Senate Bill No. 52
(By Senator Walters)
[Introduced January 8, 2014; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-1-5b, relating to the creation of a pilot program for middle schools to incorporate the Khan Academy method of teaching mathematics in the classroom.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18B-1-5b, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. GOVERNANCE.
§18B-1-5b. Pilot program of incorporating the Khan method of teaching mathematical skills.
(a) The intent of the Legislature in enacting this section is to create the framework for incorporating the methods and learning tools developed by the Khan Academy for the teaching of mathematics into the classrooms of middle schools.
(b) The Legislature finds:
(1) The Khan Academy is a nonprofit educational organization that provides free video tutorials and interactive exercises. The Academy’s declared mission is “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere;”
(2) The lessons developed by the Khan Academy were conceived primarily for self-education but are also suitable for use in the classroom. The tutorials are informal in style and organized for building knowledge one concept or lesson at a time. Many lessons are delivered as electronic blackboard talks by someone with an apparent enthusiasm for the topic;
(3) Khan Academy website users can maintain records of their progress. Through the website, teachers can also monitor the progress of students who are using the site. In pilot experiments, schools are using a concept called “flipping the classroom,” which involves students watching the Khan Academy lectures at home and then using classroom time for exercise and testing. In this model, the teacher’s role is changed from lecturer to tutor and progress monitor;
(4) The Khan Academy can be seen as one of the best publicized and most promising examples of the power of the Internet to educate and to transform traditional education. The Academy offers over three thousand short videos on a wide range of subjects including mathematics. To date the Academy has delivered over one hundred thirty-two million lessons; and
(5) The Khan Academy’s three-part educational philosophy is to help students build a solid educational foundation, work at their own pace, and promote interactivity and collaboration.
(c) Incorporating the Khan method of teaching mathematics will be able to make maximum use of the currently existing resources, facilities, equipment and personnel in the state's systems of public education at a very minimal, if any, additional cost. Using the Khan method will enable teachers to catch a vision of what teaching can be and expose students to learning opportunities twenty-four hours a day. It should also meet the several goals of helping students to prepare for college level work, to increase their likelihood of securing gainful employment given their other relevant life circumstances, to obtain higher education core curriculum course work that is universally accepted at all state institutions of higher education with the grade earned and to minimize the amount of additional course work they will be required to take at less convenient times and locations to achieve their educational goals.
(d) The secretary of education and the arts is responsible for establishing a two-year pilot program consisting of no more than eight sites within the state for the use of the Kahn method of teaching mathematics in middle schools consistent with the goals established in this section. To the extent necessary, there is hereby established in the State Treasury a special revolving fund within the account of the secretary of education and the arts into which appropriations, charitable contributions and other moneys received by the secretary for the purposes of the program shall be paid for expenditures in the operation of the pilot program. At the end of the pilot program, the secretary shall make a final report to the Legislature on whether the Khan method of teaching mathematics in middle schools is beneficial and shall recommend whether it should become permanent. If the secretary recommends that the Khan method of teaching mathematics should become permanent, the secretary shall also recommend specific structures for program support and administration, instructional development and objectives, technology, student support services and other relevant policy issues.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a pilot program for middle schools to incorporate the Khan Academy method of teaching mathematics in the classroom. The bill makes findings, requires a final report and, to the extent necessary, establishes a fund into which appropriations, charitable contributions and other moneys may be made.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.