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What Are Magnet Colleges? An Overview for Lecturers and Dad and mom



Should you’re sufficiently old, you may need grown up fascinated by the general public highschool featured within the film and TV present Fame. This actual NYC performing arts college appeared like a dream come true for a lot of who watched, a spot to pursue their passions whereas additionally getting the required highschool training. That was out of attain for many on the time, however magnet colleges like these have grow to be ever extra in style in current a long time. So what’s a magnet college, and what ought to dad and mom and academics learn about them?

What’s a magnet college?

Magnet colleges are a part of the general public college system, however they provide a selected deal with topics like STEM or the performing arts. They first began within the Nineteen Sixties as an alternative choice to the personal colleges that households have been usually unable to afford. Many centered on range of their pupil physique, they usually helped convey instructional option to underserved populations.

Immediately, there are greater than 4,000 free public magnet colleges in america, principally in city or suburban areas. They’re a part of their native college districts, however they’re open to any pupil in that district no matter the place they reside.

There are several types of magnet colleges. Some supply different schedules, like year-round college. Others may need distinctive configurations, like Okay-8 or school-within-a-school. The most typical varieties have curriculum focus areas, which embody (however should not restricted to):

  • STEM: Science, know-how, engineering, and arithmetic
  • Performing arts and tremendous arts
  • Profession and technical training (CTE)
  • Worldwide research and world languages

As a part of the general public college system, magnet colleges obtain public funding. Some states present particular funding for these colleges, and grant cash is accessible too. These colleges are administered by the identical native college board as conventional public colleges, and should adjust to all state training laws.

Magnet Colleges vs. Conventional Public Colleges

Magnet Schools: Diversity, Innovation curriculum and professional development, academic excellence, high quality instructional systems, family and community partnerships

Supply: The Pillars of Magnet Colleges, Diggs-Latham Elementary College

Whereas conventional public colleges deal with offering a common training to each pupil, magnet colleges supply a extra specialised surroundings. They provide college students an opportunity to pursue their pursuits and assist them put together for the careers they need. Magnet colleges continuously obtain higher check scores on state assessments, they usually boast extra parental involvement and better charges of attendance and commencement.

Magnet colleges are an possibility for all college students, however since they’re so in style, they’re typically solely in a position to settle for 10 to twenty % of scholars who apply. Most magnet colleges use a lottery system; others settle for college students on a first-come, first-served foundation or have a rigorous utility course of.

Lecturers at these colleges should meet all state certification necessities. However additionally they have an opportunity to deal with sharing their very own passions with their college students. They could be paid barely greater than conventional college academics on common, however this varies extensively from district to district.

What do critics say about magnet colleges?

As with every instructional system, magnet colleges have their critics. Some level out that they now typically promote the very inequities they have been designed to get rid of. Whereas they might have a extra numerous pupil inhabitants, they normally don’t have the identical socioeconomic standing (SES) combine. Magnet college college students have a tendency to come back from higher-income, two-parent households. Their dad and mom usually tend to be employed and maintain higher-education levels. That mentioned, research point out that college students with low SES that attend magnet colleges do higher academically than their conventional college counterparts.

Different critics fear that by drawing the perfect and brightest college students away from conventional public colleges, these colleges will endure in consequence. They fear that magnet colleges with rigorous utility processes could also be lacking out on the possibility to serve college students who actually need them. Magnet colleges normally have fewer ESL college students, and people with a deal with grades could reject low-achieving candidates who might be higher motivated in a special surroundings.

Magnet College Execs and Cons

Top high school rankings in the U.S. by charter, magnet, and traditional

Supply: U.S. Information & World Report

Questioning whether or not a magnet college is correct to your baby? Contemplating educating in a single? Listed here are a number of the execs and cons that can assist you resolve. (Be taught extra right here.)


  • Elevated probability of pupil physique range.
  • The power to deal with topics college students are enthusiastic about.
  • Normal dedication to tutorial excellence and achievement.
  • Stronger household and group partnerships.
  • Higher pupil attendance and commencement charges.


  • Commute time could also be longer, relying on college location.
  • Software course of will be difficult or left as much as luck.
  • Separation from neighborhood associates, new associates could reside farther away.

These execs and cons differ from college to highschool, so do your analysis into native choices to study what it’s good to know.

Magnet College Data Sources

There’s quite a bit to learn about these distinctive public colleges. Go to the next websites for extra detailed info.

Do you will have questions on educating in a magnet college or wish to share your individual experiences? Be a part of the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Fb for discussions and recommendation.

Plus, What Are Constitution Colleges? A Normal Overview for Lecturers and Dad and mom.

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