The I Promise school, which is supported by LeBron James’ foundation in Akron, Ohio has been facing poor test scores for over three years, including a reported lack of any 8th graders passing state math standards. So in order to start pointing the blame to anything other than their own shortcomings, they’re attempting to salvage their reputation by blaming the COVID-19 pandemic.
First off, it is undeniable that the lockdowns brought about by COVID tyranny absolutely harmed America’s students across the board. According to the Brookings Institute, a progressive think tank:
Average fall 2021 math test scores in grades 3-8 were 0.20-0.27 standard deviations (SDs) lower relative to same-grade peers in fall 2019, while reading test scores were 0.09-0.18 SDs lower. This is a sizable drop. For context, the math drops are significantly larger than estimated impacts from other large-scale school disruptions, such as after Hurricane Katrina—math scores dropped 0.17 SDs in one year for New Orleans evacuees.
So don’t get it twisted, the lockdowns did impact students, but here is the kicker; why did LeBron’s school do worse than virtually all the other schools within the Akron Public Schools system? Not one of the I Promise School’s 8th graders passed the state’s standardized math test this year.
“We believe our students are more than a test score,” said Victoria McGee, the senior director for the LeBron James Family Foundation during an interview with WKYC-TV. “Yes, our students – yes, they come to us and they are behind, and we do our best. And we have some strategic things that we’re putting in place to help our students move along the way. So, we’re excited.”
The school is underperforming significantly, particularly in math. None of the school’s grades has over 1% proficiency in the subject, a stark contrast to Akron city schools which have reached a minimum proficiency of 17.6%, despite being among the state’s lowest-rated.
Each grade level at James’ school is also lagging behind the rest of the state in test scores, with proficiency percentages in English language arts and math ranging from 0.0% to 11.5%. The school continues though to blame these deficits to the pandemic and not their new and experimental teaching methods, noting its math proficiency was at 17.4% before the lockdowns began.
Yet, this figure was still below the rest of the already low-performing city’s levels.
Is it fair to say the pandemic played a large role in these students’ lagging progress or should the teachers and faculty take more responsibility? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.