Stories from the Students Behind the Statistics

Ready Or Not Front Cover Final.png

Ready or Not: Stories from Students Behind the Statistics is a book by the Student Voice Team. The work features young people from across Kentucky sharing their perspectives on continuing their education after high school and touches on a range of themes including: the ACT, rural and urban cultural pulls, parent and teacher support, counseling, and college affordability. The book is meant for families, educators, and policymakers to consider college readiness from the vantage point of those who are experiencing postsecondary transitions firsthand and, in the words of the teen authors, “balance the heart and the head” in education decision-making.


The Facilitator’s Edition includes a series of questions by chapter and is designed to elicit rich discussion about Ready or Not’s core college readiness themes. It is intended for use by classrooms, youth programs, and book groups.

Praise for Ready or Not

“The student voices in this book are those of reality, resilience, and resolve. My hope is that it profoundly impacts you as it has me. That you receive this collection of voices as intended—a call to action to examine the systems and cultures in which we seek to provide an equitable and accessible quality education for all.”


—Kim Drummond, Director of Strategic Initatives, GEAR UP Kentucky

“Ready or Not makes it clear youth is not wasted on the young! It also makes it clear that improving the education and training system to serve all students demands that the adults in charge learn to listen to and heed students’ voices.”


—Betty Hale, Leadership Mentor, Appalachian Higher Education Network & Senior Fellow, Institute for Educational Leadership

“Ready or Not is a powerful collection of diverse perspectives from a point of view too often absent in education policy: students. Through this book and their extensive efforts to integrate students as partners in improving Kentucky schools, the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team showcases the power of amplifying student voice as an essential component of effective advocacy.”


—Suzanne Kubach, Executive Director, Policy Innovators in Education Network

“These are stories that only actual students could get other students to tell—raw, specific, heartbreaking. These kids are telling us how to fix America’s schools, if we will listen.”


—Amanda Ripley, Emerson Senior Fellow & author of the bestselling book The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way