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LeBron James-Backed ‘I Promise School’ Faces Eighth Grade Math Test Struggles

August 1, 2023 | By Kali Girl

CBS Austin reports LeBron James’s “I Promise School” in Akron, Ohio, faces significant challenges as data presented at a local school board meeting reveals that not one eighth grader has passed state math tests in the past three years.

The school, supported by a $1.4 million grant from The LeBron James Foundation, is dedicated to helping low-achieving students in grades two through eight.

Despite its ample resources, the institution struggles to meet state benchmarks.

During a review of test data from the 2022-2023 school year, school board member Valerie McKitrick asked, “For three years, not one child passed the state test in math? Not one? For three years?” 

In response, the district’s school improvement czar Keith Liechty-Clifford said, “It is discouraging. We had said all along this journey was going to be difficult because we’re starting with kids who are two years or more behind.”

Board President Dr. Derrick Hall voiced his concerns over the disparity between the school’s available resources and the achieved results.

“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.”

He continued: “When the I Promise School started, one of the things I was excited about was I thought this school could be an incubator where ideas could come out of this school that we could take and then inject into the operations of other buildings throughout the district. That’s why, looking at the data today, I’m so disappointed.”

Despite the setback, the foundation remains committed to supporting the students at I Promise School.

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