Troubling Revelations Surface Concerning Lebron James’ ‘I Promise School’

NBA star Lebron James’ “I Promise School” located in Akron, Ohio, is currently facing backlash from members of the Akron Public School Board because of recent revelations.

Some of those revelations include, for example, that not one single incoming eighth-grade student has passed the state math test in over three years.

Such troubling news left board member Valerie McKitrick in shock. “Not one? In three years,” she asked in disbelief.

The reports and data presented to McKitrick revealed that not a single eighth-grade student could achieve proficiency in the Ohio state math test.

McKitrick wasn’t the only one shocked.

Keith Liechty-Clifford, the district director of school improvement in Akron, expressed his frustration with the newly discovered information.

The “I Promise School” has received funding from the James Foundation, along with state, and federal funding. Yet, despite this, the school has failed to produce adequate performance results among its students.

Students at the school find themselves in the bottom 5% of Ohio, resulting in the Ohio Department of Education’s intervention.

The department will intervene in the school as a last measure to end the declining trend in test performance and address the reasons why the school is struggling.

“It is discouraging,” Liechty-Clifford said.

The Ohio Department of Education also indicated its concern about the school because Black students and individuals with disabilities are testing in the bottom 5% of the state.
The school’s demographics include 59% Black students, 15% White students, 6% Hispanic students, and 10% Asian students, per Public School Review.

School Board President Derrick Hall indicated that he recently saw an overview of the school for the first time since serving on the board for nearly four years.
Hall said, “For me as a board member, I just think about all the resources that we’re providing.”

“And I just, I’m just disappointed that I don’t think, it doesn’t appear like we’re seeing this kind of change that we would expect to see,” Hall added.

According to the “I Promise School” website, which was founded in July 2018, its mission is to “wrap around the most at-risk students and families in Akron,” offering students “free tuition, free uniforms, free bicycle & helmet, free transportation within two miles, free breakfast lunch and snacks, and a food pantry for families.”