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Educational Delusions?Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make Schools Fair$
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Gary Orfield and Erica Frankenberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274730

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274730.001.0001

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Designing Choice

Designing Choice

Magnet School Structures and Racial Diversity

(p.107) 5 Designing Choice
Educational Delusions?

Genevieve Siegel-Hawley

Erica Frankenberg

University of California Press

This chapter seeks to develop a deeper understanding of contemporary magnet school trends. We look specifically at the characteristics of student enrollment to understand whether magnets are more or less racially, socioeconomically, or linguistically diverse than regular public schools and charter schools. This chapter also draws upon two surveys of magnet schools to describe the relationship between the racial composition and the design and structure of these programs. We find that certain characteristics, such as the presence of desegregation goals and the provision of free transportation, are associated with more integrated magnet environments and higher levels of parent demand. We argue that magnet programs, when carefully designed, continue to offer a critical example of school choice used to promote diversity.

Keywords:   magnet schools, desegregation, integration, diversity, school choice, magnet school design, Magnet Schools of America

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