First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Holds Regional Graduate Kentucky Summit in Northern Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Saturday, September 18, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Roach

COVINGTON, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today participated in a Graduate Kentucky: A Community Approach regional summit at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Graduate Kentucky is a statewide initiative that was formed in 2008 to tackle the dropout problem in Kentucky. The program has fostered a comprehensive conversation to identify the reforms necessary to ensure student success and begin the process of lowering Kentucky’s dropout rate. The goal of the initiative is to not only understand why students are dropping out of school, but to share ideas and best practices for how communities can play a pivotal role in reducing the dropout rate by creating a strategic vision for keeping the state’s children in school.

“With a high school graduation rate of only about 84 percent and a quarter of adults lacking a high school education in Kentucky, it is critical that we identify the causes and establish a plan to combat this issue,” said Mrs. Beshear. “By taking part in an exchange of ideas and raising statewide awareness of our education needs, I am confident that we can succeed in reducing the number of drop-outs and increasing graduation rates across the Commonwealth.” 

As a follow-up to a statewide event in September 2009, six regional dropout summits were planned across the state with an emphasis on community approaches for student success. This is the fifth summit in the series. Other regional dropout summits have taken place at Bowling Green, Hazard, Murray and Richmond, and the final summit will take place on Oct. 28 in Ashland at the Ashland Community and Technical College.

Graduate Kentucky seeks to promote coordination of resources and tools among private, public and nonprofit education initiatives. One of the goals of the initiative is to create an action plan for policy-makers, educators and the business community. This plan will be developed by the state steering committee using information compiled from the statewide and six regional summits. A report will be issued in January 2011.

“The success of our education system in Kentucky is dependent upon the involvement of our communities,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Joseph U. Meyer. “These regional events are providing and encouraging a hands-on support system for our students at the local level. This input is vital to addressing the specific barriers in each area that keep our students from reaching their full potential.”

The development of Graduate Kentucky: A Communication Approach is the result of a grant awarded to Kentucky by America’s Promise Alliance, Colin and Alma Powell’s nonprofit coalition of companies and organizations providing support and awareness for issues affecting children.

To register or to get more details about the summit, please visit