ERIC Number: ED340813
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Urban Education with Magnet Schools. ERIC/CUE Digest, Number 76.
This digest suggests ways that elementary and secondary magnet schools in urban settings are perceived to provide a superior education, offers an evaluation of their effectiveness, and looks at issues for policymakers that arise from the magnet's success. Magnet schools appeal to families and students for the following reasons: (1) program coherence; (2) a safer, more orderly climate, an environment that is conducive to learning, and an image of excellence; (3) a sense of shared enterprise and a committed, enthusiastic faculty and student body; (4) a focus on career preparation; (5) a committed, charismatic principal; (6) implementation of educational reforms; and (7) school autonomy. The answer to whether or not these schools are actually better than regular zoned schools is not clear. Some studies indicate that magnets produce test scores above their district average. Other studies indicate that there is great diversity of quality among magnet schools. In addition, some magnet schools have exceptionally good records with inner-city student populations producing very low dropout rates and very high graduation rates. Issues arising from the existence and success of magnet schools are outlined for policymakers and include the following: (1) student creaming (magnets succeed because they have all the best students); (2) resource hogging (magnets draw scarce resources away from regular schools); and (3) elitism. Included are six references. (JB)
Descriptors: Black Students, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Policy, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Hispanic Americans, Inner City, Magnet Schools, School Choice, School Effectiveness, Urban Schools
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Teachers College, Box 40, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.