Magnet Schools

Pros and Cons


Magnet schools are public schools offering special instruction and programs not available elsewhere. These schools are designed to attract a more diverse student body from throughout the school district.

Distinguishing Characteristics of magnet schools

  • Distinctive curriculum or instructional approach
  • Attract students from outside an assigned neighborhood attendance zone
  • Have diversity as an explicit purpose

Pros of Magnet Schools

*Magnet schools have successfully encouraged families to enroll their children in school zones outside of where they live, thereby helping desegregate public education. s.

*Magnet schools have specialized programs emphasizing a consistent theme or method of teaching, facilitating students’ and teachers’ commitment to the school.

*Magnet schools increase the choices available to parents and students in urban school districts, but lets them remain in the public school system.

*progress made in teaching methodologies within Magnet schools is often shared with their neighboring schools so that other schools benefit from the progress made in educational methodology made in Magnet schools.

Cons of Magnet Schools

*Magnet schools often “hurt” neighboring public schools by taking away their brightest students.

*Magnet schools draw resources from regular school programs.

*While Magnet schools may open up previous geographic segregations of neighborhoods, they encourage the segregation of students based on ability and talents.

*The selective admission criteria of Magnet schools often acts as a hurdle for students with failing grades or records of bad behavior or truancy who want to attend these schools.

*Magnet schools may not really be open to all students who need them.

*low-income, English-as-a-second language, and special education students can be under-represented in Magnets.

*Even if magnet schools work, they may not work for all public school systems in general.


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