AKRON, Ohio (WTVO) — NBA star LeBron James’ “I Promise School” is under scrutiny as some Ohio School District leaders expressed disappointment in the school’s performance at a recent meeting.
The Akron, Ohio-based public school, opened in 2018 and supported by the LeBron James Family Foundation, received one star out of five from the state in a recent report card, indicating the school “needs significant support to meet state standards in academic achievement,” according to 3News.
I Promise’s overall test scores are among the worst in the state, according to 3News. No members of I Promise’s inaugural class have passed the math portion of Ohio’s proficiency test since the school opened.
Just 3.1% of the school’s sixth grade class demonstrated proficiency in English language arts in 2021-22, and none achieved math proficiency.
Though the school is specifically aimed at at-risk children who are behind in their studies, Akron Public School Board of Education members expressed concern at a July 24 meeting
“I believe the pandemic has an impact, but it also has an impact on the non-selected kids as well and the numbers that we’re seeing here would suggest that my non-selected kids who don’t have the same number of resources are actually performing better and I’m just trying to understand why. I think it’s fair to ask that question,” said Board President Dr. Derrick Hall.
The LeBron James Family foundation addressed the test scores in a statement released to WKYC.
“When we started this work to wraparound students through education, we entered this partnership with Akron Public School 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.”
Student scores may be slowly improving, however. 11.5% of I Promise’s third grade class achieved proficiency in math during the 2021-22 year, and 6.6% were deemed proficient in English language arts.