July 20, 2024
 
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  • Source: FreePressers
  • 07/01/2024
FPI / June 27, 2024

The I Promise School, an elementary school in Akron, Ohio, was founded by NBA superstar LeBron James with the intent of helping students who had preformed poorly in other public schools.

“Seeing himself in the faces of Akron’s youth, he’s dedicated his time and resources to eliminating many of the barriers most inner-city students and families face. He’s rolled all of his philanthropic efforts into the I Promise School, which he considers one of the greatest achievements of his lifetime,” says the school’s website.

Evidently, James has not dedicated nearly enough time or resources to the school.

Since 2019, not a single 8th grade student at I Promise School has passed the state’s math proficiency exam, according to a review by the Akron Beacon Journal.

Only 11 percent of 8th grade students were able to pass the state’s English proficiency exam.

As a result of the poor academic performances, the school was designated an Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) School, which requires intervention from the state.

In an attempt to help improve the students’ performance, the school has smaller classes and more teachers than typical public schools in the area, and employs the “I Promise Method,” which consists of longer school days, emphasis on STEM curriculum, and a “we are family philosophy.”

On top of the standard state funding for the school, the LeBron James Family Foundation donates $1.4 million each year to pay for more tutors and teachers to lower class sizes.

The foundation said in a statement after hearing the poor performance results: "When we started this work to wraparound students through education, we entered this partnership with Akron Public Schools for the long haul. Because this work requires a long-term commitment, hard work, and a lot of love and care. And that's what we bring each and every day because the I Promise School is more than a school. We're here for the ups and downs, and will continue to wraparound our students and their entire families so they can be successful in school and in life, no matter the challenges and obstacles that come their way.""

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