A Bold New Math Class
Educational Leadership Volume 70, Number 6, ISSN 0013-1784
Summit San Jose is part of the Summit Public Schools network, a group of charter schools in California's Bay Area. In 2011, when Summit San Jose first opened its new high school with a cohort of 9th graders, the teachers decided to pilot Khan Academy. At the time, they had piloted their math resources and platform with five classrooms in Los Altos, a nearby public school district, and they were eager to learn how other types of schools could effectively use their site. Khan Academy is best known for its collection of 3,500 videos, but its math practice problems and real-time reports are also heavily used in classrooms. Depending on factors like access to technology and flexibility of their curriculum, teachers in Khan pilots have developed a range of ways to use Khan Academy. Giving students access to data about their progress empowers them; it helps them learn to interpret charts and develop action plans to bridge their knowledge gaps. At the beginning of the pilot in Summit San Jose in fall 2011, students were given additional time each day to work on the Khan Academy site. Soon, they were not only improving their math skills, but also learning to take ownership over their education. Summit's use of Khan Academy led to outstanding results, in terms of both students' study habits and their test scores. At the end of the year, on Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress exam, Summit scored in the 85th percentile for student growth. Over time, Summit plans to continue to integrate deeper and more creative projects into its curriculum and enable students to pursue their interests through short internships at local companies. Khan Academy, along with other innovative online resources, is playing a fundamental role in reimagining education in a way that empowers teachers and students to build personalized, mastery-based, and interactive learning environments that foster creativity and collaboration. Summit San Jose and schools like it demonstrate what's possible through their willingness to experiment with technology, their openness to new ways of organizing class time and physical space, their passion for meaningful projects and real-world experiences, and their intense focus on the needs of each student.
Khan, S. & Slavitt, E. (2013). A Bold New Math Class. Educational Leadership, 70(6), 28-31.