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Choice of SchoolsMagnet or Specialized SchoolsSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
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Choice of Schools

Selected Tables from the: 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) - Access SASS tables detailing the percentage of schools: (1) that had various special requirements for admission other than proof of immunization, age or residence; and (2) that offered various programs. Both disaggregated by school type and selected characteristics. (National Center for Education Statistics, June 2009)...

Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993 to 2003 - This report examines trends that focus on the use of and users of public schools (assigned and chosen), private schools and homeschoolers between 1993 and 2003. The report also presents data on parental perceptions of public school choice availability and associations between the public and private school types children were enrolled in and parental satisfaction with and involvement in the schools. (Peter Tice, Christopher Chapman, Daniel Princiotta, and Stacey Bielick, National Center for Education Statistics, November 2006) ...

Magnet Schools and Student Achievement - This report estimates the impact of attending a magnet school on student achievement for a midsized southern district, using admissions lotteries to sort students into “treatment” and “control” groups. The report finds a positive effect on mathematics achievement until controls for student demographics and prior achievement are added. The authors argue that this suggests that despite random assignment in the lotteries, treatment and control groups differ with respect to student characteristics that have an independent impact on achievement. The most likely explanation is differential patterns of attrition among lottery winners and losers. (Dale Ballou, Ellen Goldring and Keke Liu, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, March 2006) ...

Innovations in Education: Creating Successful Magnet Schools Programs - This report identifies six districts — Duval County, Florida; Hamilton County, Tennessee; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Houston, Texas; Montclair, New Jersey; and Wake County, North Carolina — that have successfully implemented magnet school programs, and provides specific examples of how these districts navigated the challenges of establishing their respective systems. The authors propose recommendations and real-life district solutions in each of the following areas: (1) starting a magnet program; (2) promoting the program; (3) simplifying the process for parents; (4) fully implementing the program; not to mention (5) evaluating and continually improving. Appendix A contains a demographic and magnet program profile for each of the six districts. This publication can also be browsed by chapter. (Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, 2004)...

Evaluation of the Magnet Schools Assistance Program, 1998 Grantees: Year 1 Interim Report - This evaluation focuses on the 57 projects that received three-year grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) in 1998. It provides details about the types of districts that are funded by MSAP, the projects they establish and the desegregation and achievement objectives they have set. It also describes the systemic reforms that MSAP projects are designed to support, the innovative methods and practices the projects are implementing in federally funded magnet schools and the support available to MSAP projects from the U.S. Department of Education and other sources. (American Institutes for Research, U.S. Department of Education, 2001)...

Improving Urban Education with Magnet Schools - This article examines the differences between magnets and nonmagnets, and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of both. It highlights seven characteristics that draw students and their parents to magnets. It also outlines issues for policymakers to consider when making decisions about magnets and nonmagnets. (Morton Inger, ERIC Digests Series, Number 76, 1991)...

Magnet Schools - This article provides a general overview of the issues surrounding magnet schools. It examines the policies, objectives, methods and liabilities of magnets, and identifies the challenges of each of these issues. It also identifies the ways in which magnets have been beneficial for improving minority achievement. (Amy Klauke, ERIC Digests Series, Number EA 26, 1988)...

School Choice in Urban America: Magnet Schools and the Pursuit of Equity - This book examines empirical data concerning the effects of magnet schools in terms of educational equity, desegregation and educational improvement. The social and political context of magnet schools is also analyzed. The authors focus on a range of questions, including: What is the context of decisionmaking for parents in an urban system of school choice? What is the nature and quality of family-school interaction in magnet and nonmagnet schools? What are the learning environments and workplace conditions in magnet schools? How do these conditions influence issues of equity and access for students in urban schools? The book is available for purchase from Teachers College Press. (Claire Smrekar and Ellen Goldring, Teachers College Press, 1999)...

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