The National Education Policy Center reviews plans for LeBron James’s new public school in Akron, Ohio.

Overall it gets good marks.

So are the approaches of I Promise in line with research? For the most part, yes: Practices such as providing additional resources, reducing class size, offering wraparound services like food pantries, extending learning time, and offering free college tuition to graduates are all associated with positive outcomes. But the school may face challenges in educating a large population of struggling students rather than creating heterogenous classes of children with higher and lower levels of performance. And the school’s STEM focus could end up shortchanging other important subjects such as social studies and the arts.

The school can tinker with its model. On the whole, what is most encouraging is that it is a good model for public education. No harsh disciplinary practices. A cap on class size. Wraparound services. Free college for those who persist. Extra supports where needed. Best of all, it was not created to put public education out of business, but to make it better.

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boul-der School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.eduNEPC Resources on School Reform and Restructuring of 3