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The reason LeBron James’ I Promise School is a disaster

Fearless with Jason Whitlock

Five years ago, LeBron James started the I Promise School. Today, according to news reports, not a single eighth-grader can pass Ohio’s math test and just 8% of the entire student body can read at an appropriate level.

“This is what happens when public relations managers convince a well-intentioned dumb jock to chase Muhammad Ali’s legacy by using fame and influence to concoct a utopian vision of middle school for poor kids,” Jason Whitlock says.

Whitlock calls the school a “secular liberal fantasy.”

“Taxpayers foot the overwhelming majority of the bill, a celebrity finances the luxuries, and corporate media write glowing features at the school’s launch and return years later to explain away the failure by reminding everyone the decision-makers meant well,” he explains.

I Promise used James’ money to buy school uniforms, food for families, job placement services for parents, bikes and helmets for each student, and Nike-themed decorations inside the building.

Whitlock believes the focus of LeBron’s I Promise school was entirely misplaced.

“In LeBron’s mind, and the minds of his progressive handlers, a lack of uniforms, food, bikes, affordable housing, and a mother with a high-paying job are all that stood in the way of LeBron being an honor roll student in junior high. Five years of I Promise blows up that myth,” he says.

Rather than fancy Nike gear, uniforms, and a high-paid mother, Whitlock believes the students need something much more important.

“In order to excel, poor kids need the exact same thing as rich kids: a father in the home,” Whitlock says.

“Kids need dads more than free lunch, bicycles, school uniforms, Nike shoes, and affordable housing,” he adds.

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