When LeBron James opened his “I Promise” school in the summer of 2018, it was touted as a public school in Akron that is operated by the school district and serves children from low-income families who were at risk of not even graduating grade school.
Just one year after its opening and the 240 students in the inaugural 3rd and 4th grade classes are showing excellent results.
The NY Times is reporting 90 percent of the initial class of third and fourth grade students at the I Promise school “met or exceeded individual growth goals in reading or math.” That is not only phenomenal but it beats many of their fellow students in schools across the district.
The scores reflect students’ performance on the Measures of Academic Progress assessment, a nationally recognized test administered by NWEA, an evaluation association. In reading, where both classes had scored in the lowest, or first, percentile, third graders moved to the ninth percentile, and fourth graders to the 16th. In math, third graders jumped from the lowest percentile to the 18th, while fourth graders moved from the second percentile to the 30th.
The 90 percent of I Promise students who met their goals exceeded the 70 percent of students districtwide, and scored in the 99th growth percentile of the evaluation association’s school norms, which the district said showed that students’ test scores increased at a higher rate than 99 out of 100 schools nationally.
LeBron told the Times, “These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected.”
He added, “When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school.”
“People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors.”
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