Public, Society Benefit

Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

  • Lexington, KY

Mission Statement

The Prichard Committee is an independent citizens' advocacy organization working to improve education for all Kentuckians.

Main Programs

  1. Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership
  2. Strong Start Kentucky
  3. Top 20 by 2020
  4. Prichard Committee Student Voice Team
Service Areas



The Prichard Committee serves all Kentuckians.

ruling year


Principal Officer since 2014


Brigitte Blom Ramsey

Associate Executive Director since 2015


Cory Curl



Prichard, CIPL, GCIPL, parent leadership, student voice

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Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Recent accomplishments include: 1. Collaborative work involving organizations representing teachers, business leaders, administrators and policymakers that resulted in consensus around improving the way schools hire, induct, assign, train, support and compensate teachers. 2. Production and distribution of a Top 20 by 2020 Report providing schools and the public with information on how Kentucky students compare to students from other states on a variety of indicators related to student achievement. 3. 55 parent advocates who are implementing projects at their schools to enhance student achievement in science, math, engineering and technology. This is in addition the over 1,700 parents already trained since 1997 by our signature parent leadership program, the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership. Goals in the next year include: 1. Continuing to convene and educate legislators and civic and business leaders about the value of investing in high-quality pre-k. 2. Continuing to convene a high-profile cross-section of educators, parents, legislators and other civic and business leaders to examine ways to make Kentucky teachers more effective and produce a set of specific policy recommendations. 3. Expanding our outreach to parents, teachers, business leaders and the general public to prepare Kentukians for more rigor in the classroom around Kentucky's newly-adopted core content standards. 4. Sustaining and expanding parent engagement in our schools through the facilitation of three additional sessions of our Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership throughout Kentucky and a variety of parent leadership workshops.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership

The Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (GCIPL) trains parents to understand the Kentucky Education System and work within the schools to improve student achievement. Over 1,800 parents have been trained since the program's inception, many of whom have gone on to serve as district and statewide school leaders. The program has been so successful that eight other states and Washington, D.C., have adopted it to help improve their schools, too.


Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served


Other Named Groups

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)



Program 2

Strong Start Kentucky

Strong Start Kentucky is a nonpartisan, citizen-led effort to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive the highest-quality education possible. Working with parents and policymakers in partnership with leaders from early childhood, business, education, religion and health care, our efforts focus on giving Kentucky's children a strong start in both public and community-based programs. Our advocacy targets: Funding to increase access to pre-k programs for three- and four-year old childrenEnhancing the quality of all pre-k programsSupport for public and community-based programsExpanding our coalition to create champions for preschool throughout the Commonwealth Strong Start Kentucky was launched in March 2007 with the support of Pre-K Now, a public education and advocacy organization that advances high-quality, voluntary pre-k for all three- and four-year olds.


Population(s) Served



Program 3

Top 20 by 2020

Kentucky has made important progress toward reaching the nation's top tier of states on several indicators of education performance, but is flat or losing ground on others. The result: clear evidence that the state needs to work harder to deliver for its children and future. Those findings are included in a new report, produced and widely disseminated by the Prichard Committee, ""Achieving the Top 20 by 2020: An Update."" The report assesses the progress Kentucky has made since the committee set a ""Top 20"" goal for the state's schools two years ago. The original report which was updated this year, identifies 20 indicators of academic performance, specifies Kentucky's ranking, and defines what level of performance is needed to propel the state to the top of the nation in student achievement.


Population(s) Served


Program 4

Prichard Committee Student Voice Team

The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team was designed by middle and high school students in partnership with adult allies to amplify the voices of Kentucky youth on the classroom impact of education policies. The overarching vision is to support students as partners in improving Kentucky schools. As part of this initiative, students have testified in front of the Joint Interim Education Committee on the importance of involving students in the teacher evaluation feedback loop; made presentations to intergenerational audiences about the impact of inadequate school funding; facilitated roundtables with students across the state about a variety of education policy issues; published commentaries in local and national news outlets and led a statewide social media campaign.


Population(s) Served



Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We hope to study, inform and engage Kentuckians on all issues related to education from prek through postsecondary education. We spur Kentucky schools to success.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Prichard Committee's longstanding theory of change holds that studying issues, informing policymakers, and engaging the public are all equal keys to our success and to the sustainability of our education reforms. To maintain this depth of work on a regular basis, at the state as well as the local level, we support the following key activities:
    • Annual Fall Meeting - of our members and education partners to spotlight emerging state and national education policy issues and to highlight education success stories in Kentucky.
    • Top 20 by 2020 – is an effort to track Kentucky's progress on key indicators of education success with the goal of achieving Top 20 ranking on all indicators by 2020.
    • Perspectives Quarterly Newsletters & Special Reports - we publish and distribute statewide and to a list of national partners.
    • Study Groups – as relevant topics emerge, we establish study groups of our members and experts to develop education policy recommendations which form the foundation for our advocacy.
    • Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership – empowers parents with deep understanding of the education system, capacity to take leadership roles in their local communities, and the commitment to demand excellence for all students.
    • Prichard Committee Student Voice Team - amplifies the voices of middle, high, and college students on education issues where they have unique and relevant experience.

    Key Current Initiatives:
    In addition to our ongoing work to increase student achievement and ensure adequate funding for our schools, we also have the following three areas of deep policy work:

    Closing the Achievement Gap – the Committee has been committed to excellence for all students since its inception in 1983. While we have increased achievement for all students, we have not yet closed the gap in achievement between different populations of students. Beginning this year, we are strengthening our focus on closing the achievement gap by developing recommendations, highlighting the data and developing an action plan to create a sense of urgency and follow through to close these gaps.

    Quality in Postsecondary Education – while the Committee has focused its last 30 years of work on preschool – 12th grade education, our roots from the late 1970's are in research to increase the quality in postsecondary education. With increasing numbers of students now college and career ready we are going back to those roots and beginning a new body of work to increase quality and access in postsecondary.

    Early Childhood: Birth to 3rd Grade Proficiency – the Committee convenes early childhood advocates from across the state in a shared advocacy effort to increase readiness for kindergarten and in turn increased rates of math and reading proficiency in 3rd grade.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Prichard Committee membership is comprised of 125 citizens across the state who dedicate themselves to learning about the issues, educating leaders in their own regions, and advocating for policies that support Kentucky's education progress. The organization maintains a professional staff with expertise in policy, implementation, engagement, and communications.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Our progress indicators are Kentucky that are college and career ready and we measure this by the ACT scores of our students and then we also study remediation rates of our students and college completion rates.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Our grassroots effort led to the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act mandating legislation to enact broad and sweeping reforms at a systemic level, statewide. Ten years later in 2000, the Committee made a commitment to early childhood education and helped push through legislation that required 25% of tobacco settlement money to be used for early childhood; Kentucky Invests in Developing Success (KIDS NOW).

    And again the Prichard Committee and our ambassadors were instrumental in pushing Kentucky to the forefront of innovative practice by adopting Senate Bill 1 in 2009. SB 1 aligned academic standards and revised assessments.

    In 2014, the Prichard Committee successfully rallied citizens to ask state lawmakers to restore education funding to pre-2008 levels. And in that session we also successfully led the HANDS bill through the session providing home visitation to a larger population of families.

    The recent Quality Counts reports ranks Kentucky 27th nationally in education up from 49th in 1983. And while we've made progress we realize our achievement gaps are growing.
Service Areas



The Prichard Committee serves all Kentuckians.

Social Media

Funding Needs

If you believe parents should play a larger role in education reform, consider applying or helping us generate corporate sponsorship for the Governor's Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, our nationally-acclaimed training program that supports parents to engage other parents and their schools to raise the level of student achievement. One institute costs approximately $83,000. Basic workshops cost under $10,000. If you are a business leader who understands the role high-quality preschools can play in closing achievement gaps and making a profound difference in the lives of our kids, consider joining our Business Leadership Council and adding a critical, if unexpected, voice to the state-wide conversation. We are also always looking for corporate sponsors of our meetings, speaking engagements and site visits in the range of $1,000 to $10,000.


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Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Brigitte Blom Ramsey

Associate Executive Director

Cory Curl


Brigitte Blom Ramsey is the executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Prior to joining the Prichard Committee in May of 2014, Ms. Ramsey was the director of public policy for United Way of Greater Cincinnati with a special focus on early childhood policy. She served 6 years on the Kentucky Board of Education, from 2008-2014, and was elected vice-chair of the Board in her last year. Ms. Ramsey also served for 10 years on the Pendleton County Board of Education. She holds undergraduate degrees from Northern Kentucky University and a master's degree in public policy from the University of Kentucky Martin School.



Franklin Jelsma

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

Term: Dec 2014 - Dec 2017


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