Magnet schools are part of the local public school district. Instead of being based on regional boundaries, these schools encourage any students within a district to attend if they would succeed under an alternative form of teaching. Magnet schools tend to focus more on the curiosity and engagement of children rather than teaching a forced core curriculum, but for students with learning disabilities or physical challenges, it can be virtually impossible to attend one. Here are the other key points to consider when looking at the pros and cons of magnet schools.
The Pros of Magnet Schools
1. It offers a student that chance to achieve their full potential.
Magnet schools aim to work with a student at their own learning level. This attracts the brightest students in a district because they can work at their own pace instead of being forced to work at what is often a slower classroom pace with their peers.
2. It gives families a choice for their child’s education.
Without the presence of a magnet school, parents must either choose a private school or to homeschool their children if they want additional options. This choice on its own is a tremendous advantage for students in any community.
3. It encourages communities to be include instead of exclude.
Most districts assign schools based on where families live. Magnet schools fall outside of these traditional boundaries, so it eliminates the neighborhood cliques that tend to form. Wealth, race, and culture classes are encouraged to mix together.
The Cons of Magnet Schools
1. It draws resources away from other schools that may be struggling.
Magnet schools are typically subsidized in some way. This allows the schools to be able to provide students with extra resources that the other public schools may not be able to provide. What could the local public school do with the same resources a magnet school receives?
2. There is usually a selective admissions process.
Magnet schools are usually reserved for the best and brightest students in a community. Students must be able to achieve certain grades, avoid disciplinary issues, and have a strong attendance record in order to attend most magnet schools and that can be difficult for certain students.
3. It encourages segregation of a different form.
Instead of segregating students based on their skin color or the financial resources, magnet schools segregate students based on their intelligence.
The pros and cons of magnet schools show that they can give students a tremendous opportunity to chase their full potential. It also shows that there are certain negatives that must be carefully balanced to make sure all of the potential benefits can be achieved.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.