from the California charter schools newsletter & Education Week (12/10/2008)
A new report THE FORGOTTEN CHOICE: Rethinking Magnet Schools in a Changing Landscape about magnet schools from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA compares characteristics of magnet school students with those of public charter school students and laments that attention has been siphoned away from magnet schools" as charters have become “a central focus of school choice proponents.”
Over the past decade, magnets have seen substantial declines in white student enrollment, the study found. Still, black students are more segregated in charter schools than in magnets, it found. Hispanics, though, are more segregated in magnets than in charters.
Magnet schools in districts with nearby charters were more likely to report decreasing levels of integration than districts without charter alternatives, the report says.
Magnets promote integration, while public charter schools can exacerbate racial isolation, claims study director Erica Frankenberg. In 2008, federal magnet school funding was just over $100 million, compared to $200 million for charter schools.
Also See: Support for magnet schools waning despite their success (LA Times 11/26)