ERIC Number: ED412614
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Effects of Magnet Programs on Educational Achievement and Aspirations.
Bank, Barbara J.; Spencer, Dee Ann
Although a number of studies have shown that magnet programs have positive effects on educational outcomes for students, most of the outcome measures examined are tests taken before students graduate. This paper attempts to extend those studies by using survey data provided by graduates from a large, urban high school to compare the effects of the magnet and nonmagnet programs on subsequent education aspirations and achievement. The paper suggests that positive effects of magnet schools on educational outcomes may be indirect effects due to the increases in self-esteem that result from being a "special student in a special school." Data were obtained from a questionnaire sent to all graduates of the high school who had received their diplomas during 1984-91 (n=2,780). A total of 336 questionnaires were returned, a 12.1 percent response rate. The data show that graduates from magnet programs had significantly higher educational aspirations than did those who graduated from the nonmagnet program. Although self-esteem also had positive effects on educational aspirations, those effects were independent of--and did not explain--the effects of magnet schools. Self-esteem, but not attending magnet schools, also was found to have significant, positive effects on educational achievement; however, other findings indicate that positive effects for magnet programs on educational achievement were likely to appear with the passage of more time since high school graduation. To summarize, the findings support the conclusion that magnet programs have moderate but long-lasting effects on the educational aspirations of male and female students who come from diverse race/ethnic and social class backgrounds. Two tables are included. (Contains 11 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).