Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Magnet Schools: An Innovative Way to Educate

By Sean Scarpiello

As alternative forms of education such as charter schools are becoming increasingly common, magnet schools have also been gaining popularity in the past several years. Magnet schools get their name from their highly specialized programs and curricula which attract students from all over. Further, they are simply public schools that draw students from all across the district and school zones which offer classes in the levels of elementary, middle, and high school. Magnet schools were originally designed in the 1960s to help reduce segregation in schools; however, they are now being revived and are drawing students individualized teaching styles too. These days, magnet schools have much more to offer and result in improved academic success in a number of different areas for students in kindergarten to grade 12.

First, magnet schools continue to bring diversity and innovative learning techniques into the classroom. They often require some sort of interview or entrance exam, but magnet schools also have high graduation rates, high college acceptance rates, and more. This is done by hiring specialized teaching staff that have a passion for their subjects. Together, this leads to fewer problems with discipline, higher student attendance, and increased teacher satisfaction. Compared to regular public schools, these improvements definitely make magnet schools appealing. Further, magnet schools have also reported having increased parental involvement in education which is one of the greatest factors leading to academic success. With all of these huge benefits in mind, many think that magnet schools would be expensive to educate students. However, magnet schools are publicly run schools that are designed to lure in students from different areas within a school district.

In light of all of these huge benefits to magnet schools, it is the highly specialized programs that attract most students. Many magnet schools have classes and curricula focused on subjects such as technology, entrepreneurship, engineering, humanities, and even the arts. Since classes are highly individualized for students, there are very low dropout rates and students continue to pursue these specialized fields after graduation. Despite these concentrations in different fields of study, magnet schools are not the same as vocational or technical schools. While some students attending magnet schools opt out of attending college, many magnet schools boast college acceptance rates of 100%. After graduation, many students report success in college and in the workplace due to emphasis placed on learning skills and practical application of knowledge rather than the regurgitation of facts in class. Also, students are urged to collaborate with each other in forming ideas and arguments for discussion, further adding to a well-rounded and people-based education experience.

Overall, magnet schools have a lot to offer and provide a lot of different benefits for students. Aside from receiving a specialized and individualized education from enthusiastic teachers, students also are engaged in innovative curricula centered on collaboration and learning alongside others. Best of all, a magnet education is available to practically anyone who lives in a district with magnet schools. In all, magnet schools are highly beneficial to the field of education as they offer a high quality yet low cost education to many students.


No comments: