Ninety percent of the students met or exceeded individual growth goals in reading and math.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
April 12, 2019

Students at LeBron James's I Promise School are already seeing encouraging early results less than one year after opening.

Acccording to the New York Times's Erica L. Green, 90% of students at I Promise School met or exceeded individual growth goals in recent district assessments, outpacing students across their Akron, Ohio, district and making "extraordinary" test score improvement.

"These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected,” James told the Times. “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.”

Green reported that when the school opened in July 2018 several of the students were considered "unredeemable" upon their arrival and were "identified as the worst performers in the Akron public schools and branded with behavioral problems."

The school's 240 students completed the Measures of Academic Progress assessment, which is administered by an evaluation association called the NWEA. Third graders moved from the lowest percentile into the ninth percentile in reading, while fourth graders jumped from the first percentile to the 16th.

In math, third graders moved from the lowest percentile to the 18th. After scoring in the second percentile last year, fourth graders jumped to the 30th.

Green reported that the 90% of students who met their goals also increased their test scores at a higher rate than 99 out of 100 schools nationally.

While the results exceed expectations, the school acknowledges that the sample size is small and that the gap between I Promise School and others is still large.

“It’s encouraging to see growth, but by no means are we out of the woods,” Keith Liechty, a coordinator in Akron public school system’s Office of School Improvement, told the Times. “The goal is for these students to be at grade level, and we’re not there yet. This just tells us we’re going in the right direction.”

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