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|Magnet Program Review
This review evaluates the effectiveness of Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) magnet schools in meeting the objectives established by the Wake County Board of Education in April 2005. Data show that magnet schools positively contribute to the optimal utilization of school facilities in WCPSS. Many magnet schools and neighboring schools would experience under-utilization or unfavorable changes in the demographic composition of their student populations if they were demagnetized. Analysis also suggests that magnet schools effectively promote diverse student populations and reduce high concentrations of poverty by drawing students from more affluent families to their schools. Magnet schools tend to show similar achievement trends as non-magnet schools with similar student populations. Surveyed magnet school principals describe how the expanded educational opportunities offered at their magnet schools positively impact students' academic and personal growth. Finally, interviewed magnet program administrators concur that magnet programs provide education innovation as a means of attracting parents and students to under-utilized schools.
|Comparing Student Performance at Program Magnet, Year-Round Magnet, and Non-Magnet Elementary Schools
This evaluation provides an overview of demographic characteristics and student achievement outcomes among Wake County Public School System elementary schools, when these schools are categorized as schools of choice (program magnets and calendar magnets) or traditional schools (non-magnets). Data were drawn from school-level outcomes reported in the 2000-2001 Wake County School Profiles. Central to the study is the conclusion that there are no significant differences in schools' ABCs Performance Composites when they are statistically adjusted to equalize differences in race and socioeconomic status. Through the WCPSS Magnet Program, families can take advantage of opportunities for school choice without sacrificing the level of academic performance their students can expect to achieve. The school system also benefits because magnet schools promote diversity and help to optimize the use of facilities throughout the system.