May 20, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact:
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director
State Farm Provides Continuing Support for Engaging Parents in Schools
$10,000 grant awarded for work of Prichard Committee’s
Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership
LEXINGTON, KY – State Farm is providing continuing support for the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence with its recent $10,000 grant to…
Press Release: Building Groundswell of Support for Education by Engaging Parents, Communities Focus of New Campaign
For More Information Contact: Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director (office) 859-233-9849 (cell) 859-322-8999 email@example.comBuilding Groundswell of Support for Education by Engaging Parents, Communities Focus of New Campaign
CARROLLTON, Ky. – A statewide campaign to engage families and communities in effective and sustainable efforts to improve schools and student achievement was launched Friday (March 29, 2019) by…
The school days seem long this time of year for a teacher. Especially, as the days stay cold and the stresses of testing begin peeking around the corner. For Kentucky teachers, this time of year has coincided with rhetoric and action from the state Capitol that leaves them wondering why.Why teach?After checking out social media…
February 12, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information Contact: Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director (office) 859-233-9849 (cell) 859-322-8999 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentucky Citizens Identify Jobs, K-12 Education as Top Priorities
Postsecondary Education Ranks Last
Lexington, KY – Jobs and K-12 education are the top priorities for Kentucky voters heading into the 2019 gubernatorial election cycle, according to poll results released by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
Pathway 2 Tomorrow Names $100,000 Innovation Award Recipients
Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future (http://p2tomorrow.org/) announces its $100,000 Innovation Award winners. The Innovation Award Committee selected two proposals addressing the authentic engagement of students as partners in education policymaking. The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team and the Iowa Department of Education will share the…
Board of Education Approved Graduation Requirements Minimal - Not Meaningful Ensuring Highly Effective Teachers in Every Kentucky Classroom Will Increase Student Performance and Close Gaps The Kentucky Board of Education today voted to move forward proposed changes to the state’s high school graduation requirements. The Commissioner’s changes to the proposal, announced earlier this week, reflected some concerns. However, many previous concerns went unanswered and new questions were raised. Our concerns remain regarding the reading and mathematics assessment requirement whether it will prove to be a real and productive strategy to increase student learning. Additionally, the transition readiness requirement has been changed to an altered list of graduation qualifiers. Given that the accountability model already contains robust transition readiness indicators, we question whether this is a necessary component and the impact of the misalignment with the new accountability model. These changes will mean Kentucky will have two different sets of transition indicators: one as graduation qualifiers and one for the new accountability model. The question remains as to whether two sets of standards for identifying transition readiness will cause confusion in how schools respond in implementation and if it will create an unintended ceiling for student outcomes. However, there is shared ground upon which to build consensus moving forward, starting with the broad agreement that too many Kentucky students are not getting what they need out of high school. The new graduation framework does provide for foundational knowledge, personalized pathways, and competency-based and experiential learning, all of which offer promise for positive results. Due to our concerns outlined during public comment, we hope the Board remains open to authentic engagement with stakeholders about how to make the Kentucky high school diploma more meaningful. We hope the board’s discussion today marks the beginning rather than the end of a broader conversation that goes beyond minimum requirements to provide opportunities for educators and community members to collaboratively craft solutions that ensure opportunities for all students to succeed and excel through: • High expectations for all students through increased access to rigorous coursework and adequate supports. • Greater access to early post-secondary opportunities, including relevant career pathways. • A highly-qualified teacher in every classroom, every year. We are committed to ensuring that citizens remain engaged to support an educational experience for all students that better prepares them for life after high school. “Ensuring a meaningful high school diploma for more Kentucky students is one of the most critical issues facing the Commonwealth”, said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee. “Students need to be prepared to fill the jobs available today and to be the job creators of Kentucky’s future. Their diploma must be evidence that they have mastered rigorous content and are developing the skills increasingly in demand by the workforce such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. The proposal approved by the KBE does little to ensure that. There is still much to be done to ensure a meaningful, not a minimal, diploma.” In other business, the Kentucky Board of Education outlined its priorities for the 2019 legislative session. Their agenda hit a broad number of topics, including increased parent and community involvement on school-based decision-making councils, flexibility in district innovation, development of a third grade reading and math retention policy, and an intentional focus on state and district policies that ensure a high-quality, effective teacher in every classroom every year. Supporting effective teaching is critical to closing achievement gaps and supporting every student to achieve proficiency and beyond. Research is clear—educational excellence requires high quality teachers in every classroom. As discussed by the Board and written in our 2013 Effective Teaching report, high-quality professional learning, teacher leadership opportunities, and professional compensation are key factors that help to build a talented teacher workforce. The Board also proposed a legislative priority to implement a third grade retention policy to ensure reading and math proficiency. While we support efforts to increase third grade proficiency, we recognize that the path to achieving proficiency starts with high-quality early learning opportunities. By increasing student learning time, providing a knowledge-rich curriculum, and early and effective intervention in the early childhood years, students have greater opportunities to achieve proficiency by third grade in reading and mathematics. "Increasing reading and math proficiency by third grade is a strategic priority for the Prichard Committee and we’re pleased it is also a focus for the Department. We look forward to working with policymakers to ensure research-based structures and supports are in place to better support Kentucky’s youngest learners,” said Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “We also look forward to learning more about the Kentucky Board of Education's ideas around increasing parental involvement and elevating the critical importance of effective teaching to increase student performance and close achievement gaps. Community engagement and high-quality teaching are foundational elements of success in education." We will continue to study, inform, and engage citizens through our website and social media platforms. For more information, please refer to our website prichardcommittee.org. ### The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky – early childhood through postsecondary.
Statement on Changes to Proposal for Graduation Requirements We are glad the Commissioner is being receptive to feedback from stakeholders. We look forward to reviewing in more detail. The board should still heed the overwhelming majority of voices at last week’s public hearing- educators, students, school leaders and citizen advocates - expressing concern over the proposal. There is broad agreement that too many kids are not getting all they need out of high school. But the call at last week’s hearing was near universal for the Kentucky Board of Education to table the proposal and have authentic engagement with stakeholders to craft solutions. We hope the Board respects the feedback to ensure any potential changes truly reflect opportunities for students to succeed and excel. We look forward to continuing to provide constructive feedback.
November 27, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information, Contact: Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director (office) 859-233-9849 (cell) 859-322-8999 email@example.com Hopkinsville Leader Receives Prichard Committee Award of Excellence LEXINGTON, Ky. – Hopkinsville education advocate Fannie Louise Maddux has been recognized with the Prichard Committee Award of Excellence for her years of committed service to improving educational opportunities for all children. A former member of the local school board, where she served three terms, Maddux is a former board chair of the Prichard Committee, of which she has been a member for more than two decades. “Fannie Louise’s natural ability to work with others as a helpful ally, but also her acumen as a skilled negotiator, allowed her to defend essential elements of education reform to maintain Kentucky’s progress toward education excellence,” the committee noted in its award proclamation. “She has had a profound and lasting impact on the citizens of Kentucky through her passionate efforts and consistent advocacy to improve public education on all levels.” Maddux was recognized during the Prichard Committee’s recent annual meeting, where video tributes to her work included comments from former Hopkinsville Mayor Dan Kemp; business owner Tom Bell, a member of the Christian County Board of Education; Angie Major, director of workforce and education development for the Christian County Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Julia L. Roberts, Mahurin Professor of Gifted Education and executive director of the Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University; Christian County Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Gemmill; Ben Cundiff, a member of the Kentucky Board of Education and the Prichard Committee board; and former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller, a founding member of the Prichard Committee. ### The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky – early childhood through postsecondary.
November 27, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information, Contact: Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Executive Director (office) 859-233-9849 (cell) 859-322-8999 firstname.lastname@example.org Jefferson County advocate receives Raimondo Leadership Award Recognized by Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence LEXINGTON, Ky. – An education advocate described as a passionate champion for giving every student access to educational excellence is the recipient of the 2018 Beverly Nickell Raimondo Leadership Award presented by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Judith Bradley of Louisville, the parent of a high school student with special needs, has become a resource and advocate for all students with disabilities and their families. Her conviction about her son’s potential “had her keeping up with laws on how Kentucky schools are supposed to work, reaching out to university researchers, educating teachers and administrators about strategies for supporting students with special needs and encouraging her son to identify and articulate his needs,” Prichard Committee Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey said in announcing the award. Bradley’s son, Jack, became the first Inclusion Ambassador for the Prichard Committee’s Student Voice Team where he helped interview students at the Kentucky School for the Blind, participated in strategy sessions, presented at conferences, testified before state and local school boards, and wrote commentaries for the local and national media. In 2016, Bradley launched JackBeNimble, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the community with tools to, as she describes it, “bridge the empathy gap between students, families, educators and policymakers.” The award, presented at the committee’s recent annual meeting, recognizes the legacy of Beverly Raimondo, who developed the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership more than 20 years ago. Since its creation, the institute has trained more than 2,500 parents and guardians in Kentucky to effect positive change in schools for their own children and all other students. One of Bradley’s nominators noted: “If ever there was a person who embodies Bev Raimondo’s vision of a parent leader who understands that success means working to improve the system for all children, beyond one’s own, it would be difficult to find a parent more fitting than Judith Bradley.” ### The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky – early childhood through postsecondary.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A retired educator, a leader in gifted and talented education and the head of one of Kentucky’s major manufacturers have been named as board members of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. The three joined the board of the citizens’ advocacy organization during its recent annual meeting, where members also elected board leaders. The new board members are: Bonnie Lash Freeman, a retired Education/Training Specialist and Director at the National Center for Family Learning in Louisville. She currently conducts professional development sessions in family literacy, early literacy and reading. An active member of the Prichard Committee, she is a recently ordained Deacon at St. Stephen Baptist Church and is vice chair of the High Scope Educational Research Foundation, board chair of the Louisville Central Community Centers, INC, and a board member of the Kentucky Reading Association. Susan Elkington, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK), where she oversees a $7 billion operation that employs more than 8,000 people. TMMK is Toyota’s largest production facility globally. Elkington, who recently became a Prichard Committee member, joined TMMK in January 2017 as senior vice president overseeing the plant’s manufacturing and administrative functions. She became president in 2018 and is a board member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, a STEP Ahead Honoree and ATHENA of Southwest Indiana Award Finalist. Dr. Julia Link Roberts, the Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies and Executive Director of The Center for Gifted Studies and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University. She has been honored for her work by being named one of the 100 gifts WKU has given to the world. An award-winning advocate for gifted children at the state, national and international levels, Roberts serves on the boards of the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education and The Association for the Gifted, is president of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, and chairs The Kentucky Advisory Council for Gifted Education.