Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

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  • Unity In Action

    As we head into the long weekend commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I reflect on that iconic picture of Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial looking out toward the Washington Monument, over masses of people gathered to hear his address.  From deep in his breast arose the words we…

  • Puzzle: African American Proficiency Much Lower Than Kindergarten Readiness

    In elementary school, something seems to work very differently for African American students than for other student groups. That’s the pattern that emerges from comparing KPREP proficiency rates for the last two classes of third graders to the kindergarten readiness rates when those classes started school. For Kentucky’s African American students:

    44.2% were kindergarten ready…

  • Supports Boost Success in Murray

    Keagin Brooks’ second math class of the day is turning around years of frustration about the subject — not quite understanding algebra basics and growing accustomed to test results that lag behind other subjects. A few hours after her Honors Algebra II class, the 16-year-old junior returns to…

  • 8 Issues We Are Watching During the 2019 Legislative Session

    The Kentucky General Assembly struck the gavel on Tuesday of this week, officially convening the 2019 Regular Session.  While this is Kentucky’s odd-year, short 30-day session, activity, and interest will be substantial with over 30 new members taking their seats and a gubernatorial election beginning to heat up.
    Education issues will remain at the forefront of…

  • “We Can All Still Learn” – A Discussion of the Kavanaugh Hearings and Student News Engagement

    Dana Smiley, a member of Oregon Student Voice, recently wrote an article entitled “The general election was a national shouting match. So why were our classrooms so quiet?” Her pressing query prompted us to think not just of political discourse in schools but more broadly about how current events are addressed by educators.
    Especially in light…

  • Expanding Relevant Challenges in Louisville

    A school with 2,300 students might seem an unlikely place for individual voices to stand out.
    Still, 13-year-olds Abigail Pena Lopez and Jenny Tello Montejo feel encouraged as they discuss the possibilities for proposing a mural to emphasize how the school accepts people of all nationalities. Their…

  • An Absent-Minded Quest

    I’ve been feeling somewhat like an adventurer on an epic quest in search of the answer to a question that, in my mind, should be fairly simple: What is chronic absenteeism? As part of the new accountability standards, I assumed that a functioning definition for the term MUST exist somewhere in the vast catalogues of information we now access on the Internet. After all, it was defined and utilized within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and as part of the Office of Education Accountability (OEA) report. Yet, the more I asked, the more the answer changed. Surely, the definition must be somewhere. Yet, as part of my journey, slaying the dragons of red tape and being the new “guy”, I was informed - much to this researcher’s chagrin - that a singular definition of chronic absenteeism does not exist. Though the many permutations of the discussion are similar, there are nuances. On my quest, I came across these similar (yet different) definitions: Chronic absenteeism is typically defined as missing 10 percent or more of a school year -- approximately 18 days a year, or just two days every month. (Obrien, 2013) Students who are chronically absent—meaning they miss at least 15 days of school in a year—are at serious risk of falling behind in school. (U.S. Department of Education) Chronic absenteeism measures attendance in a different way, combining excused, unexcused and disciplinary absences to get a complete picture of how much instructional time students are missing. (Jordan, Miller, 2017) The criteria for chronic absenteeism varies, but generally students who miss 10 or more days of school or 10% or greater of the school year are considered chronically absent. (Carter, 2018) Chronic absenteeism—or missing 10 percent or more of school days for any reason—is a proven early warning sign of academic risk and school dropout. (Bruner, Discher, Chang, 2011) And of course, I asked Merriam-Webster: 1: prolonged absence of an owner from his or her property 2: chronic absence (as from work or school); also: the rate of such absence.
  • Kentucky Academic Standards: A Flashcard Introduction

    The Kentucky Academic Standards play a central role to Kentucky public education, specifying what we want students to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. Today, we're sharing a new flashcard overview of those standards, complete with: Examples A definition, backed by explanations of how standards compare to curriculum and assessment Notes on the main elements in Kentucky's reading, writing, and mathematics standards An explanation of how Kentucky Academic Standards are set and revised We hope you find it helpful, and here's a quick sample to encourage you to check out the complete flashcard deck.
  • New Offering: A Quick Look At Each School's 2018 Results

    Kentucky’s new data files on student results can be a bit daunting, not least because assessment performance is shown in a Excel file with 187,846 rows of data. An innovative school dashboard, with much more accessible displays, is under construction but not available yet. While we wait, we’d like to offer students, parents, and other citizens another way to begin their exploration. Our Quick Look reports offer a single page for each school. On that one page, you’ll find results for all student and for 12 students groups, including percent proficient/distinguished in each tested subject, and also including the four-year graduation rate for high schools.