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LeBron James' I Promise School yields "extraordinary" results within first year

Tatyana Jenene

 // Apr 13, 2019

Jason Miller / Stringer for Getty

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't going to the playoffs this year, but LeBron James is still winning off the court.

According to a new report from The New York Times, ninety percent of students at James' I Promise School have either met or exceeded individual growth goals in recent district assessments. The school is now improving faster than other students across the Akron, OH school district, making "extraordinary" test-score improvements since opening in July 2018.

According to that same report released by the Times on Friday, the third- and fourth-graders at I Promise School "were, by many accounts, considered unredeemable" upon enrollment and "identified as the worst performers in the Akron public schools and branded with behavioral problems." The inaugural 240 students have completed the Measures of Academic Progress testing, and the school is "helping close the achievement gap in Akron."



"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," the report stated.

The school isn't completely in the clear, according to Keith Liechty, an Office of School Improvement coordinator in the Akron public schools system. Liechty told the Times have a long way to go compared to "non-urban education students." However, Liechty also said "your percentile doesn't move that much unless something extraordinary is happening."

"These kids are doing an unbelievable job—better than we all expected," James said. "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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