By Robert F. Sexton

Bored with the complacent attitudes Kentucky politicians confirmed towards schooling, the Prichard Committee shaped as a company to provoke the electorate of Kentucky to assault the state's ancient academic deficits. The committee's campaigning helped organize the best way for the passage of the Kentucky schooling Reform Act in 1990 and maintains to paintings for college reform this present day. in line with his wealth of expertise and luck with the Prichard Committee for educational Excellence, Sexton offers beneficial counsel for electorate of all states who're drawn to imposing institution reform.

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Extra resources for Mobilizing Citizens for Better Schools (School Reform, 39)

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Working together for several years strengthened their already stiff backbones. If education quality had been the top priority for most Kentucky politicians and voters, Kentucky schools wouldn’t have been famous for overall poor performance. ” Getting Started 25 For the committee, the shift in focus from higher education to elementary and secondary education was natural. Knowledgeable people knew that the two were linked. Evidence about the condition of public schools made problems apparent, as did deeply rooted poverty and unemployment.

One poster showed that Kentucky had more counties in extreme poverty than any other state. Another showed high school graduation rates back to 1950 to remind people that Kentucky’s low ranking in high school graduates (50th among the states) represented several generations and would take generations to improve. Although many of the people in our audiences (which numbered thousands over the years) had a personal sense that Kentucky education was inadequate, they were still amazed to see cold lines of data.

We emphasized the importance of teacher quality and improved teacher preparation, for example, but we did not try to tell colleges of education how to specifically improve. As another example, we emphasized the need for schools to focus on accountability 32 Mobilizing Citizens for Better Schools and high standards but did not specify the kind of accountability that they should use. Instead, we set some guidelines so we would know a good product when we saw it. We reasoned that we would be most credible if we presented ourselves simply as private and concerned citizens, not as experts, and private citizens don’t usually indulge in detailed technical solutions.

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