ERIC Number: ED284953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: 0
Issues in Designing Magnet Schools.
Metz, Mary Haywood
This paper, based loosely on findings presented in the other papers collected with it in a single volume, discusses general issues in designing magnet schools, focusing on three main themes: (1) the interdependence of program design and recruitment issues; (2) school level practices which help to turn racial desegregation into racial integration; and (3) the strains experienced by teachers and principals when programs are imposed from above. Magnet schools must be designed to be attractive to volunteering parents. This task is complicated by the requirement of appealing to a constituency that is both narrow (those interested in a specialized education) and diverse (racially and ethnically). Moreover, magnet schools are obliged not to make regular schools appear to be second class, or to leave the staffs at regular schools feeling that their best students are being pulled away from them. To avoid this seeming conflict of goals, it may be best to think of a magnet school as an array of schools rather than as a single school. Magnet schools must appeal to all types of students, not just to those who are best at competing in traditional instructional environments. Because most magnet schools are desegregated schools, it is important that teachers pay attention to students' social and cultural diversity. Magnets allow students of different races to be put in situations where they must cooperate to achieve common goals. Magnet school teachers and principals, who are often expected to work in magnet programs that are quickly designed and imposed on a school, deserve much support and latitude. (KH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Planning and Developing Magnet Schools: Experience and Observation; see UD 025 778.