LeBron James' School Just Released Its Test Scores And The Kids Are Crushing It

“These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected."

The students at LeBron James's I Promise School just went through their first set of district assessments and landed some incredible results.

According to The New York Times, the 240 third and fourth-grade students "outpaced their peers across the district" when 90 percent met or exceeded individual growth goals in reading and math. The performance is particularly notable because these students were put into James' school after being identified as the worst performers in Akron's public schools.

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The school, which has been largely described as an "experiment," has been celebrating the test scores as a first step in closing the achievement gap across Ohio.

"These kids are doing an unbelievable job, better than we all expected," James told 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. People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors."

While the test scores are a major win for the students, James, Akron and the school, teachers are reminding everyone that it's just a first step. The students in third and fourth grade moved from the first percentile in reading (or the lowest) to the ninth and 16th percentile, respectively. In math, the third-grade students went from the lowest percentiles to the 18th percentile and the fourth graders went from the second percentile to the 30th.

In other words, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to get the students to the middle of the pack.

"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 New York 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."

When I Promise School first opened, it came with lots of skepticism. Not only was it a pet project of a famous NBA player, but many of the students who were attending the school also had behavioral issues or were considered unredeemable," The New York Times said. The I Promise School is a public school that receives $2 million in funding, according to Yahoo!, which is about the same as other schools in the Akron Public School District. What's different is that the LeBron James Family Foundation contributes additional support to add teachers, offer more after-school programs and even buy bicycles for students. 

Cover image via Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com.

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