An article in “The 74,” a national website that bills itself as “a fact-based conversation about America’s 74 million K-12 students,” offers a detailed look at how the Long Beach Unified School District’s use of the nonprofit Khan Academy’s online tutorials have helped to improve student achievement.
The article by Esmeralda Fabián Romero is titled “How Khan Academy Used a Successful Experiement with California’s Long Beach Unified to Launch District Partnerships Across the Country.” Romero notes that after using Khan Academy test prep and online classroom tutorials, Long Beach students saw significant gains in the number of college-eligible seniors, along with improvement on state math tests.
Khan Academy’s free online tutorials are well known, used by more than 18 million learners every month in more than 190 countries and 18 languages. SAT prep formed the basis of Khan Academy’s relationship with LBUSD in 2016, when Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser personally called 340 seniors from low-income families with the lowest SAT scores and urged them to use the free Khan videos to improve their scores next time around.
The school district saw a 20 percentage point gain in the number of Cal State-eligible seniors over a four-year period and a 22-point gain on its state math test results after incorporating Khan Academy’s videos and student analytics into math and other subject instruction for younger students.
Beyond the SAT prep for seniors, a wider pilot program launched in 2017-18 and incorporated Khan Academy’s videos into math and other subject instruction for younger students. About 90 teachers volunteered to integrate Khan videos into their lessons for at least 30 minutes per week. By the end of the 2017-18 school year, one-third of the district’s more than 70,000 students were using the videos.
Using LBUSD as point of reference, Khan launched a broad initiative in the fall, Khan Academy Districts, hoping to reach more classrooms with its services and support, including data tools for teachers.
“Virtual is nice, but when it’s coupled with incredible teachers and administrators and done in the right way, that is when you really get the power,” Khan Academy founder Sal Khan said. “Long Beach is exactly the type of district that if things can work really well here – it’s large, it’s diverse – it can work anywhere.”
The article in “The 74” made the website’s list of “The 13 Best Education Articles from February.” Find the piece at the74million.org.