How LeBron James’ new public school really is the first of its kind

Christian D’Andrea:

Several reform-minded schools have carved similar paths for I Promise to follow. The Knowledge is Power Program, better known as KIPP, has created the nation’s largest network of charter schools by catering to marginalized students with longer class hours, increasing access to teachers, and a tough but accommodating schedule for students. Rocketship Public Schools, another non-profit charter program with schools in California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Washington D.C., operates with a similarly non-traditional classroom. Rocketship emphasizes a STEM-based curriculum while bringing a student’s home life into the classroom and continuing learning outside regular class hours. Both take aim at reducing the achievement gap between low-income students and their peers.

It’s still early, but reports from I Promise suggest the school will address Akron’s achievement gap by running similar reforms as other successful national programs. It does not go as far as KIPP or Rocketship in those charges, but it’s clear I Promise is designed to operate at a level beyond the typical public school by creating a more comprehensive experience for students, not just one that begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.

I Promise is a regular public school, not a charter or a voucher-receiving private school
This kind of wide reform is rare to see at a traditional neighborhood school. KIPP and Rocketship schools have been successful in larger cities across the nation, but typically operate outside the purview of their local school boards as charter schools. Several private schools, like Milwaukee’s St. Marcus Lutheran Schools or Philadelphia’s Gesu School, have instituted reforms like these while enrolling students using publicly-funded vouchers or tax-credit scholarships.

A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter school.

We have long tolerated disastrous reading results.