Federal Report Roundup

Magnet Schools

December 09, 2008 1 min read

A new report highlights the role of magnet schools in providing public school choice, and compares characteristics of students in those schools with those of students in the fast-growing charter school sector.

Magnets were located in 31 states and served roughly 2 million students in 2005-06, the report says, compared with about 1 million for charters that academic year.

The report by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, laments that “attention has been siphoned away from magnet schools” as charters have become “a central focus of school choice proponents.”

Over the past decade, magnets have seen substantial declines in white student enrollment, the study found. Still, black students are more segregated in charter schools than in magnets, it found. Hispanics, though, are more segregated in magnets than in charters.

Magnet schools in districts with nearby charters were more likely to report decreasing levels of integration than districts without charter alternatives, the report says.

A version of this article appeared in the December 10, 2008 edition of Education Week

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