ERIC Number: ED335780
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Feb
The National Evidence on Magnet Schools. Occasional Paper Series.
Dentler, Robert A.
A magnet school has four essential ingredients: a distinctive curriculum; a unique district purpose for voluntary desegregation; an opportunity for school choice; and access to students beyond a district attendance zone. Most magnet schools have one of five types of curricular themes: the fine, applied, or performing arts; the sciences; social studies occupations; general academics; and traditional and fundamental schools. In a 1983 study of 45 magnet schools, 2 out of 3 had enrollments that were racially and ethnically representative of their districts, while the third provided a substantial mix of students by minority subgroups. A 1990 study showed that only one-fifth of magnets practiced selectivity in their admission of students on criteria other than race or ethnicity. Reading achievement data gathered on 32 of the magnets in the 1983 study showed that 26 magnets equaled or exceeded the mean scores for their districts. Well-developed and locally supported magnets can accomplish policy aims that include contributing to a district's attainment of full racial and ethnic equity. If practitioners seek to start up or improve upon magnets in their districts, their considerations should include whether or not district decision makers are committed to quality desegregated education. Notes on studies selected for use in this report are provided. (10 references) (EJS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, Los Alamitos, CA.