A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prichard Committee’s ‘Top 20 by 2020’ report identifies decline in state education improvements

Several of Kentucky’s key educational improvements have plateaued, and some have started to slip backward, according to a new report from the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. The 2018 update of the committee’s Top 20 by 2020 project is the latest in a series of biennial reports initiated in 2008 with a challenge to move the state education system into the top 20 among the 50 states by...

Prichard Committee candidate questionnaire on education issues: Check your legislator’s responses

For the first time, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is offering a candidate questionnaire for the 2018 election on education issues affecting the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Earlier this fall, the questionnaire was sent to all general election candidates for the Kentucky General Assembly. The candidates’ responses to the questionnaire can be viewed on the Committee’s website and will...

Prichard Committee: Kentucky is backsliding on its education progress; we need sense of urgency

At the close of what has been a tumultuous legislative session, state lawmakers voted to override Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of the budget for the next two years, as well as a separate revenue measure that raised additional public funds through a series of tax changes. “While these veto overrides move us forward, it is clear more progress must be made to stem the erosion of Kentucky’s commitment...

Prichard Committee: NAEP results signal serious concern about declining progress in education

The latest results from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), released Tueday, show a decline in fourth grade reading results and no meaningful improvement in eighth grade reading and fourth and eighth grade mathematics. That pattern, seen for students of all backgrounds, will require both careful analysis to understand weaknesses in current efforts and robust new efforts to strengthen...

Report shows urgent need for Southern states to improve K-12 schools for every child

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....

Prichard Committee updates website to better communicate need to advance excellence in education

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has launched a new and improved website, the first refresh in five years. At the heart of the new site, and all of the Committee’s outreach, is a commitment to clearly communicating the need to advance excellent education for all Kentuckians.   The new web site is an easy-to-use tool that allows anyone interested in Kentucky’s education system to...

Commentary: When parents engage with schools, children and their communities prosper

By Helen Carroll Special to KyForward There is no greater influence in a child’s life than parenting. The people we become rests on the foundation of our parents’ love, care and choices they make about how we grow, learn and prosper. Parents’ involvement in school is critical to that foundation and has lasting impacts on the parents themselves, their children and their communities. For 280,000...

Sweeping public education bill nears passage in legislature, faces final action on House floor

By Ryland Barton Kentucky Public Radio An omnibus bill that would overhaul the state’s education system and gradually remove Common Core standards from Kentucky classrooms is nearing final passage in the General Assembly. The bill would change the way students are tested, use teachers to create new education standards and replace school self-evaluations called program reviews. Sen. Mike Wilson is...

Prichard Committee says big goals, transparency, better tests create ‘world-class’ education

Ambitious goals, greater transparency and better tests are among the recommendations of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence for the state’s new accountability system. The statewide citizens group said the accountability system should be a major driver of education excellence for all students no matter their background or the barriers they face to success.   Noting that a steering committee...

Prichard Student Voice Team receives support for college-ready work through $40,000 grant

A $40,000 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board will support work by the Prichard Committee’s Student Voice Team to define what it really means for high school seniors to be college ready. The grant is the second the team has received from the Youth Advisory Board, a cohort of 30 State Farm youth leaders. The Student Voice Team’s proposal was one of just 63 national winners the board selected...

Commentary: Taking ownership for closing the education achievement gap

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Achievement gaps have been around for decades. They exist in nearly every school, every school district and every state. The Prichard Committee recently released a report about gaps in Kentucky. And ACT graduating class data released this month confirms gaps continue to persist. Everyone agrees we have to do something about gaps – something that will solve the...

Prichard Committee weighs in on final outcomes of legislative session — some positive news

The Prichard Committee’s statement: Governor and General Assembly Maintain and Strengthen Key Investments in P12 Education We thank members of the General Assembly and Governor Bevin for crafting a budget for the upcoming biennium that strengthens investments in early childhood and maintains P-12 funding, including the SEEK formula and other key non-SEEK programs such as preschool. We also applaud...

Ten education, business leaders named recently to Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

Leaders in education, business and civic causes were among the 10 new members named recently to the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Joining the statewide education advocacy group during its recent fall meeting were: · Robert Danielson, community volunteer and retired restaurateur, Hazel in Calloway County · Mary Evans, retired elementary school principal, Bowling Green ·...

Prichard Committee renews focus on postsecondary ed, hires senior policy director

  The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is renewing its focus on the area that provided the foundation of its work: postsecondary education.   “For more than 30 years the Prichard Committee has been focusing on increasing the quality of P-12 education. Now, with more students than ever becoming ready for college and career, it’s time to renew our founding focus on access to and...

Longtime educator Stu Silberman retiring Sept. 4 to await life-saving kidney transplant

By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward   Stu Silberman, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence for the past four years and former Fayette County school superintendent, will retire Sept. 4 to spend time with his family in advance of an operation needed to address a rare kidney disease.   Stu Silberman (Photo provided) Silberman, a longtime educator who also served...

Commentary: Rally with us to let Kentucky Senate know that student voices matter

By Eliza Jane Schaeffer, Jamie Smith and Andrew Brennen Special to KyForward   The Kentucky Senate left its audience hanging on Wednesday when it decided not to hear one bill that has been accruing local and national attention.  HB 236 attempts to change a single line in the Kentucky Revised Statutes to allow districts to choose to give students a voice on superintendent screening committees.   Eliza...

Prichard Committee: Reaching 'Top 20 by 2020' requires hard push for improvement

Moving Kentucky into the top tier of states in key areas of education by 2020 will require a hard push for improvement in the next six years, according to a new report from the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.   The 2014 update of the committee’s “Top 20 by 2020” found Kentucky’s performance in six categories to be on track to reach the goal. These include reading scores, Advanced...

Prichard Committee: Reaching ‘Top 20 by 2020’ requires hard push for improvement

Moving Kentucky into the top tier of states in key areas of education by 2020 will require a hard push for improvement in the next six years, according to a new report from the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.   The 2014 update of the committee’s “Top 20 by 2020” found Kentucky’s performance in six categories to be on track to reach the goal. These include reading scores, Advanced...

Education department making push for public comment – and understanding – of standards

Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday announces the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge during a press conference at Woodford County High School. (Photo by Amy Wallot)   By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward   The Kentucky Department of Education Monday launched a major push to get teachers, parents and others to learn more about the state’s English/language arts and math academic...

Kentucky to invest $1.4M in early childhood education through bornlearning Academies

Kentucky will fund 25 bornlearning Academies this fall, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today. This is the first step of a four-year, $1.4 million expansion of 150 academies across the state. This initiative, funded by Kentucky’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge federal grant, will build upon the investment of Toyota manufacturing operations of $1 million through 2016 (See KyForward story here.)   “Race...