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Online academy classes to be tested in ID schools

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NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — Starting next fall, Idaho students could have the option of taking math, history and other online classes provided by the Khan Academy, the online content nonprofit that provides courses free to anyone, anytime and anywhere.

Education officials with Northwest Nazarene University and the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation say they are arranging to have Khan Academy classes tested in about two dozen public schools next fall.

The Khan Academy was founded in 2008 by Salman Khan, a former hedge fund analyst who sought to provide classes free and specifically in the areas of math, finance, history and art via thousands of video tutorials and a variety of languages.

The Albertson Foundation has agreed to provide funding for the program. Northwest Nazarene University, based in Nampa, has agreed to track student improvement for students taking Khan Academy math courses.

"Primarily we have a group of faculty that are educators, from the education department that will be looking at the curriculum that (teachers) are already using and see how Khan can support that," Eric Kellerer, director of the NNU Center of Innovation for Teaching and Learning, told the Idaho Press Tribune (http://bit.ly/U6hE1w). "Khan is not a curriculum. It's one more tool into the mix so they can help students have better achievement scores."

For now, the plan is to test academy courses in at least 25 primary and secondary public schools across the state.

Each school could receive anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 to implement the program depending on the number of students and teachers, university officials said.

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Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, http://www.idahopress.com

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