top 20 by 2020 report, we selected 13 indicators and national rankings that show Kentucky from multiple angles and will help us present a future where every Kentuckian can thrive, contribute to, and benefit from our shared progress as a state,” said President & CEO Brigitte Blom Ramsey.

Indicators include the following:

  • Early childhood – Births, incomes above 200% of poverty, and preschool participation.
  • K-12 education – Fourth-grade reading proficiency, eighth-grade math proficiency, and high school graduation.
  • Higher education – Postsecondary education enrollment and graduation rates.
  • Quality of life – Adults 25 to 64 who hold associate degrees or higher, median income, and voter turnout.
  • Digital divide – High speed internet access.

“There are some bright spots in this data. Graduation rates for our high schools and our two-year postsecondary schools are in the top 20 for the nation, and voter turnout is in the middle of the pack,” said Blom Ramsey.

Ramsey said the data in the report also shows need for grave concern.

“Our indicators for early childhood are all in the bottom third among the states, as are our eighth-grade math results, our postsecondary enrollment, and our median household income. Our fourth-grade reading results have dropped in recent years, and we are at the bottom of national rankings in poverty. Our results also show injustice and poor service to Black Kentuckians in every indicator with reported results by race, and weakness in our delivery for Latino residents.”

The Prichard Committee will update the report on an annual basis, and plans to launch a campaign around the big, bold future concept in tandem with its multi-year strategic plan in the coming months. Download Big Bold Future: Kentucky’s National Rankings Report at


The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky – early childhood through postsecondary.

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