Long Beach Unified School District is a winner of the 2017 Official SAT Practice All In Challenge, the first-ever award from the College Board, the Council of the Great City Schools and Khan Academy. The award recognizes Council districts for encouraging and supporting students as they practice for the SAT and college-level courses using the free online SAT practice platform, Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy.
“Our students and staff work hard, and the nation has noticed,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “The Council of the Great City Schools is a leading voice for America’s large school districts. We appreciate this high honor and our ongoing collaboration with the College Board and Khan Academy.”
LBUSD is one of only five school districts to win the inaugural award, receiving the “MVP” prize for the highest overall percentage of students linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts to receive free, personalized SAT practice. Since the challenge began in December 2016, 93 percent of Long Beach Unified students who took either the SAT or a PSAT-related assessment linked their accounts.
“There are many success stories to share about the hard work and incredible growth that our districts and students made through this challenge,” said Council of the Great City Schools Executive Director Michael Casserly. “We’re proud that Long Beach Unified School District stepped up to the challenge and hope others will follow.”
The Washington, D.C.-based Council of the Great City Schools was founded in 1956 and brings together 68 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems, including Long Beach, in a coalition dedicated to the improvement of education for children in big cities.
Official SAT Practice features video lessons, thousands of interactive practice questions, nine full-length practice tests, and test-taking tips and strategies. By linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts, students who've taken the SAT or a PSAT-related assessment in the past can unlock a custom practice plan and determine what areas to focus on.
“The PSAT is now a diagnostic for Khan Academy,” said Khan Academy founder Sal Khan. “If students share their PSAT score, Khan Academy can use that information to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and provide tailored practice in math, reading and writing.”
There are now more than four million users registered for Official SAT Practice. In May, the College Board announced research that showed that students who prepared for the SAT using Official SAT Practice have seen substantial score gains. Twenty hours of practice is associated with an average 115-point increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average gain of students who do not use Official SAT Practice.
“Our partnership with the Council of the Great City Schools and Khan Academy is helping bring these free, highly personalized practice tools to every corner of the country,” said College Board President and CEO David Coleman. “But make no mistake: behind every story of a student practicing on Khan Academy and succeeding on the SAT is a caring adult. We applaud the community of leaders across Long Beach Unified School District for their commitment to adopting these tools and propelling their students forward.”
As a part of the award LBUSD will receive $10,000 to put toward college readiness efforts, including staffing to help students take advantage of Khan Academy tutorials.
School districts in Fresno, Orange County (Orlando), Denver and Chicago also were honored after competing among 28 big-city school districts that volunteered for the first-ever Official SAT Practice All In Challenge through a partnership between the Council, the College Board, and Khan Academy.