Once considered a solution to desegregate racially divided districts, magnet schools today have been forced to evolve, given legal barriers that bar using race to determine school enrollment and increasing pressure to provide more public school choices.
The changing definitions and demands have left the purpose and future of magnet schools in flux, according to magnet school advocates and researchers, particularly as the charter school movement continues to gather steam on national and state levels.
“This is a pivotal time for school districts and education leaders to clearly define the role of magnet schools,” said Claire Smrekar, an associate professor of education at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn., who has researched magnet schools for decades. “The future of magnet schools will depend upon which policy values and priorities school leaders embrace and whether the federal role will emphasize racial diversity as an educational goal or place the highest value instead on accountability and innovation exclusively, at the expense of diversity.”
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Magnets Reimagined as School Choice Option
This from Education Week: