In 2018, LeBron James opened the “I Promise School” in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The school is facing major problems as a single 8th-grade student hasn’t passed a state math test in over three years.
James’ school claims to provide “a rigorous academic education” to at-risk students while also addressing the social, emotional, and physical needs of students.
However, the Akron Public School system is raising serious concerns about James’ school.
Akron Public School Board members are outraged with Lebron James “I Promise” school in Akron, Ohio after it was reported that the school hasn’t had one student from its 8th grade class pass a state math test in over 3 years. pic.twitter.com/Fr31MMEsQt
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) July 30, 2023
After seeing the data, Akron Public School board member Valerie McKitrick expressed her shock by saying, “Not one? In three years?”
Akron district director of school improvement Keith Liechty-Clifford said the situation is “discouraging.”
Despite failing to educate young children, the James Foundation has managed to receive massive funding from local, state, and federal sources.
“The school offers a unique approach to education, striving to act as somewhat of an intervention for the school district’s lowest-performing students at a young age,” the report said.
“Last month, James launched the I Promise Housing development, which will provide 50 affordable units in Akron,” the report added.
“Young people who have a quality place to live are better students and become better citizens in our community,” Dan DeVille of the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation said.
— Jessie Balmert (@jbalmert) July 27, 2023
The school’s curriculum focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), but it also includes a strong emphasis on character development. Students are taught the importance of hard work, perseverance, and respect. They also have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, and art.
In addition to academics, the I Promise School offers a variety of wraparound supports to its students and families. These supports include a food pantry and free breakfast and lunch, after-school programs, mental health counseling, financial literacy classes, and transportation assistance.
School board President Derrick 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 the kind of change that we would expect to see,” he added.
The LeBron James Family Foundation released a statement that they will continue its work despite concerns.
“When we started this work to wraparound students through education, we entered this partnership with Akron Public School for the long haul,” the statement said.