Khan Lab School Earns Accreditation

Khan Lab School
February 27, 2020 / 5 mins read

Mountain View, CA—Khan Lab School, the non-profit, mastery-based school affiliated with Khan Academy, has earned accreditation by Cognia™, a nonprofit organization that provides quality assurance for schools, school districts, and education service providers. Cognia is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).

Cognia, formerly AdvancED, recognizes schools that meet rigorous standards focused on productive learning environments, equitable resource allocation that meets the needs of learners, and effective leadership. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that Khan Lab School is recognized across the nation as a school that meets Cognia Standards of Quality and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement.

“This is a significant milestone for KLS and for K-12 education more broadly,” said Rachel Skiffer, head of school at Khan Lab School. “This accreditation review showcases the results of what our team members work hard to cultivate every day: students who love to learn and take agency in learning at their own pace; who collaborate, problem solve, and think critically and creatively across disciplines; and who are empowered to develop their strengths and apply their learning in a variety of real-world contexts. This is what a culture of learning should look like in the 21st century, and it's exciting to see our community of KLS pioneers leading the way.”

A Holistic Approach, A Model for Innovation

Khan Lab School (KLS) began its accreditation review in 2019, led by Cognia's Engagement Review Team, comprised of professionals with varied backgrounds and professional experiences. Using a set of rigorous research-based standards, the accreditation process examines the whole institution—the program, the cultural context, and the community of stakeholders—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of learners. For KLS, the brick and mortar school that grew from Khan Academy's student-centered philosophy, accreditation is a key validator of its well-established school culture and affirmation of its holistic approach to mastery learning. In each academic area at KLS, progress is decoupled from age as every student is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, skills, and content before moving on. Learning is supported through real-world application, weekly one-to-one advising, and a culture that fosters student agency. As a lab school, KLS is a model for innovation in education.

“Students shouldn't just take things in; they should figure things out,” said Sal Khan, founder of Khan Lab School and Khan Academy. “This is the belief that KLS is built upon, and we are delighted to see Cognia return such clear, research-based evidence that this form of education not only works well in our school, but also can shine a light for others. Our community of learners is thriving at KLS, and as a lab school with a broader purpose, we are dedicated to helping other schools in their journey to mastery learning and ultimately preparing young people for a complex world.“

Fostering Learning Experiences with Great “Impact”

Dr. Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia, stated, “Cognia Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school and its community on the primary goal of preparing lifelong learners in engaging environments where all students can flourish. Khan Lab School is to be commended for demonstrating that it has met high standards on key indicators that impact student learning.”

About Cognia

Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, professional learning, and improvement services to institutions and other education providers. The result of the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress, Cognia was formed to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment. As a global nonprofit working in over 80 countries, our 36,000 institutions serve and support nearly 25 million students and five million educators every day. Cognia serves as a trusted partner in advancing learning for all. Find out more at

About Khan Lab School

Khan Lab School (KLS) is a non-profit, independent co-ed, mastery-based school founded in 2014 by Salman “Sal” Khan, founder of Khan Academy and author of the book, The One World Schoolhouse. At KLS, academic progress is decoupled from age as every student is expected to demonstrate mastery before moving on. Learning time is variable but the depth of mastery is constant. Learning is supported through weekly 1-1 advising, real-world application, and a culture that fosters student agency. As a lab school, KLS is a model for innovation in education.

KLS is a community of learners empowering every student to navigate their own path.