Students at the LeBron James-supported “I Promise” school in Akron, Ohio, have earned huge gains in test scores, according to reports.
The 240 students in the Akron school started out in the lowest percentile (1 percent) in reading before the “I Promise” program began, according to TMZ Sports.
But after the first year in the program, the school’s 3rd grade students jumped into the 9th percentile in the district-wide exams while the 4th graders went into the 16th.
The students also saw a huge jump in math scores. Also starting out in the lowest one percent, the Akron 3rd graders now rank n the 9th percentile. The 4th graders also jumped from the lowest two percent to 30th.
“These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected,” James said in a statement to the New York 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,” James added.
The program is costing the City of Akron an estimated $8.1 million, but LeBron James is not paying the full freight. Exact numbers of what James and his coalition is donating don’t seem to be available, but the Akron News reports that James has supplied at least $2 million thus far for the program.
Elsewhere, it was estimated that the City of Cleveland would be faced with paying for up to 75 percent of James’ “I Promise” program in that city.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston