Magnets in the News

Don't forget magnet schools when thinking about school choice 

Whereas most of the energy in the school choice debates has focused on vouchers and charter schools, relatively little attention has been paid to another important choice model that serves as many students as charters and has been in existence for longer-magnet schools.

Team from Jo Mackey Academy builds Lego robots to do bidding 

For students on coach Rachel Kuntz's Lego Leaders team, building is just the start of the challenge. At a typical session, students rapidly tap commands into a pad on the back of a robot built of Legos, then watch hopefully as it rolls into a maze of strange constructions and rolls back after completing a task. 

U.S. Poet Laureate visits Davis Bilingual Magnet School

A U.S. Poet Laureate brought the love of literature to Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School just ahead of the Tucson Festival of Books. Renowned poet and children's book author Juan Felipe Herrera visited the school on Friday.

Celebrating All Things Dr. Seuss at Celentano Magnet School in New Haven

Celentano Biotech, Health and Medical Magnet School is celebrating all things Dr. Seuss this week and I felt lucky enough today to join in that celebration reading to the students some of their Dr. Seuss favorites.

New York costume designer works on Beverlye Magnet School play 

Zac West came to Alabama to take a break from his busy career as a costume designer. He's ended up on a working vacation, providing support for Beverlye Magnet School's upcoming production of "Willy Wonka, Jr." a version of "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory." 

Johns Hill learns to blend arts into all subjects

Teachers at Johns Hill Magnet School are game to try anything during professional development, even creating a tableau about East and West Germany during the Cold War.

In her first public speech, DeVos praises a choice many endorse: magnet schools

Betsy DeVos' confirmation has stoked fears about undermining public schools, in large part because of the Secretary of Education's full-throated support for school vouchers. But if the last few days have been any indication, DeVos is trying to put a friendlier face on the idea of school choice. 

Education Secretary DeVos pledges support for magnet schools 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday pledged support for magnet schools in a bid to repair ties with proponents of public education in the wake of a bruising confirmation battle, but also slammed her critics for rejecting innovation and change.

More money for magnet schools?

DeVos and President Donald Trump have vowed to expand so-called school choice options for students, explicitly naming magnet schools as one of those options. MSA Executive Director Todd Mann said his organization plans to invite DeVos to visit some magnet schools. And he hopes that any momentum at the federal level translates into more federal funding. 

What DeVos needs now is a great public school education (Op-Ed, The Hill) 

Last week we hosted Secretary DeVos at our 2017 National Policy Training Conference because, as our Executive Director Todd Mann wrote, we believe what Secretary DeVos needs now is a great public school education.  

Magnet School Students Welcome Refugee Classmates 

Ten year-old Sadia Zakaria, who spoke little English when she moved here from Egypt last summer, recited a poem Monday at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School that she had written to show that "on the inside, people are all the same."

Knoxville middle school students win NASA science competition 

For a group of five Vine Middle Magnet School students, the dream of being fully-fledged scientists isn't too far off. By the end of the week, the group will be in Cape Canaveral touring the Kennedy Space Center and watching a real-time NASA launch.

Magnet schools' hands-on learning is tailored to students' interests

Arguably the most important part of magnet school programs is that students can dive into a subject they are interested in at a young age. To many teachers, keeping students engaged in a learning environment is among the biggest challenges. A 2015 Gallup Student Poll of students in grades 5-12 determined that only 50 percent of students were engaged in school.

Apalachee elementary a 'model' arts school 

Walk through the halls of Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School for the Arts and it does not take long to notice the school's unique emphasis on the arts. Giant, hand-made masks made by students for a school production of "Lion King are in cases lining the halls.

There's Nothing Ordinary About Magnet Schools

A few years ago, I visited a magnet school on a seemingly routine visit. But, then, I found out that there is no such thing as a routine visit to a public magnet school, because magnet schools are anything but ordinary. They are extraordinarily cool!

The DeVos Hearings: A Crib Sheet: Prepare to hear "school choice" a lot. Here's what it actually means.

The Trump administration could bring to the fore some education terms that have been largely overlooked in recent years as it moves to dramatically change the way students learn in the United States. And officials and advocacy groups will throw around other words that are commonly heard but not always thoroughly understood.

STEM Star Lukas Hefty of Pinellas County Shines as Florida's Milken Educator Award Winner

The honor, known as the Milken Educator Award, is hailed by Teacher magazine as the "Oscars of Teaching" and comes with an unrestricted $25,000 financial prize that Hefty can use however he wishes.

Lee teacher to be honored on MLK Day for helping school improve 

"The school had an 'F' rating," Principal Bethany Quisenberry said. "We were having a lot of problems and behavior difficulties, especially in fifth grade." Hunter taught first grade, but she wanted to help the older students get back on track.

A splash of tropic sunshine

Students at Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities are in the middle of a two-week trip to Hawaii. This year's artist-in-residence, Bria Zan Thompson, is bringing Hawaiian dance, legends, natural environment, culture and language to Sorensen. 

Echo Park Elementary School third-graders designing new zoo exhibit 

Naimo Ali, 8, rushed to the glass, squeezing her head in between her classmates to catch a glimpse of the snow monkeys bounding through fresh snow. Ali and her classmates spent the past week studying the snow monkey exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo as part of a challenge for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students to redesign the exhibit.

New Ellenton Middle School receives top honor

The Aiken County School District announced Thursday that New Ellenton Middle School has been recognized as one of 62 middle schools across the country to achieve national STEM-certification through AdvancED, the nation's premier education accrediting agency.

It's time to stop with the false choices on school choice

Promoting choice at the expense of quality isn't an education strategy, it's a political agenda. Rather, those of us creating education policy need to simply focus on providing the quality choices that students deserve.

District Five roots mold a special bond for brothers at Naval Academy

It is challenging enough to get an appointment to the United States Naval Academy (USNA). It is even more challenging for two brothers to earn that same feat. Irmo High School graduates Mattison and Grayson Gossett always had a passion for serving their country in the military, but they never knew it would lead them on the same path once they moved on to college.

BRCVPA students participate in 'sky sight' art project 

Students at the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts (BRCVPA) came together to celebrate the arts in Louisiana.  The students, dressed in color-coordinated school t-shirts, were used as 'human paint' drops to recreate a piece of artwork that celebrates Louisiana music and culture. 

Teacher Of Year Sets High Standards 

One of Carlos Reyes-Couvertier's favorite compliments came from a student who told him: "You were tough, but I really appreciate it." Reyes-Couvertier recalled that compliment Monday night as the Board of Education announced that it has chosen him as New Haven's 2017 Teacher of the Year.

HISD Student Pitch Ideas in Local Shark Tank-Like Competition

Creating a business is more than just an idea. It requires a plan, a brand and an amazing pitch to get an investment. Olivia Hooper teaches fifth graders business at the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, and this semester, her students learned how to create a business that they recently pitched to some local sharks.

First-graders make DNA necklaces, look at cells

First-grade teacher Teresa Duncan said her students are about to embark on discovering the difference between organic and genetically-modified food. But first, her students needed to learn about genetics.

Hustvedt snares another teaching award

The National Council for the Social Studies named Ron Hustvedt Jr., a sixth and seventh-grade teacher at Salk Middle School STEM Magnet Program, Outstanding Middle Level Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

DISD magnet school racks up Ivy League early admissions

AP Calculus teacher Joshua Newton said it is an unprecedented round of college admission success for a school that does well every year. "We usually have maybe two or three early accept to an elite school," Newton said. "I've never seen ten before."

Diversify City schools and Make Them Better 

In New York City, where public education is profoundly segregated by race and income, the anger and dismay over a plan to diversify a couple of elementary schools on the Upper West Side of Manhattan are not terribly unusual. 

Former Cirque performers use talents to teach North Las Vegas students science

"We're bringing circus arts to the curriculum. It's nice to have people who have worked in the professional business of the arts to come and share their experience. It's really the perfect collaboration. Kids are excited to be a part of the program, and it's helped them build a motivation for learning." 

Orange County names principal, assistant principal of the year

She launched Orange Center as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math magnet school and digital school. The school's grade also improved from a B to an A this year and the campus recently won the Golden Shovel community involvement award from the Florida Department of Agriculture. 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plan to diversify magnet schools, explained

In the past, seats were divvied up in a random lottery. The school board is now planning to move to a system where students in low-income areas have a better chance of getting into a higher-performing school. 

Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary School continues to make academic gains, as students and staff embrace Montessori education 

"Never Stop and Never Settle." that's the motto at Malcolm C. Hursey Elementary in North Charleston. The school continues to make academic gains, as students and staff strengthen their commitment to learning, discipline, and character building. 

Caddo Magnet student excels in STEM competition

A Caddo Parish Magnet High School senior, Ankur Khanna, has been named a regional finalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Khanna, 17, is the only Louisiana award recipient for 2016 and will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college of his choice.

Bringing math to life at Baldwin Magnet School

From the age of five one Baldwin Magnet School teacher knew she wanted to be an educator. Since then she has worked hard to make that dream a reality. 

Chicago students celebrate Shakespeare at 'Battle of the Bard'

She said nobody on her team had ever performed anything before this experience, but that with every workshop she could see the students' confidence grow. That, she said, was the best part of the whole experience; you can't teach confidence; her students "just had to do it."

Education Programs Connect Thousands of Students to "Fractured Lands"

Within hours of "Fractured Lands" being published by The New York Times Magazine  with a link to a lesson plan for educators teaching grades K-12, the education department was contacted by teachers from all over the world who were interested in connecting the story to their students.  

Bend magnet school earns rarely bestowed credential

A Bend-La Pine magnet school has received a national credential acknowledging its place among schools successful in using the expeditionary learning model. Expeditionary learning schools are characterized by their nontraditional approach in which projects and real-world learning are emphasized. 

The Desegregation and Resegregation of Charlotte's Schools 

Some might wonder why a commitment to school desegregation matters. Can't we just inject more resources into poor schools so that they have the opportunity to compete on an equal playing field? But research has long shown that singularly investing capital into a school in which the vast majority of students live in poverty has limited impact on achievement.

L.A. Magnets Outscore Charters on 2016 Tests

Both magnets and charters are schools of choice, and it is more appropriate to compare these schools than to compare charters to Los Angeles Unified School District traditional neighborhood schools. When these schools of choice are compared, magnets outperformed charters by large margins (11-21 percentage points) at every grade level on the English Language Arts (ELA) and Math sections of 2016 Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests.

Reading, writing and aerobics: How a popular Indy school uses movement to help kids learn

An elementary and middle school southeast of downtown, School 19 - known in Indianapolis as the SUPER school - is among the most popular magnet schools in the city. Then again, it's a rare breed: a magnet program focused on health and physical activity at a time when some schools prohibit students from moving during class.

ACES Educational Center for the Arts program in New Haven brings new artists into the field

"It gives students a sense of belonging and shows that they have something powerful within themselves," she said. "(ArtsLink) is set up so that they begin to trust themselves."

A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet School principal honored by WCPSS

The Wake County Public School System on Wednesday named A.B Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School Principal Muriel Summers as the 2016-2017 Principal of the Year. District officials said Summers has been principal of Combs Magnet Elementary for 19 years and was integral to its creation as the nation's first leadership magnet school.

Fairfield Elementary Magnet PTA nationally recognized

Fairfield Elementary Magnet School and its PTA are making positive changes in the way parents, students and teachers interact. The school is being recognized for its constant improvement in family-school partnerships.

Can all students succeed at science and technology high schools?

When Lou Allen started the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut in 2005, he didn't woo the state's top students. Instead, in accordance with state law, admission was based on a lottery. 

Educational investment that works and is affordable

For the past four years, the Marine Science Magnet High School (MSMHS) of Southeastern Connecticut received an average of 400 applications for its incoming freshman class. Like every magnet school in Connecticut, it used a lottery process to randomly select the 73 students who get in.

A CHOICE School: Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences

All students can learn, but not every student learns in the same way. School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties has placed a priority on offering and growing academic options. The CHOICE program offers families the choices they need to make their students successful in school and future careers.

Texas's Number One Public High School Is in Houston

DeBakey turns out math and science whiz kids who head to top colleges. But with high expectations comes high pressure.

Inventor of Hepatitis C Cure Wins a Major Prize-and Turns to the Next Battle   

I remember winning the science fair in grade school. My project was "how radar works." I then went on to attend a math-science-engineering magnet school in Baltimore, which was kind of unusual at the time-this was the mid-1970s. And my interest in math and science grew from there.