The students who attend NBA superstar LeBron James’ I Promise School have posted “extraordinary” test score results just a year after the academy was opened.
The school, in Akron, Ohio, opened in July 2018 with an attendance of 240 third and fourth graders. The group of students were identified “as the worst performers in Akron public schools and branded with behavioral problems,” The New York Times reported.
However, the academic results from the Measures of Academic Progress showed that 90 percent of the students “met or exceeded” the goals in reading and math. The students also surpassed their peers in the Akron school district.
“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 New York Times reported.
"For the average student your percentile doesn’t move that much unless something extraordinary is happening,” Keith Liechty, of Akron Public Schools, told The Times.
James, 34, told the media outlet that the students were doing a great job.
“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.”
He congratulated the students on Twitter, saying he was extremely proud of their achievements. Former President Barack Obama also congratulated the students and James for their success.
The Times reported James’ foundation pays for the “school’s family resource center,” which provides parents with services such as work advice. There is also a food pantry in the school where parents can take what they need.
As for the future, the school planned to add another 120 students next year as well as a new grade level, FOX 8 reported.