Khan Academy Gives Students Hope
Khan Academy Gives Students HopeAndrew Elwell, Associate Director, Communications
When the College Board announced that it was redesigning the SAT in March 2014, CEO David Coleman proclaimed, “What this country needs is not more tests, but more opportunities.” At the Southern Regional Forum, higher education and K–12 member leaders shared how they are using assessments like the SAT to further their commitment to student opportunity.
John Barnhill, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Florida State University (FSU), and Jesus Jara, deputy superintendent of Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), joined the College Board’s Aaron Lemon-Strauss to discuss the new SAT, the College Board’s partnership with Khan Academy, and how they are using these tools to accelerate student readiness.
OCPS has been giving its students the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT during the school day. This past fall, the school district had a “college day” where freshmen took the PSAT 8/9, sophomores and juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, and seniors took the SAT as a way to eliminate barriers to college for students and foster a college-going culture on campus.
With the launch of Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy, OCPS has leveraged the online learning system to promote college readiness and increase access to college. The district’s schools have opened their media centers after school and on Saturdays to allow students to practice on school computers. They’ve also worked with the local YMCA to provide opportunities for their students to practice for the SAT.
“Our kids in OCPS can be ready to go and have open doors when they go into higher education and their careers,” said Jara.
Barnhill agreed with the importance of the College Board/Khan Academy partnership, calling the tool a game changer. He added that FSU is going to begin a campaign focused on practice that will encourage prospective students to use Official SAT Practice. He believes that using Khan Academy’s practice tool will help students feel ready for college.
“I think [Khan Academy] is going to give them hope,” he told the audience. “We’re calling it practice, but I think it is hope.”