Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
271 W. Short Street Ste 202
Lexington KY 40507
Contact Information
Nonprofit Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
Address 271 W. Short Street Ste 202
Lexington, KY 40507
Phone (859) 233-9849
Contact Name Suzetta Yates
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 1983
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer The Prichard Committee happily accepts mailed checks, gifts of stock and in-kind contributions.  We also have a planned giving program.  In addition, the Prichard Committee offers numerous sponsorship opportunities for local businesses in the general range of $1,000-$5,000.  Businesses interested in sponsoring options ranging from annual meetings to parent leadership training sessions to our newsletter and other publications should contact Suzetta Yates in the development office (859-233-9849 x231) for a more detailed list of giving levels and options.
Financial Summary
Mission Statement The Prichard Committee is an independent citizens' advocacy organization working to improve education for all Kentuckians.
Background Statement
For nearly three decades, the Kentucky public education system - from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary - has made enormous progress.  Once considered to be at the bottom of the barrel, the system has moved to the middle of the pack.  Today, based on a range of data, Kentucky is recognized as a national leader in improving public schools.
At the center of this transformation - advocating, negotiating, and holding together disparate interest groups - have been the citizens who make up the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
The seeds were planted in 1980.  Then, the Committee was a government-appointed group designed to push improvements in Kentucky higher education.  After its recommendations were largely ignored by the political establishment, the Committee re-organized itself in 1983 as a private, non-profit advocacy group and expanded its charge to encompass all levels of public education.  It also re-named itself after its first chair, Kentucky educational advocate, Edward F. Prichard, Jr.

Our audience today continues to be the Kentucky public, opinion leaders, the business community and state officials. Our purpose is carried out by virtually any effective strategy we can use. We raise and publicize critical issues; monitor the effectiveness of public education and propose changes; publicize the importance of education to business leaders and the public; make proposals to public officials; convene public forums; speak to approximately 200 public audiences each year (e.g. Rotary); build alliances with like-minded entities in business and education; conduct occasional research; work closely with the media to ensure continued attention to education; and recruit and train parents to be advocates for improved education of their own and all other students in their own schools and districts. 

The Prichard Committee is widely considered to be a national model for civic engagement in public schools.

Impact Statement
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.
Needs Statement

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 $150,000. More 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.

If you would like to see more academic rigor in our schools, visit our ReadyKy website at and educate yourself on the state's new common core standards. Then, if you're sufficiently moved, let us know if you would like to join our campaign to spread the word to your own social network, and we will arm you with the tools and support to do it.
CEO/Executive Director Statement

From the Executive Director

Keeping the public in public schools has been the unspoken mantra of the Prichard Committee for three decades now. Our approach to collaborating with civic and business leaders to spur continuous improvement in Kentucky schools is always deliberative, sometimes painstaking and often bears significant fruit. 


Breaking the top 10 on national rankings in Education Week’s Quality Counts survey of states’ education performance was a tangible victory of 2012, and it was also a collaborative one from which friends of the Prichard Committee can take a measure of personal pride. That highlight was just one of many others, including:


Ø The legislature’s growing and Governor Beshear's continued support to increase funding for Pre-K, a nod to our pre-k advocacy work lead by the Business Leadership Council and The Strong Start Kentucky campaign;


Ø Another three classes of parents completing their Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership training--recently renamed theGovernor'sInstitute for Parent Leadership to reflect institutionalized support--joining the ranks of more than1,800 others we have trained to advocate for student achievement;


Ø Burgeoning national reach through the launch of our regular Education Week blog;


Ø Publication and wide distribution of our bi-annual Top 20 by 2020 Report, reminding the general public of exactly how far Kentucky has come and how far it has to go to ensure our students are ready for college and careers;


Ø Convening the Team for Teacher Effectiveness--a panel of parents, teachers, educators and legislators working with local and national experts to guide decision makers on ways to ensure effective teachers in every Kentucky classroom;


Ø  Continued outreach to the general public to build support for Kentucky’s latest, more rigorous academic standards through our ReadyKentucky campaign; and


Ø The inauguration of the Student Voice Team to support Kentucky youth to make the case for deeper integration of student perspectives into the policy work of the Prichard Committee.


It bears repeating that the Prichard Committee would not exist without the support of Kentucky citizens with the vision and passion to ensure the highest possible quality of education for our children. 

Stu Silberman
Geographic Areas Served
Adair County
Allen County
Anderson County
Ballard County
Barren County
Bath County
Bell County
Boone County
Bourbon County
Boyd County
Boyle County
Bracken County
Breathitt County
Breckinridg County
Bullitt County
Butler County
Caldwell County
Calloway County
Campbell County
Carlisle County
Carroll County
Carter County
Christian County
Clark County
Clay County
Clinton County
County Casey
Crittenden County
Cumberland County
Daviess County
Edmonson County
Elliott County
Estill County
Fayette County
Fleming County
Floyd County
Franklin County
Fulton County
Gallatin County
Garrard County
Grant County
Graves County
Grayson County
Green County
Greenup County
Hancock County
Hardin County
Harlan County
Harrison County
Hart County
Henderson County
Henry County
Hickman County
Hopkins County
Illinois County
Indiana County
Jackson County
Jefferson County
Jessamine County
Johnson County
Kenton County
Knott County
Knox County
Larue County
Laurel County
Lawrence County
Lee County
Leslie County
Letcher County
Lewis County
Lincoln County
Livingston County
Logan County
Lyon County
Madison County
Magoffin County
Marion County
Marshall County
Martin County
Mason County
McCracken County
McCreary County
Meade County
Menifee County
Mercer County
Metcalfe County
Montgomery County
Morgan County
Muhlenberg County
Nelson County
Nicholas County
Ohio County
Oldham County
Owen County
Owsley County
Pendleton County
Perry County
Pike County
Powell County
Pulaski County
Robertson County
Rockcastle County
Rowan County
Russell County
Scott County
Shelby County
Simpson County
Spencer County
Taylor County
Todd County
Trigg County
Trimble County
Union County
Warren County
Washington County
Wayne County
Webster County
West Virginia
Whitley County
Wolfe County
The Prichard Committee serves all Kentuckians.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact. 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.
Board Chair
Board Chair Franklin Jelsma
Company Affiliation Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs
Term Dec 2014 to Dec 2016
Board Members
David Bolt RetiredVoting
Sam Corbett University of LouisvilleVoting
Ben Cundiff Cundiff FarmsVoting
Scott P. Davis Ohio Valley Financial GroupVoting
Clay Ford E.M. Ford & Co.Voting
Bill Garmer Garmer & Prather LLPVoting
Franklin Jelsma Wyatt, Tarrant & CombsVoting
Pam Miller Retired, Mayor of Lexington
Hilma Prather Retired, School TeacherVoting
Kathy Reed Retired, Director of Social Services, BardstownVoting
James Votruba Northern Kentucky UniversityVoting
Harvie Wilkinson Vice President, KeenelandVoting
William H. Wilson Kentucky State UniversityVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 0%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 80%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Co-Chair
Term Dec 2014 to Dec 2016
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey
Term Start May 2014
Experience 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.
Co-CEO Cory Curl
Term Start Sept 2015
Experience Cory Curl serves as Associate Executive Director at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Prior to joining the Prichard Committee staff, Cory was Senior Fellow for Assessment and Accountability at Achieve, where she was responsible for providing support and guidance to states on improving the quality and utility of assessments, accountability, and public reporting systems. She also led the organization’s initiatives on competency-based education. She has represented the U.S. Department of Education for the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative in Memphis, Tennessee, where she focused on providing guidance on the City’s cradle-to-career education strategy. She served as director of the Education Delivery Unit at the Tennessee Department of Education, where she led the state’s performance management efforts to reach ambitious goals for student performance. As a senior policy advisor for EducationCounsel, she provided strategic counsel to states, districts, foundations, and other clients on an array of education policy and implementation issues. She led efforts to promote teacher effectiveness while serving in the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Policy in Tennessee, and coordinated school finance, accountability, data, teacher equity, and other issues as policy director for the Tennessee Department of Education. Cory received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and a master’s degree in public administration from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. In 1994, she received a Kentucky Arts, Education, and Humanities Award for her student advocacy in support of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990.
Full Time Staff 8
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 118
Contractors 4
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? No
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Dr. Robert F. Sexton Jan 1983 - Aug 2010
Stu Silberman Sept 2011 - Sept 2015
Senior Staff
Title Senior Policy Director
Title Student Voice Team Director
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Description 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.
Budget 330882
Category Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults, Families, K-12 (5-19 years)
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 children
  • Enhancing the quality of all pre-k programs
  • Support for public and community-based programs
  • Expanding 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.

Budget 155000
Population Served , ,

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 Served , ,
Description 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. 
Budget $50,000
Population Served , ,
Program Comments
CEO Comments

In 2016, we will continue our work to highlight the changing face of teaching and learning in the classroom.  We will also release a study group report on the achievement gap which will include recommendations for policy and community responses to help close these gaps and ensure all of Kentucky’s students receive the education necessary to be successful after high school.

Finally, reason for celebration and a challenge full of opportunity for Kentucky is the long awaited passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which replaces No Child Left Behind. The new Act allows for much flexibility at the state level and as a result Kentucky will be revisiting the accountability model and other policy issues.
Kentucky schools have made extraordinary gains in the last 30 years, but we still have a long way to go. The progress that has been made has not been equally shared across all student populations and in all regions of the state, leaving too many students short of their full potential. We strive to highlight and deepen the components of our education system that are proving effective. We also work to highlight areas for needed improvement and make research-based recommendations to adopt and implement new strategies to increase student outcomes.
Brigitte Blom Ramsey
Executive Director 
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Dec 2012
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Innovations in Government AwardFord Foundation and Harvard University1997
Frank Newman Award for State InnovationEducation Commission of the States2006
Vision AwardKentucky Association of School Councils2002
Nonprofit VOICE awardKentucky Nonprofit Network2014
Best Kept SecretPIE Network2012
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $2,226,821.00
Projected Expenses $2,226,821.00
Endowment Value $3,182,221.31
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage 5%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Revenue$1,850,798$1,850,798$1,499,171
Total Expenses$1,553,860$1,553,860$1,536,414
Revenue Less Expenses$296,938$296,938($37,243)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$145,000
Individual Contributions$1,729,577$1,729,577$1,163,746
Investment Income, Net of Losses$47,638$47,638$61,392
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events----$0
Revenue In-Kind----$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$1,099,578$1,099,578$1,117,612
Administration Expense$320,535$320,535$307,317
Fundraising Expense$133,747$133,747$111,485
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.191.190.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses71%71%73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%8%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$4,747,842$4,747,842$4,151,492
Current Assets$1,163,111$1,163,111$1,112,578
Long-Term Liabilities----$0
Current Liabilities$229,146$110,975$83,585
Total Net Assets$4,518,696$4,518,696$4,067,907
Form 990s
2015 990 without schedule B
2014 990 without B
2013 990 2013
2012 990
2011 990
2010 990
2009 990
2008 990
2007 990
2006 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Registration Yes
Address 271 W. Short Street Ste 202
Lexington, KY 40507
Primary Phone 859 233-9849
CEO/Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey
Board Chair Franklin Jelsma
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs