Halph-Breed Baller
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DocHolliday
Regardless of some that call it self glorification, my respect for Lebron continues to grow and grow.  From the self funded "I Promise School", to now going and being a part of NBA Africa, to standing up to Trump in the most civilized manner, to many other philanthropic endeavors that we never hear about.

BTW, for those that don't know, the proceeds from the 3rd exhibition NBA Africa game goes to support the Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages South Africa and UNICEF.

Some poster(s) on Twitter and other forums have made a fun comment of Lebron for President and tbh, I think he could actually be the President with his growing popularity if he chose to.  He truly has transcended the sport of basketball and he truly is a transcendent human.  

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Basketball star Lebron James, who briefly split the Internet asunder with his recent choice to depart the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, has made sure to leave something behind in Ohio: a public school for at-risk students.

James knows what it’s like to be an at-risk student himself. As a fourth grader, he says, he missed 83 days of school while he and his mother moved from one couch or spare room to the next. He credits mentors, some of whom he met at school, with a turnaround that helped him attend every day of fifth grade — which was also the first year he played organized basketball.

Now, 240 third- and fourth-graders will make up the inaugural class at the I Promise School, which opened this week in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio.

 

The unusual school is a public school formed in collaboration between James’ philanthropic foundation and Akron Public Schools. Its out-of-the-box offerings include a long school day (eight hours); a “support circle” for students after lunch; and GED courses and job placement for parents. All are driven by James’ mission to help kids overcome what he faced as a low-income student in Akron, he says.

James, who has won three NBA championships and four league-MVPs, called the school opening the greatest moment of his career.

“Walking these hallways and seeing, when I was driving here, just the streets that I walked, some of the stores are still up when I was growing up,” he told ESPN. “It’s a moment I’ll never forget — and hopefully the kids, starting with the 240 kids that we have going in here right now starting today, will never forget it, either.”

 

Here’s everything you need to know about Lebron James’ I Promise School in Akron, Ohio.

How to Get Into Lebron James’ I Promise School

The school selected area students from among those who trail their peers by a year or two in academic performance. “We did a random selection of all students who met that criteria, and got to make these awesome phone calls to parents and say, ‘How would you like to be part of something different, the I Promise School,’” Keith Liechty, the Akron Public Schools’ liaison to James’ foundation, told USA Today.

 

The school is launching with third- and fourth-graders, but plans to add grades each year until it houses first through eighth grade in 2022.

What’s Special About Lebron James’ I Promise School?

Forty-three staffers will help run the I Promise School — including not just teachers but also a principal, assistant principal, four intervention specialists, plus a tutor, English as a second language teacher, music instructor, and gym teacher, USA Today reports. Classrooms will hold 20 students per teacher.

The most unique feature of the school may be the most ordinary: it’s a traditional public school. Celebrities often back charter schools, like the Harlem academy founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs and the Detroit charternamed after former NBA player and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose. Or they open unorthodox private schools — think Elon Musk’s 40-student school, situated in a conference room at Space X, where kids play with flamethrowers.

 

James made a point of giving Akron a new public school. “It’s not a charter school, it’s not a private school, it’s a real-life school in my hometown,” he told ESPN. “And this is pretty cool.”

 

That said, the school is far from traditional. Its lengthy school day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with an extended school year that runs from July through May. During a seven-week summer session, the school will provide STEM-based camps. Students will spend time each day on social-emotional learning, and participate in a “supportive circle” after lunch aimed at helping them refocus on work, Cleveland.com reports.

Nutrition is also central to the school’s mission. Every day students will receive free breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks. They will have access to a fitness trainer. James says that, as a kid, he used his bicycle to explore different neighborhoods of Akron — so he gave one to every incoming student.

 
 
 

Since the school considers education to be not just for the pupil but for the whole family, it will offer GED classes and job placement assistance for parents and guardians. “It is about true wrap-around support, true family integration and true compassion,” Brandi Davis, I Promise principal and Akron native, told USA Today.

Students get one other notable benefit: If they successfully complete the school program and graduate from high school, James will cover their full tuition at the local public college, University of Akron.

The Akron school district expects to spend a total of $8.1 million over the next five years for the I Promise school, according to a report in Akron’s Beacon Journal. James’ family foundation will cover the costs of other extra school features, and with its partners has already contributed $2 million for building upgrades, extra staffing and other needs, the paper notes.

 

James Praised by Celebrities and NBA Players

Stephen Curry, Warriors guard and on-court rival of James, greeted the opening of the school with a two-word exclamation: “Freaking Amazing!”

 

Fellow NBA superstars Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade lauded the opening. “Proud of you for chasing your dreams and in turn, giving the opportunity to hundreds of kids to realize theirs,” Paul tweeted.

Other prominent figures weighed in as well. The musician Common tweeted a video of a young male student marveling at the school’s interior. “The look on this boys face as he enters the school says it all,” Common wrote. “Love.”

And CNN contributor Ana Navarro noted, “The same guy some folks suggested should, ‘shut-up and dribble.’ Instead, he put-up and gave back to at-risk kids.”

James, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be giving up on his Ohio roots.

“I don’t have a ceiling to how much I can improve my game,” he told ESPN. “And we as a foundation don’t have a ceiling on how much we can improve our community, to a point where we have a school.”




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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, the biggest name in basketball right now, has expressed an interest in playing at the NBA Africa game in the future, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. James, who joined the Lakers as a free agent from Cleveland this offseason in a blockbuster move, has never appeared in the African exhibition game, but according to Silver, King James would be open to it if his schedule allowed.
 
– via ESPN.com
Storyline: Africa Game
“Both Amadou [Gallo Fall, NBA managing director for Africa] and I have spoken directly to LeBron James, and he has stated that he would very much like to come to Africa and be part of the game. “I will say on his behalf that he has an extraordinarily complicated schedule, even in the offseason, and he is someone who, for the last eight years, has played in the NBA finals.
 
– via ESPN.com
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elT
Amazing. Really, lost for words. If this school and program improves life of just one family, it will be worth it a million times over. LeBron has reached another level with all of this, as a human being, praise worthy and exemplary for everyone. Yes, there things about him one can not be a fan of, but none of us is perfect, it would be foolish, superficial and counter productive to focus on what we don't like in each other. Even more so when it comes to LeBron who seems to be doing his best on and off the court.

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Northern Neighbour
James is an incredible individual. Who cares if he doesn't have a university degree. He's intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, and compassionate, and he's engaged in issues and projects that will affect thousands if not millions of individuals.

As Doc mentioned, I could see him getting involved in politics one day. Whether he pursues that career path will be interesting to watch when he retires. But since Obama becoming President, a different side of him seemed to be unleashed, where he felt even more empowered to speak out and act. Now that's a question I would like to ask James - how much did Obama's election win and Presidency inspire him to do what he's doing now.
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Pzabby_2nd
Let's not have more people take on a position like POTUS without the requisite experience ever again.
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DocHolliday
Pzabby_2nd wrote:
Let's not have more people take on a position like POTUS without the requisite experience ever again.


This is not the problem with Trump.  He's a misogynistic, out right racist suffering from sever egocentrism.  Piaget could right endless books on his disorders.
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'trane
If America hadn't worked so hard to dismantle its public education system, this wouldn't have been necessary.  Much respect to Lebron for filling in a massive hole left by an absentee government, but charter schools are a serious problem, and this is a bandaid (albeit a necessary one) on a critical social issue that needs major investment.
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DocHolliday
'trane wrote:
If America hadn't worked so hard to dismantle its public education system, this wouldn't have been necessary.  Much respect to Lebron for filling in a massive hole left by an absentee government, but charter schools are a serious problem, and this is a bandaid (albeit a necessary one) on a critical social issue that needs major investment.


It's not a charter school or a private school - it's a public school.
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'trane
DocHolliday wrote:


It's not a charter school or a private school - it's a public school.


It's a charter school.  They are included under the umbrella of public schools in the US.  But you can't find a 'true' public school with private money.
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DocHolliday
'trane wrote:


It's a charter school.  They are included under the umbrella of public schools in the US.  But you can't find a 'true' public school with private money.


It's not a Charter school and many public schools and charter schools seek private philanthropic monies all the time. 

"Not a private school that accepts vouchers, or a charter school (which, for the record, are also public schools), but a “traditional” public school that’s part of Akron Public Schools, the sixth largest district in the state."

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LeBron’s I Promise School isn’t a charter, but it puts kids first—and that’s all that matters


You’ve probably heard by now that basketball superstar LeBron James opened a school for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Called I Promise School (IPS), it’s a joint effort between the I Promise Network, the LeBron James Family Foundation, and Akron Public Schools. The newly renovated building opened its doors on July 30 to 240 students in third and fourth grade, along with forty-three staff members. Though he’s taking his talents to Los Angeles, King James himself was on hand to dedicate the new school.

Just like students who are part of the I Promise Network that serves more than 1,300 children and their families across the district, IPS students were identified based on their reading achievement data. After identifying students who were a year or two behind grade level, administrators used a lottery to randomly select which children would be offered a spot at the new school. These students will receive free uniforms, transportation within two miles, tuition to the University of Akron when they graduate, a bicycle and helmet, and a variety of other resources. Their families will have access to GED classes, job placement assistance, and a food pantry.

James is being lavished with praise from the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama and Steph Curry, and he certainly deserves it. He could have done something else, or nothing at all, to help the kids of Akron. He could have chosen to just shut up and dribble. Instead, he did something remarkable that has the potential to radically transform lives.

As with all major media stories these days, folks are crawling out of the woodwork to offer their opinions. It should come as no surprise to those who work in education policy that there’s been a lot of emphasis on the fact that IPS is a district public school. Not a private school that accepts vouchers, or a charter school (which, for the record, are also public schools), but a “traditional” public school that’s part of Akron Public Schools, the sixth largest district in the state.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of school IPS is as long as it serves kids well. But anyone who’s done their homework can see that IPS is anything but a “traditional” public school. In fact, the school’s defining characteristics are similar to the schools of choice lauded by ed reformers. Extended school day and year? Yes, just like a lot of the country’s best charter networks. A serious emphasis on teacher professional development, with one day a week reserved for development? Yes, just like some other high-performing charter networks. A curriculum anchored in science, technology, engineering, and math? Yes, just like Ohio’s independent, non-district affiliated STEM schools. (IPS is already part of Ohio’s STEM Learning Network.) Alternative schedules and working conditions for teachers? Also yes, just like plenty of charter and private schools.

And then there’s the philanthropic aspect. At ISP, the LeBron James Family Foundation funds“critical elements” of the school, including technology, additional staffing, and professional development. That’s not necessarily unique, since traditional districts receive philanthropic support all the time, but it is worth mentioning because charter schools are the ones that are typically maligned for seeking charitable funding to provide extra help for disadvantaged children.

Despite these similarities, IPS is a traditional public school, and there’s a whole horde of people who are thrilled about this technical distinction. In a recent piece for Education Week, for instance, Jonathan E. Collins says that it’s a good thing IPS isn’t a charter school because “charter schools by design don’t require the same accountability to the public that traditional public schools do.” I’m no expert on the charter laws in other states, but I do know Ohio charter law—and Collins is wrong. Charters in the Buckeye State are evaluated based on the same state report card that traditional public schools are subject to. Charter sponsors—the organizations that are tasked with overseeing charter schools—are evaluated using a rigorous evaluation system that has stiff consequences for poor oversight. As a result of this sponsor accountability system, dozens of low-performing charters have been shuttered in Ohio within the past few years. In addition, should sponsors fail to correct chronic low performance, state law subjects charters to automatic closure. Moreover, as schools of choice, charters face competitive pressures. If families don’t like the way a charter school is run, they don’t have to stay there—and the school loses funding if they leave.

Collins also argues that charters’ “student-selection process has stirred controversy for being biased.” Because of the “mechanisms that some charter schools have used in order to peel off the most promising at risk-students,” traditional districts are left with “unimaginable challenges.” Although studies have shown that the success of charters isn’t attributable to “cream-skimming,” there are still folks like Collins who argue that the only way a group of “those kids” can possibly succeed is if charter schools recruit the “good ones” and leave all the “bad ones” behind. It’s a notion that’s not just offensive to the charter teachers and kids who worked their butts off to learn and achieve, but also to the kids and teachers who are “stuck” in traditional districts.

Collins isn’t the only one who seems to be concerned for the “other kids” who are stuck and left behind. Washington Post writer Valerie Strauss shared the same concern in her piece titled “Props to LeBron James and his new Akron public school—but what about the other kids?” She takes tons of jabs at school choice, including the accusation that charter supporters “no doubt would have preferred that James opened a charter.” As a charter supporter and an Akron native, I find that accusation so ridiculous that it’s not even offensive. All the charter folks I know are thrilled that there’s another high quality option available for Akron kids. Frankly, anyone who doesn’t feel that way should re-evaluate their priorities.

But what stands out most about Strauss’s piece is her supposition that if schools just had more money, then James wouldn’t have had to open IPS at all. “The fact that this school opened only because of the good graces of a very wealthy, civic-minded athlete underscores the continuing problem with education funding in this country,” she writes. “America’s public schools should not have to depend on any wealthy individual or private entity to be sustained or improved.”

She’s not necessarily wrong. It would be great to have a never-ending supply of cash. If there’s anything we can learn from this spring’s teacher strikes, it’s that there are places in this nation where schools and teachers are severely—almost criminally—underfunded. But many states and localities have limited taxpayer resources that can be used to support public education. So here, too, is a place where we can learn a lesson from charter schools. Across the nation and in Ohio, charters accomplish phenomenal outcomes with less government funding than traditional public districts enjoy. These high-performing charter organizations put taxpayer funds to good use—something that bureaucratic, big-city districts don’t always do. It’s less about how much money there is and more about how it’s spent.

Thanks to LeBron James and his partners, the I Promise School has plenty of funding. Its founding principles and leadership seem to be focused on the right thing—using resources to do what’s best for students. At the end of the day, none of us should really care whether IPS is a district, charter, or private school. What matters is what it can do for kids. And so far, the future looks bright.

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'trane
I take it back, it's not a charter school.  I didn't realise it was run in conjunction with the school board.  But it also isn't really true public education, which gets to my original point.  Public education in the US has been completely hollowed out, and there remains no equity in the system, and no investment in making it better.  So you have rich people investing in order to fill a hole, and nothing being spent to create equitable public education for everyone.  It makes it run like a charter school - private investment and a particular mandaye, but managed by a school board.  This is basically a charter school with some public oversight.  Even better job by Lebron than I thought in terms of doing good, but still evidence of letting a vital public institution rot.
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'trane
DocHolliday wrote:


It's not a Charter school and many public schools and charter schools seek private philanthropic monies all the time. 

"Not a private school that accepts vouchers, or a charter school (which, for the record, are also public schools), but a “traditional” public school that’s part of Akron Public Schools, the sixth largest district in the state."



Ya I was just posting my retraction when you posted this.  But public schools seeking private money is a massive problem.  This is exactly what my original post was about.
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DocHolliday
'trane wrote:


Ya I was just posting my retraction when you posted this.  But public schools seeking private money is a massive problem.  This is exactly what my original post was about.


That I get but why is it a massive problem?  Or is the problem because of a lack of government funding?

edit: should've read the post above lol, of which I do agree with.
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