A new partnership between Khan Academy and county education offices from throughout the region will allow more students to gain access to free online tutoring programs that will better prepare them for college.
About 700 teachers, administrators, school board members, parents and other school officials attended a conference Monday where Khan Academy founder Sal Khan helped announce partnerships with five Southern California county offices of education and one school district to adopt free online learning resources through Khan Academy for the classroom.
They are the Orange County Department of Education, which hosted the conference at Hotel Irvine, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, the Riverside County Office of Education, the Imperial County Office of Education and the Long Beach Unified School District.
“What’s exciting about this partnership is that Khan Academy will get to see what works well and what doesn’t in a meta level,” Khan said.
“This will help us create a better program that can help millions more,” he said. “We want to work with all of you to ensure Southern California is the model region for the world.”
Khan said that working closely with these agencies will allow the academy to better measure how new initiatives and programs would work by testing them with targeted groups.
In return, the Academy will offer implementation support that includes planning with local districts and providing technical support to help staff better work with the Academy.
Khan said he got the idea to create Khan Academy when he tutored his cousin struggling in math remotely through YouTube videos.
He soon learned that these videos were gaining popularity, not just among his cousin and other relatives, but also among a general audience.
More than a decade later, Khan Academy provides practice exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard to help individuals study at their own pace in and out of the classroom. Subjects include math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more.
Schools and teachers benefit from free instructional materials and implementation support aligned to current curriculums. Nonprofit Khan Academy provides personalized learning for K-12 math, grammar, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, finance, history and SAT prep.
Superintendents from each of the county offices involved spoke briefly about how Khan Academy would help more students — particularly English learners and those from low-income families — not only attend college, but also perform better once they start courses.
They included Theodore Alejandre, San Bernardino County superintendent of schools; Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County superintendent of schools; Todd Finnell, Imperial County superintendent of schools, and Judy White, Riverside County superintendent of schools.
Dr. Al Mijares, Orange County’s superintendent of schools added, “Education is the only factor on a large scale that can bust poverty. A free, high-quality educational program anywhere, anytime is phenomenal.”
Find out more about the partnership and its potential benefits in this video produced by OCDE’s Media Services team.