Magnet School Structures and Racial Diversity
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.
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