Magnets in the News

Dancing Through Life: Performer tells her story through dance 

One night, at 18, Bastos found herself seated next to a friend who had fallen asleep at the wheel. The car crashed into a cement light pole, hitting the passenger side. Bastos woke up in the hospital and half of her right leg was gone. "My mind went right into survival mode," she says. "I was like, what am I going to do, I can't dance - I don't have a foot." 

Two McKinley Middle students win at international theater competition 

After three canceled flights and a layover in Chicago, Parker Guarisco and Gwen Roland arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska, a day late, thinking they'd likely perform their 5-minute acting piece once and then enjoy the rest of the International Thespian Festival. Instead, the middle schoolers swept their category - duet acting - beating out many actors from around the country who were much older.

Houston ISD's Carnegie Vanguard High School Developing Environmental Leaders

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $76,744 to the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to implement environmental education programs. The SCA will work with students at Carnegie Vanguard High School, a magnet school in the Houston Independent School District to improve environmental literacy and stewardship. 

Philly's newest education experiment: College for high school students

On her first day of high school, 13-year-old Emma Lein had all the normal anxieties and hopes. She wanted to join clubs and make new friends. She worried about the workload and time management. 

Enloe High School students win national fan vote for lifesaving CPR app 

A group of students from Enloe High School in Raleigh has won a national fan vote for their app that shows users how to use CPR during an emergency to save the life of a person whose heart has stopped.

Diversity isn't a plot point in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming.' It's just normal for millennial New Yorkers like Peter Parker 

Brooklyn Technical High School or Stuyvesant High School in Lower Manhattan, two of New York City's nine specialized public schools focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) became the models for Midtown High, where Peter is often one of the only white kids we see. 

For New Jersey DACA Student, The Road To College Is Bumpier Than Expected 

Desiree Armas worked hard in high school. So when she graduated in June from Union County Magnet High School in New Jersey, Armas had the flair to prove it. She was decked out in medals and honor cords - braided ropes with tassels on the end, in bright red and gold, that represent her academic and extracurricular accomplishments during high school.  

New Freedom School comes to Winston-Salem 

CDF Freedom Schools is a summer program that seeks to build strong, literate, and empowered children prepared to make a difference in themselves, their families and communities. Freedom Schools plays a major role in helping students curb summer learning and close achievement gaps. 

Judge: Magnet schools cannot be made more segregated 

The state will not be allowed to fill empty seats in the Hartford region's desegregated magnet schools with more black and Hispanic students from Hartford - at least for the next school year. Doing so, Hartford Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger ruled Friday, would erode the Connecticut Supreme Court's landmark Sheff v. O'Neill desegregation decision. 

Lansing Teacher Recognized for Decades of Dedication to Teaching 

Richard Gutierrez was awarded the Regional Teacher of the Year award by Magnet Schools of America. He teaches third and second graders at Fairview STEM Academy in Lansing. Students said they have fun in his class because they laugh a lot and he encourages them to try their best.

Jimmy Fallon & The Roots Spill Behind-The-Scenes Memories, Craziest Prince Stories 

Questlove and Black Thought met in high school - in the principal's office. The two crossed paths during Black Thought's freshman year at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, the same magnet school attended by Boyz II Men and Christian McBride. 

'Nowhere to go but up': A Watts elementary school transforms 

Walking down the hallways of Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School on a Thursday afternoon is like spinning a radio dial through the sweet tunes of arts programming.  Heavy bass wafts out of a hip hop dance class, the shrill squeaks of unseasoned trumpet players flow out of another classroom.

At 71, teaching is her fountain of youth

Lyndon Johnson was president when Carolyn Gray first began teaching in Philadelphia schools. A gallon of gas cost 33 cents when she first entered her classroom at Shawmont Elementary, a few months after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made an impassioned speech to students at Barratt Junior High in South Philadelphia.

Class of 2017 photo mystery solved just in time for graduation 

For a long time, no one could identify the first-grader holding a "Class of 2017" sign in the old photograph hanging in the Clark County School District's board room. Then Nyla Christian attended a School Board meeting to offer public comment and recognized her son, Niko, in the photo.

Connecticut magnet school strikes agreement with China

An arts-focused magnet school in New Haven has struck an agreement for an exchange program described as the first formal partnership between an American public school and Chinese education officials. The agreement will bring top  arts  students from China to the Educational Center for the Arts and give the school's students opportunities to connect with a range of schools in China, according to the school's director, Jason Hiruo.

Secret to building a strong Nashville workforce? Hire teens

Last year Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School student McKenna Mimms applied for summer jobs at two grocery store chains and at Baskin-Robbins. She did not hear back, so she spent the summer reading, watching TV and helping out around her house in Antioch. This summer is different.  

Can magnet schools save public education in South Carolina? 

Magnets gives students the chance to get good at something they really like. And, theoretically, the students improve their grades in other areas, including the core subjects of reading and math. But beyond helping students learn better, the great push for magnet instruction has a larger goal: It's the hope that customized instruction can help truly bolster, even "save," public education. 

Pasadena Unified's Innovative STEM Programs Have Helped to Stabilize Declining Enrollment Rates 

Pasadena Unified School District's innovative "STEM" programs that catapult students into advanced coursework at early ages and attract families to enroll their kids public schools with ambitious curriculum may be the the driving force that is keeping the District enrollment rates stabilized during a time when statewide numbers are dwindling.

Students use school expo to call attention to global water crisis 

Working to end the fresh water project in underdeveloped countries sounds like a daunting project. But two local eighth graders took it on and were proud to show off their results at the recent Project Based Learning Expo. 

Cedar Rapids adds third magnet school, teachers notice better student behavior 

A magnet school is meant to balance out poverty rates by providing unique classes and programs that attract students from different backgrounds. In Cedar Rapids, two of the magnet schools have already seen a shift in poverty rates. 

Levin's journey on The Voice has opened doors 

Ashley Levin's appearance on the television show The Voice might not have ended the way she hoped, but she said it did open some incredible doors and taught her a lot about herself, and the career she has chosen. 

NH's only magnet school attracts attention 

Jill Stanley graduated at the top of her class, but every day of school was a struggle. She excelled in high-level math, but found it took her longer to learn the concepts than her peers, possibly because of the style of instruction."Kids learn so differently," said Stanley, a Rochester resident and Massachusetts native. "It just didn't work well for me." 

Four Steps to Transform School Culture Through Summer Reading 

In my first week as an English teacher at an urban high school in the Nashville school district, I learned my department had already agreed that summer reading would only be assigned to the AP and honors students. It was my understanding that over the years, students had done less and less summer reading, to the point that teachers became frustrated and stopped assigning it. 

How three schools creatively face the challenge of educating immigrant students 

If you have paid attention to the school reform debate in recent years, you would be forgiven for thinking that public schools across the board are failing students and that schools that are struggling can only improve if they fire all of their staff, become a charter school or let the state take them over. It's not so. 

Learning through song at Baldwin Arts and Magnet School 

"Tomorrow's song is today's gift..." Those beautiful words are the motto for all choral classes at Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet school, and they were coined by teacher Traci Fuller. Becoming an educator was the last thing Fuller thought she would do for a career. 

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.