Linking the power of technology with a free platform for learning is transforming lives in every corner of the globe. Sal Khan’s vision – and Khan Academy’s extraordinary achievements – are what big and audacious goals look like when they come to life. It’s deeply inspiring to see education changing before our eyes, and it’s a vivid reminder to always “think big” on behalf of students.
I hope you will join us at the 2019 National Summit on Education Reform to hear from Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, on what big ideas in education are next and how schools everywhere can benefit.
I am also excited to announce that Sal will be honored at #EIE19 with the Excellence in Education Award for his work to provide a free, world-class education to everyone everywhere. Please join me and more than 1,000 education advocates at #EIE19 on November 20-21 in San Diego, California, to hear from Sal and other inspiring speakers.
ExcelinEd Founder and Chairman
Q&A with Sal Khan
ExcelinEd: If you could immediately change one thing about America’s education system, what would it be?
Watch the video below to hear Sal Khan describe why the ability for students to progress at their own time and pace and to actually master concepts is the one thing he would immediately change.
ExcelinEd: Why are you excited to speak at the National Summit on Education Reform?
SK: When I spoke at ExcelinEd’s Summit several years ago, I was immediately impressed by the leaders in attendance and their focus on pragmatic reform. Often in education circles, people can get into almost dogmatic debates around philosophy and pedagogy. While it’s important to think about ideals, what I really like about this Summit is it’s a great place to meet and share ideas with people who have a bias toward action and who rely on results to decide whether a policy is worth scaling and growing.
ExcelinEd: What would be noticeably different about education 10 years from now, or what do you want to see accomplished for students in the next 10 years?
SK: My hope is that 10 years from now, it is mainstream for students to learn at their own time and pace. Teachers, principals and district and state leaders would have information on how students are progressing, so they know what’s working and what’s not. We can get to this holy grail where assessment informs practice, and practice informs follow-up assessments. Because of that connection, it’s clear how various practices are driving growth.
ExcelinEd: What does it mean to provide a free, world-class education to everyone everywhere?
SK: My dream is that everyone on the planet has access to a community of learners, a great school they can go to. Khan Academy can help supercharge that. For example, if a rural school in Idaho does not have a calculus teacher, then maybe Khan Academy can help fill that gap. Or maybe they do have someone who can teach calculus, but Khan Academy can provide tools to better support the teacher, student and principal.
There’s a young girl in Afghanistan who started participating in Khan Academy when she was 11 years old, after the Taliban prohibited her from going to school. She got all the way through Khan Academy and into calculus, physics and chemistry courses and then smuggled herself into Pakistan to take the SAT. She was eventually granted political asylum in the United States, and she’s been doing quantum computing research at Cal Tech. She’s obviously an outlier, but she symbolizes what we imagine a free, world-class education for anyone anywhere means.
About the author
Governor Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and is chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.