The Atlantic

5 Reasons LeBron James's School Really Is Unique

The I Promise school’s five-year plan, published here in full, details its ambitions to do much more than just educate its students.
Source: Phil Long / AP

Headlines touting the Next Big Idea in education have become so common in recent years that it’s tempting to dismiss every new K-12 initiative as a fad or fantasy doomed to either flatline or fail. A skeptical observer might be inclined to sweep LeBron James’s I Promise School into that pile. But teachers and executives who’ve worked closely with James on this endeavor insist that he won’t let that happen. The professional basketball player and Akron, Ohio, native, they say, really wants to rethink how public education should be delivered—not only in Akron, but across the country.

And his vision is already having a tangible impact: Last week, the Democratic U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Chris Van Hollen, of Ohio and Maryland respectively, introduced a bill that would set aside $45 million for federal competitive grants to fund partnerships between schools and their communities. The idea, Senator Brown in a tweet, is to replicate the I Promise model in

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Self-Limiting Revolution
Knock Down the House set out to show an inspiring political movement—but instead revealed its boundaries.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
To China, All's Fair in Love and Trade Wars
Just how bad are things between the United States and China? Over an evening beer in Beijing this week, a friend and I debated which prominent American company China would whack first. It’s a serious question—and the answer could be the next ugly ste
The Atlantic5 min read
Busy Tonight Ended Just as Its Host Was Finding Her Voice
As soon as E! canceled her late-night talk show Busy Tonight, the host and actor Busy Philipps addressed the news—where else?—on Instagram. It’s where she thrives, as one of the first and most prominent celebrities to have capitalized on social-media