Some people considered this to be just another celebrity education experiment. They didn’t expect it to do much other than make Lebron James look even better than he already does. They didn’t expect it to do much better than your average school.

Surprise haters! The kids are doing amazingly well!

Kids At Lebron James's I Promise Academy
Kids At Lebron James’s I Promise Academy

There are only 240 students in the inaugural 3rd and 4th grade classes at the Akron school — but the numbers that the reporters at the NY Times obtained shows that the test scores in math and reading were up BIG after the first year.

When they were originally tested a year ago, in reading, the 3rd and 4th graders had scored in the lowest percentile — the 1%.

But, after only one year, when the students took the district-wide exams, the children in the 3rd grade JUMPED to the 9th percentile & the children in the 4th grader JUMPED to the 16th percentile!

That’s absolutely amazing for any kids to go from being at the bottom of their class to performing that well. Add to this fact that the school is only one year old, and you have a the makings of a miracle!

Wait, it gets even better… in math, the 3rd graders leaped from the bottom 1% to the 18th percentile — and 4th graders moved from the bottom 2% to the 30th!!!!

“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.”

Lebron James
Kids At Lebron James I Promise Academy

Here’s a couple of other signs that they are headed in the right direction:

  • 90% of students – who started the school year at least one year behind grade level – met or exceeded their expected growth in math and reading.
  • Test scores increased at a rate higher than 99 out of 100 schools, per Northwest Evaluation (NWEA) school norms.

“For the average student, your percentile doesn’t move that much unless something extraordinary is happening.”

Keith Liechty, Coordinator- Akron public school system

Educational & Emotional Support

The I Promise Academy was started with funds from The Lebron James Family Foundation with the goal of providing the unique combination of educational and emotional support that at risk kids need to thrive.

“We are going to be that groundbreaking school that will be a nationally recognized model for urban and public school excellence,” I Promise School principal and Akron native Brandi Davis said. “We are letting people know it is about true wrap-around support, true family integration and true compassion.”

The school, which is a year-round operation providing daily breakfast, lunch and snacks for students, also provides education, career and emotional support for parents. The bulk of the school year is August through May, but all students participate in a seven-week summer-school program.

We at GoodBlackMen.com would like to say bravo to all of the kids, teachers and support staff of the I Promise Academy. We look forward to reporting more good things from all of them.

If you know of any other charter schools posting great results like this in your area let us know in the comments.