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In a wild twist in the long history of public education, supporters of the LeBron James’ ‘I Promise School’ in Akron, Ohio say it was “bullying” for the local school board to announce test scores at the LeBron school are horrendous.
At a Monday night school board meeting, LeBron supporters were out in full force with a message — stop bullying our school. Victoria McGee, senior director for the LeBron James Family Foundation and the I Promise School Family Resource Center, called out the board and said that broadcasting the school’s test scores “further marginalize already disadvantaged students.”
That’s right, the school board is in the wrong here for announcing more needs to be done to help the children.
“Your actions degraded every Akron Public Schools educator that has ever taught the current and past I Promise students that you have singled out locally and nationally,” McGee said, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. “Absolutely, it was hurtful to the LeBron James Family Foundation, but more importantly, detrimental to our students.”
Akron School Board President Derrick Hall said there was no “belittling, bullying or anything of that nature” associated with the district presenting findings that determined this year’s class of 8th graders at the I Promise School “hasn’t had a single student pass the state’s math test since the group was in third grade.”
The idea behind the LeBron school (which is on its third principal since it was founded in 2018; the school’s first principal left after she “popped” a boy in the mouth after he yelled “Someone s–t in the urinal” as he was exiting a bathroom to get in a lunch line; 17 teachers have left over the last two school years) was to take poorly performing students — students in the bottom 25% of reading scores after 2nd grade are considered for the school — and build them up via a variety of services for the student and the family — including housing, food, job training, health services — to turn the students into graduates who would then be sent off to the University of Akron for a fully funded college education.
With test scores now at a horrendous level, the excuses have started.
The Akron Beacon Journal says you can blame COVID, leadership and teacher turnover at the school, and the need for the school “to find its footing.”
The supporters at Monday’s meeting claimed the school is “special” and has wrapped its arms around the disadvantaged.
Hey, that’s awesome.
Do you know what’s not awesome? 8% of I Promise students tested proficient on the spring English assessment test.
Well…but…COVID…disadvantaged…the right-wing media is picking on us…COVID…other schools have the same issues…but…but…but…did you see the test scores in [enter some other poorly performing district]…
Is there any accountability? Is there someone at the school willing to say ‘you’re damn right we have to do better?’
Here are the test scores: What are you going about it?
If you’re going to stand up there and take credit for starting a school, slap your logos across the school, slap your shoes on the walls, claim that all these brands have swooped in to save the day and that this is a revolution, then you should be ready to face the music when there’s bad news.
“Part of being a leader is making people also believe that sometimes they can do more than they actually can do,” LeBron said in 2014.
“Giving them a sense of belief and confidence. And for me, I’ve always kind of done that. And I’m not downgrading what that individual can do. I’m just letting them know that they can do more than what they even thought they can do, and bring more to the game, and bring more to who they are as an individual than they thought they could.”
Perhaps it’s time for the I Promise CEO to get control of his school.
Just kidding. When times get tough, the school belongs to the Akron school district.