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ERIC Number: EJ1050830
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0161-956X
The Desegregation Aims and Demographic Contexts of Magnet Schools: How Parents Choose and Why Siting Policies Matter
Smrekar, Claire; Honey, Ngaire
Peabody Journal of Education, v90 n1 p128-155 2015
This paper is designed to specify a set of new opportunities for educators, school administrators, and scholars to realize the practical aims and strategic advantages envisioned in magnet schools. The paper is divided into three distinct sections. In Section I, we examine the extensive research literature on parents' choice patterns and school preferences in magnet schools and other school-choice programs. In Section II, we compare the reasons parents choose particular schools with the criteria school districts use to select magnet school locations (and themes). This section highlights desegregation goals and district-level magnet school policies pegged to the following questions: What is the policy context for siting decisions in districts with magnet schools? Are siting policies strategically aligned with what is known from the research literature about parents' school preferences? Do neighborhood characteristics play a part in magnet school siting policies and specific decision-making? In Section III, we use geographic information system (GIS) tools to add both clarity and complexity to the convergence of parent choice patterns and sociodemographic diversity in our four selected school districts. The maps depict the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of the magnet schools in each district, as well as the demographic characteristics of surrounding census tracts (extended school neighborhoods). We conclude that GIS can be a viable option for improving the citing decisions for magnet schools, and that this can allow for the merging of parent choice priorities with educational equity and diversity goals of the district.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A